After beautiful weather on day five, day six started rainy and windy and continued most of the day. As today’s trip included Anglesey, the weather matched our expectations for the wind swept island… but we had fun nevertheless.
Photo of the day
Welcome to Caernarfon! Impressive castle but the verdict is out on the rest of the town. Though we did have a good coffee.
And the Merry-go-round Carousel in the market square brightened things up a bit.
It had to be done, first visit on Anglesey was to the the town with the longest place name in Europe and second longest in the world: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Which means even the train tickets have to be extra big.
…and the train station signs… etc etc… you get the idea 😉 Secretly I (Julian) was excited to visit, I had always wanted to since a kid. Check.
Next stop was Plas Newydd House & Gardens. The impressive interior is home to the largest canvas painting in the UK. We did take a picture of it, but we couldn’t get the whole painting in the shot, so best to just google it!
A bit of colour on a grey day in the Plas Newydd Garden.
Anglesey, west coast
Most of the west coast of Anglesey looked like this, wet, windy and stormy.
Struggling to get out to sea at Trearddur Bay, we watched a little longer, he capsized a minute later and gave up.
The rain stopped by the time we arrived at South Stack Lighthouse on Holy Island, also a RSPB bird sanctuary. We also tuned in to Irish radio and our mobile phones started trying to connect to Irish networks, you then realise how close you are to Ireland.
Great views of South Stack Lighthouse over some pretty severe cliffs. We walked a bit further on to also try and see North Stack Lighthouse, but the weather closed in and all we got was pictures of sea mist.
Following the northern and eastern coast of Anglesey, we ended up at Beaumaris Castle. Seemed one of the nicest towns on the island.
Beaumaris Pier, with seagulls hovering in the wind, almost in formation.
Back on the mainland we passed through Bangor to Conwy, and its grand 13th century Conwy Castle, before heading to Colwyn Bay for the evening.
Sunshine again! Best day of weather so far. On day five we drove the remaining part of the Welsh west coast, then looped around the Lynn Peninsula ending back at Porthmadog.
Photo of the day
Braich y Pwll
Lifeboat resting in the shallow and still early morning waters of Barmouth.
Old meets new at Harlech Castle, with is modern bridge linked into the medieval fort.
The totally surreal village of Portmeirion. Created by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. Weird but we kind of liked it.
The Central Piazza, but nothing is quite what it seems…
Yes, this is Wales..?!
Criccieth with the contrast between the trim colourful town houses and the headland with Criccieth Castle perched on top.
Abersoch, tide is out again…
Plas yn Rhiw
The blooming cottage garden at the modest yet comfy Plas yn Rhiw House, another National Trust property.
The former fishing village of Aberdaron with its bay and beach, plus car park concertinaed in this panorama shot.
Braich y Pwll
The most westerly point of Wales, with breathtaking views from the single track lane to the coastguard lookout at the top.
Hello from Braich y Pwll and the Irish Sea.
Braich y Pwll sheep enjoying the weather too.
Another National Trust stop at Porthor Beach on the north side of the Lynn Peninsula.
After trying to find Porthdinllaen precariously walking across a golf course, we turned back to the car park, and realized we could see it in the distance on the other side of the headland.
And in the final photo of the day, with the view to the east from Porthdinllaen across to Porthnefyn. We then headed back south to Porthmadog for the evening.
Today we are starting our journey near Cardigan then driving up to Dolgellau, about 130 miles. And yay!.. a sunny day 🙂
Photo of the day
Coastal Road Sheep
Being welcomed by this gentleman at Cilgerran Castle entrance.
St Dogmaels Abbey
A few minutes down the road we reached the remains of St Dogmaels Abbey. As well as castles, and lighthouses, lots of abbeys on this trip too!
Slightly worrying sign whilst parking near Cardigan.
The Welsh love their colourfully painted houses, this was on a side street behind the castle. And yes, we did wear cardigans in Cardigan.
We enjoyed a picnic, with great views overlooking Aberporth bay.
A curious telephone at Penbryn Beach.
And families enjoying the golden sands at Penbryn Beach, protected by the National Trust. Free parking at the top of the hill if you are National Trust member.
Again colourful Welsh houses at New Quay, we missed the turning for the town, so stopped further along the coast at Llanina Woods. A muddy car park, with short walk through the woods to the pebbly and sandy beach.
Making the most of our National Trust membership, driving slightly inland to visit the Llanerchaeron Estate. Understated interior and beautiful gardens.
A little potter around the gardens.
..and time for coffee.
Then back to the coast to the colourful harbour houses of Aberaeron.
Coastal Road Sheep
Sheep along the coastal road.
Coastal Road Drivers
On the road again…
The remains of Aberystwyth Castle on the sea front. Aberystwyth was grander than we had expected with its long promenade.
Views from Aberdyfi across the calm evening waters of the Dyfi estuary to Ynyslas.
Jarno checking out the view from Tywyn promenade.
Woolly street art over the bridge at Bryncrug.
The view over houses and woodland to Snowdonia.
Coastal Road from Llangelynin to Fairbourne
And setting sun.
Off on our third day of travel. We will cover about 130 miles of coastal roads today. A grey sky, but we’ll bring some sunshine.
Photo of the day
Colour and thoughtful art above the industrial landscape of Milford Haven.
Welsh summer, heavy rain at Dale Beach – time for a coffee to wake us up!
Stunning views, steep cliffs and choppy waters at St Ann’s High Lighthouse.
Walkers at the National Trust’s Martin’s Haven.
And here are two of those walkers with Wooltack Point and Midland Isle behind us.
Skin Care Cymru’s alternative Welsh flag: ‘Don’t Be A Lobster’, flying above the coastguard’s hut at Martins’s Haven.
