LLANSTEFFAN AREA

With a month of poor weather and cabin fever not far away, not to mention the dodgy knee I was keen just to get out the house.

I telephoned my mate Chris for a chat and he mentioned that he was going for a short walk this afternoon to look at the ruins of the Pilgrims Rest at Llandeilo Abercowyn. I pleaded to go with him and  he agreed!

Route http://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/e.php?d=20120629&u=129274

We parked the car near  Cwm Celyn farm and started to walk towards the farm.  The owner who was playing with his JCB said that his son had found a body that morning and the police were in attendance and may not let us through the land.  However we carried on through the farm and onto the footpath through the small copse and onto the Pilgrims Rest and the ruins of St Teilo Church.  The owner was very helpful and showed where the chapel was and gave some background to the Pilgrim’s Rest.  The chapel was somewhat overgrown but the farmer hoped to take a strimmer to the growth soon.

The map shows the path going through the farm and then north along the Cowyn.  However there is now a short detour which leads east along the road and within a small distance a footpath sign puts you back on route.  I have to say this area is poorly sign posted especially as it now forms part of the Wales Coast Path, not to mention the ground was very muddy and full of holes made by cattle – but this is West Wales.

We turned right at the road at Pont Ddu and after about a half a mile at the T junction headed along the well signposted path into the woods.  Just past Gelli we turned south down the lanes back to the car just in time to miss the rain.

A 5.5 mile walk which gave me no knee problems and helped to blow away the cobwebs.

No pictures I am afraid.

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AND THE WIFE CAME TOO

I had suggested that now I had enjoyed my recent forays into bike riding that my better half should give it a try.

The last time she had been on a bike was in 1984 on the island of Sark. This however did not go well as no one had told her (we thought it was obvious) that one should not use the front brake on its own.  The inevitable head over handlebars happened and strangely this incident had put her off biking until today!

The plan was for a short trip on the Millennium Coast Path from Pembrey and to see how it goes.

The route  http://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/e.php?d=20120625&u=129274

They say it’s like riding a bike and it was, no need for stabilisers.  There was some wariness of riding through narrow gaps which were there to deter transport other than bikes. There was also a dismount when a phalanx of bike riders headed our way, more for their safety than hers.

I was not sure how far we would go but before long we arrived at Burry Port harbour where a cup of coffee and a sugar and lime crepe went down well.

 

It was here I saw a cyclist with a small car dog cage on the back of the bike with a small dog seemingly happy to go for a “walk” in lazy comfort. We also saw another dog being carried in a basket.

After our refreshments we turned for home.

We may do this again.

Millennium Coast Path Part 2

With a good weather forecast happening today and going rapidly down hill for the rest of the week, today was the day for the bike.

I decided to visit the Millennium Coast Path and continue on the route to Lougher Bridge and back.  This is also the Bike route number 4.

My route can be found here http://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/e.php?d=20120620&u=129274&i=213898

I parked the car near Sandy Water Park and set off, passing the lake and then onto the path proper.

Once past the Discovery centre (North Dock) I was  to be on new territory, neither having walked or biked it.  This area is generally known as Machynys.

I crossed over the watery bits via two attractive footbridges and headed east with good views towards the Gower.

 

 

The tide was way out and in the distance cockle pickers were at work.  On my return one 4 by 4 came up from the beach loaded with sacks of cockles.

The coast path, which now forms part of the Wales Coast Path takes you along side some nice (probably expensive) houses which are adjacent to the Nicklaus designed golf course. I saw a number of players and others sunning themselves on the veranda of the club house.

Near here there were a number of interpretation boards which showed the history of the area, some of which went back to the 1600’s’ and the sad demolition of a local hamlet “for improvement”.

 

 

Pedaling on I came to the  Wetland Centre which is worth a visit.

It was here that I met my neighbours, Paul and Angela who were just starting out on a bike ride but going the other way.

I kept on going east to the end of the Millennium path but carried on, on route 4 to the Lougher bridge.

