A few weeks ago for Jit’s Birthday I treated him to a weekend in Aberdaron. I have mentioned a few times on the blog about how we now like to go on trips for our birthdays rather than buying things that we don’t particularly need. (we do get some presents, but the quality time creating memories is much more important to us).
It was the first time that I have had someone other than my Mum and Dad look after the cats, so it was all a bit of an experience really. My friend Dom (actually he’s now my friend, but he’s my long time friend’s grandson!) came to sit for the weekend at our house so that we could go on our adventure. We set off after lunch for our three-hour drive to the ‘sticky outey’ bit of North Wales. The Llyn Peninsular to be exact.
It is not the first time that we have headed over to this part of the world. We were there over New Year and I have just realised that I forgot to write it up. Keep your eyes peeled for a retrospective post about that too. It will be a nice experience for me, actually, to see the difference in the seasons of the area.
Anyway, back to June rather than December!
Peace and Quiet
One of my favourite things about the area that we stay on Llyn is that there is almost non-existent phone signal, the wi-fi is intermittent and you really get to disconnect from technology. That is unless you walk the 3 miles to Aberdaron to use the local free wi-fi while sitting on the wall outside the little Spar. It is what we did, just so that Dom knew that we hadn’t just abandoned him with six cats and a crazy house! The walk was all worth the while anyway – despite the wi-fi.
Llyn is a gorgeous peninsular at the edge of North Wales. In fact it is home to the Lands End of North Wales and on a clear day you can see glimpses of Ireland in the distance. The Wales Coastal path stretches around the area and offers a scenic and enjoyable way to explore the area. Of course you can go off piste, and there are many alternative walks, but it is a definite must when you’re in this area. We are currently mapping our adventures on the Wales Coast path as we would like to walk the entire way one day. In batches, of course!
As much as I love the city and urban spaces that I explore on a regular basis, I also love the tranquility of the countryside. I like the best of both worlds really, in equal measure. Nature has a different feel when it is in abundance on rolling green hills and coastline rather than popping up between concrete slabs. (they are equally amazing though as you will see over on my Instagram feed for #30dayswild)
Sunshine and Blue Skies
We were so lucky to arrive to our weekend in Aberdaron to sunshine and blue skies. There’s nothing quite like starting your time away with glorious weather. We were able to open all of the doors on the annex we were staying in, watch the horses in the field in front and watch the sun setting in the distance behind the hills and grasses.
The beautiful weather also set us up for our first walk to Aberdaron the next morning. A walk we did many a time over the New Year and one that looks drastically different between seasons. Picture bare paths in winter and winding your way through flowers, insects and grasses in summer barely able to detect the path at all in some places. Oh and a lot more nettles and brambles to give you that stingy prickle if you’re not careful where your hands are going!
It was so glorious that even the fisher men in Fisherman’s Wharf were taking a break, letting their dogs entertain themselves for a while! Now that is the life! (I say that, but I also know that the guys and gals on the fishing boats do actually work long weird hours)
The walk to Aberdaron
The walk to Aberdaron is one that fills every one of your senses with joy! With the views to absorb you, the scent of the flowers and farming to the sound of the insects buzzing about their business, the sea hitting the rocks and the sun warming your skin. You will find it very hard not to enjoy the walk. Not only that, you’re likely to meet the odd person or two enjoying the same fantastic feeling as you are. Giving you a brief moment to connect, chat and share your love for the area.
I’m not going to go full throttle into the actual walk as that is a post in itself, but it is the perfect mixture of steep hills, narrow cliff side paths, bum firming steps and relaxing beaches. You even get to enjoy a wander through the cattle and sheep fields en route too. We even met the same ‘guard dogs’ from our last visit. I put it in inverted commas as they wanted to play fetch with us rather than deter us from the farm! And just so you know, we obliged. Both times.
As you can imagine in a place that struggles for phone signal, Aberdaron is a beautifully small and perfectly formed village. When you wander from the beach you arrive at the National trust Porth y Swnt which is definitely worth a visit to learn more about life on the peninsular, the wildlife and see the fantastic exhibitions. (I’ll post more about this in another post too – it deserves its own)
The village has a few little shops for souvenirs, groceries and of course, chips! And it is here that you can easily access the free wi-fi. The best spot we found was by the bus stop opposite the Spar.
Wandering and wondering
While inside Porth y Swnt, make sure to grab one of the lovely illustrated maps of the area so that you can work out a walk and check what to look out for along the way. Pen y Cil along toe coastal walk is the home to the rare Chough. You’ll recognise it by the red beak, red legs and distinctive call. We were lucky to see many of them as they were coming into land to feed their chicks! Not easy to photograph though, so you’ll have to make the trip to capture their pictures yourself.
We found the map to be perfect for piquing our interest for things that we might have missed and keep us on our toes looking into the waves in the hope of glimpsing some seals. No such luck this time, but never say never.
Exploring on foot
The area, although a bit remote for some people is an excellent place to explore on foot. We didn’t take the car anywhere for the entire stay because the footpaths are so easily accessible and there is more than enough to see without leaving the area.
During our weekend in Aberdaron, we clocked up a good 28 miles just exploring the coastal paths. We were treated to glorious views, a clear sight to Bardsey Island and some gorgeous flowers to brighten our path.
Even though it was just a weekend in Aberdaron, we managed to make it feel like a week. We were completely absorbed in the area, our wandering and exploring that it felt as though we had moved there. (we would if we could! Anyone fancy buying us the old crab restaurant?) That being said, this is why I have decided to just give you an overview for now while I download our maps, get the pictures uploaded so that I can share with you the splendor that a weekend in Aberdaron can bring. Especially one flooded with sunshine and blue skies.
In the meantime, here are just two more photos to whet your appetite and to entice you to come back to read more about our weekend in Aberdaron.
Now I can start digging around with the other photographs or even get onto our Rotterdam and Amsterdam trip. I love going through my memories and pictures to write-up our adventures. Hopefully they inspire you to take some trips out!
From my desk in chilly Manchester,
What do you think about our weekend in Aberdaron so far? Have you visited before? Do you fancy a visit?
Let me know in the comments below 🙂