Julian stayed here at St Brides with his family 10 years ago, so was keen to visit again.
The cute little village of Little Haven, with 30min free parking, just enough time to do a mini tour.
And the view west from the top of the short cliff path walk above Little Haven. Lush grass clinging to the rocky cliffs.
We thought this Pembroke single track road was funny, double yellow lines on both sides, no chance to pass someone never mind parking!
The tidy, wide and flat sands of Newgale Beach.
Looking down over Solva Bay with its boats waiting for the tide to return.
St Davids Cathedral in Britain’s smallest city. Really impressive, except for the coffee in the Cathedral Cafe, too hot!
The beautifully painted ceiling of St Davids.
We took the wrong turn looking for Strumble Head, and ended up with this amazing view west from Pwll Mawr.
Getting addicted to lighthouses now… took 100 pics of Stumble Head Lighthouse in the fresh and bright late afternoon sunshine.
And again stunning views west along the Pembrokeshire coast from Strumble Head.
And the final stop of the day in Fishguard, before heading to our B&B for the night near Cardigan.
On Day 2 we traveled from Llanelli to Pembroke, about 120 miles again. Here are some of our more interesting stops.
Photo of the day
A bit of grey start to the day at Burry Port. Here with the view out to sea, behind us a small harbor town and rolling green hills.
Kidwelly Castle, quite impressive for a little town. The first of several castles today!
Carmarthen, the oldest town in Wales, also had a castle. Looked quite similar to Kidwelly, at least from the front, don’t you think? I thought I had a been here as a kid, but then realized I had it muddled with the much more impressive Caernarfon Castle in North Wales.
Further down the west side of the River Towy we reached Llansteffan Castle, a pleasant 10 minute walk up from the beach car park. Great views from the top across to Ferryside and Carmarthen Bay.
And back down at the car park, great views again across the beach and the bay.
Further west we reached Laugharne, the final resting town of Dylan Thomas. An impressive castle for a small town, sitting next to the River Taf.
At Pendine Sands the Lifeguards had put up this fun notice board.
Pendine Sands is most famous for its land speed records in the early 1900. Babs is the most famous car, and is displayed in the Museum of Speed by the beach. Sadly its driver (Parry-Thomas) was killed when the car crashed during a land speed attempt in 1927. The car was buried in the sand dunes, and was later dug up and lovingly restored. Look at that engine!
At Saundersfoot, one of the most popular tourist towns in Wales, we looked over the beach. Full of families enjoying the milder late afternoon weather, as now the clouds had started to clear.
Cute wollen bollard covers in the streets of Saundersfoot, don’t ask me why, but they brightened up the streets.
We loved Tenby, and a bonus, we found a street with my name…. but I’m no saint.
Fresh Tenby fudge being prepared. Another bonus.
Colourful Tenby houses, and boats all neatly anchored in the peaceful harbour.
Then we heard the emergency signal call for RNLI crew, and a few minutes later a lifeboat was launched. Hope all was OK.
Around the corner we found the beautiful Manorbier Bay, and posed for some road trip selfies…
The National Trust owned Stackpole Quay was full of families enjoying the evening sun, playing about in the sea.
We climbed down the ladder to reach the second bay.
An evening picnic with great views!
Back in the car park we noticed this beach books trailer. We are not sure exactly how it works but we guess that during the day you can borrow books from this, like a mobile library. If so, what a great idea.
A renovated seaweed hut at Freshwater West. Yes, new to us too! Apparently used in the early part of last century to dry seaweed that was used to make Welsh lava bread.
Warm evening sunlight as the sun started to set at West Angle Bay.
Pembroke Power Station viewed across the fields from Angle to Pembroke. It was quite a contrast to the landscape we had seen so far, but here it somehow looks organic, growing out of the bushes at the edge of the field.
Pembroke Castle in the evening light, our final castle of the day!
Final shot of the day from Pembroke Dock across to wind turbines at Milford Haven.
Welcome to our first blog post. Day one of our seven week British Coastal Road Trip.
Today we started in Cardiff and drove 120 miles along the beautiful Welsh coastline to Llanelli.
Here are some picture highlights of our first day on the road!
Photo of the day
Map ready in Cardiff for our Coastal Road Trip!
Beach chairs in front of the impressive Wales Millennium Centre, bit optimistic considering it was about to rain…
Penarth pier and pebble beach, a quiet little town across the Cardiff Bay.
The cute little St Lawrence church, where we found two friendly resting locals, who pointed us in the direction of the coastal path to Lavernock Point.
Marconi sent the world’s first ever radio messages across water at Lavernock Point in 1897. Sadly the building was abandoned and overgrown, but we found this plaque on the church wall.
The view across to Flat Holm, and our first Lighthouse on this trip! It’s in the Severn Estuary, 3-4 miles away from Lavernock Point, so a bit of grainy pic.
A great surprise as The Red Arrows roared over our car as we drove into Barry Island.
Nash Point Lighthouse, our 2nd lighthouse – yay! And its antique foghorns (looked scarily loud).
Surfers at Rest Bay, near Porthcawl, one of the best surfing beaches in Wales, but looked especially cold today!
After briefly checking out the German Beer Festival in Swansea, we headed south around Swansea Bay to view Mumbles Pier and Lighthouse (love that name… Mumbles).
…and back at the Mumbles Head Car Park, a big apple selling ice cream… curious.
After exploring some of the beaches along the Gower Peninsula we ended up at the stunning Rhossili Bay. A National Trust site, but it was early evening by the time we arrived, so all the visitors had left for the day, so we had the place to ourselves!
And final pic of the day down a short path from Rhossili to view Worms Head.