I turned around here and headed back. I did stop for a break by a lake overlooking the golf course and then again at the Discovery centre for a well deserved  Mr Whippy ice cream.

Again the path was well used with lots of cyclists including two who judging by the kit carried were on a tour.

This a lovely area to ride with good under wheel conditions and no hills!

Millenium Coast Path (Pembrey to North Dock and back)

I usually go walking on Mondays but because of the knee problem, these walks are on hold.  However cycling is the new walking and today I decided on a trip from Pembrey Country Park to North Dock on the outskirts of Llanelli and return.

Link

The forecast was for rain coming our way in the afternoon and thankfully I made it back just in time.

The plan was to leave the car just outside the park, to avoid the fee, but in any event the park was closed because of the Beach Break Music Festival.

When the Millennium Path was built there were some who thought it would be a white elephant, but it is a busy thoroughfare with walkers, runners and cyclists finding it a picturesque route with views across the estuary to the Gower Peninsula.

 

The route now forms part of the Wales Coastal Path which was opened in May 2012.

I am still surprised of the amount of ground I can cover when cycling and I was soon in Burry Port and stopped to look at the harbour.

 

 

It was then on towards Llanelli taking a detour to circle Sandy Water Park.  The notice boards explained this area was once known for its tin making and then sheet metal. These industries eventually closed and we now have something completely different in its place.

I soon reached North Dock, turned and headed back.

Although not a common sight on the path, it seems that a famous person landed her aeroplane near here!

There was a cycling trail sign post which looked interesting and I turned off the main track and onto some “off road” track.  Nothing serious but a nice change.  The trail leads back onto the main path.

Just after Burry Port there is a  side track which leads out to the sea and here I stopped for a brew.

Looking back towards Llanelli it looked like rain was falling so I hurried back to the car at Pembrey – just in time.

The Millennium Path continues east from Llanelli and this will feature some time in the future.

St Helens Circular via Seaview

A holiday on the Isle of Wight for the week commencing 26th May saw me tentatively trying to walk without the knee protesting. I tried a one mile route along lanes and fields with no problem and with other short walks things were looking OK. On the Thursday I thought it was time for a longer walk and decided on a circular walk from our base in St Helens, cross country into Seaview and back along the coast.

The route can be seen here.

We followed a footpath north from the Field Lane caravan site, passing a well hidden trig point (49).  It is usual to find these on hill tops not hidden in a wood. In one of the fields was a collection of cattle including bison, highland cattle and some unknown white cattle.

This path led to a road where we turned left and continued on into Attrill’s Lane with spring flowers still blooming.

It is a feature of the Isle of Wight to see all footpaths sign posted with most showing a route number and destination.  I wonder if anyone from Carmarthenshire County Council is reading this!

We turned off this path and headed past Park Farm and then onto Calthorpe Road where we stopped at the Duke of Westminster for a shandy.  Much to our surprise the landlord was from Llandybie a village not far from our home and we had a short chat in Welsh!

The path next to the pub was then taken which led past a wildlife park and onto the coast. The coast path led into the quiet town of Seaview where we bought some posh sandwiches and ate them on the promenade next to the yacht club.

An interesting fact here is that the sign posted public toilets are actually in the local hotel!

Now refreshed  and toileted we continued our walk along the coast walking on the sands of Seagrove Bay and Priory Bay, attractive beaches backed by woods.

We stopped at the latter  for a sun break and read before continuing on to the beach just east of St Helen’s.  This did include a rock scramble as the tide was heading our way.

Once safely across we arrived at the area known as The Duver where yet another stop was had to consume ice cream.

We crossed the causeway which overlooks Bembridge Harbour and walked back into St Helen’s across the village green where we had already seen a couple of cricket matches.  It was now getting ready for the jubilee celebrations with a marquee erected. Unfortunately we will miss one interesting event which was billed as a “jelly fight” taking place on the Saturday.

Some 6.5 miles later and the knee was doing well albeit it was not a strenuous hill walk but still good to be out without pain.