Linking up with Jo’s Monday Walk this week, this is one I did while camping on Anglesey the year before last, and not only was it a very enjoyable walk but it also gave me a very delightful and unexpected surprise when I discovered something I’d previously been completely unaware of.
As always, when I’m on my travels I never go anywhere without my AA map book, and having consulted it before leaving the tent that morning I decided to go off the island and explore part of the Llyn Peninsula. Marked on the map book was a place called Morfa Nefyn and a beach which I’d never previously been to, so I decided to check that out for any possible photo opportunities. Nefyn itself was quite a large spread out village with the main road running through it and I fully expected to see a sign for Morfa Nefyn somewhere but there was nothing, though I did eventually see a sign for ‘beach’ pointing down a long straight lane so that’s the way I went – and ended up in a golf course car park.
With no other signs around I was totally at a loss but as I stood wondering which way to go a couple who had obviously just finished a round of golf came to their nearby car, so I asked them where the beach was and was told to follow the gravel track across the golf course and a fifteen minute walk would take me to it. So off I went, and with the blue sky, sunshine and great views over the coastline to my left it was a very pleasant walk. Eventually the track split into two and down the short steeply sloping tarmac part to my right I could see a beach – I’d found what I thought I was looking for, but it was far more than just a beach.
The track took me down behind a row of cottages on my left and at the bottom of the slope, almost on the beach itself, was a small parking area with just about enough space for half a dozen cars. When I emerged onto the sand I discovered a tiny and very pretty little hamlet with the cottages, three or four houses set in a small courtyard, and a pub/restaurant with an outside dining area, all set at the base of the cliff and within just a few feet of the beach – it was such a quaint, unexpected and out-of-the-way place offering plenty of photo opportunities and I was really glad I’d found it.
After spending quite some time wandering about taking photos I found a footpath leading round the headland at the end of the beach; there was a house in the distance at the water’s edge so I decided to go round as far as there. The footpath was quite narrow in places with bits of the edge missing where it had crumbled into the sea but I reached the house without mishap and after taking a few shots I retraced my steps back to the beach.
Instead of going back up the track to the golf course I walked along the sand; four tractors with trailers were parked just above the high water line and once I’d got past those I had the beach almost to myself. Eventually my way was barred by a small headland jutting out into the sea and a path took me off the beach and through a tiny enclave of half a dozen cottages before leading me back onto the sand further along the bay. I was just hoping that there would be a way from there back to the golf club car park otherwise I would have a long walk back the other way but I needn’t have worried; the beach gradually became more populated and eventually I came to a concrete slope leading up to a tarmac lane, and after passing several houses I came out at the start of the long lane leading up to the golf club.
Just up the lane was a cafe with a few tables outside; it was a good opportunity to stop for coffee and cake before returning to the van and it also gave me a chance to find out the name of the quaint little seaside hamlet I’d discovered. The beach I’d just come from was Morfa Nevyn, the one I was originally looking for, though somehow I’d missed the sign for it, and the hamlet was Porth Dinllaen. It seemed it was quite a popular little place, though I didn’t recall seeing it in the map book so a quick check when I got back to the van confirmed that it isn’t shown on the map.
Thinking back later on I was glad I’d missed the sign for Morfa Nevyn beach; Porth Dinllaen couldn’t be seen completely from there so if I’d found that beach first I may just have taken a couple of shots of it without going any further, and I would have missed a nice walk and some good photo opportunities in one of the most unusual places I’ve ever been to.