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5 Walks In The Yorkshire Dales

Uwchmynydd Circuit

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

Mynydd Coastguard Hut (SH 140259) – free car park

Ordnance Survey Map

OS Explorer 253 - Lleyn Peninsula West.

Distance: 5.7 miles

Date of Walk: 11 May 2015

Traffic light rating:

(For explanation see My Walks page)

Memory Map logo     gpx logo 

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 Click the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the photos.

Lleyn Peninsula walk Uwchmynydd Circuit sketch map

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Introduction: I have called this the Uwchmynydd Circuit for want of a better name and because it is a destination the road signs indicate. The walk explores the far western tip of the Llŷn Peninsula from where there are views for much of the walk across Bardsey Sound to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island). Bardsey was a place of pilgrimage for Christians from the early days of Christianity. The ruins of an Augustinian monastery remain. Day trips can be arranged from Porth Meudwy, or from Pwllheli.

Much of the coastline is unspoiled National Trust land which plummets straight down to the sea. There are no beaches here.

The walk starts from Mynydd Mawr, which means Big Mountain in Welsh. However it is not so tall, only rising to about 500ft. At the top is a former Coastguard lookout station until 1992. It was also part of a signal station guarding against invasion during World War II, then housing around 70 RAF personnel. It is now under the care of the National Trust.

Keep a look out for choughs, birds with distinctive red bill and legs which swoop, along the cliffs. You might also see oystercatchers, dolphins and seals.

The walk is very straightforward and utilises sections of the Welsh Coast Path, which is not exactly where it appears on my (brand new) 2015 OS map but it is well signposted and easy to follow.

Quarrying was an important industry at one time but all is quiet now. You will pass the remains of an old port during this walk but it is not accessible.

The only refreshment opportunities en route are a couple of cafes close to the end of the walk.

The walk starts at the old Coastguard station at Mynydd Mawr. To get there, take the B4413 to Aberdaron. In Aberdaron, turn right over the bridge for “Whistling Sands”, then climb the hill. Continue to a junction and turn left for Uwchmynydd. Just follow the road to its ultimate end. The last section is a narrow concrete road climbing to the car park at the Coastguard station.

Start: From the car parking at Mynydd Mawr coastguard station (SH 140259), take the footpath to the left of the buildings along the coast. The start of the path is a concrete section no doubt put down by the military many years ago.

Follow the path down until it reaches a ‘T’ junction of paths at the edge of the coast. Our route turns left but it is worth a short diversion of no more than 100 yards to the right first for the views along the coast (SH 156258).

Lleyn Peninsula sea view

Return to the ‘T’ and continue along the coast path. The path follows the edge of the coast as far as is practical. There are steep drops to the sea in places.

Lleyn Peninsula showing steep drop to the sea

Wales Coast Path on the Lleyn Peninsula

View to Bardsea Island

There is little more to add until after about one and a half miles, you come to a National Trust sign for Bychestyn. An information board outlines steps being taken to restore the heather which has been destroyed by burning over the years and replaced by gorse.

Gorse bushes along the Lleyn Peninsula coast

View to Myndd Mawr

Wild flowers

View to Aberdaron

Beyond the sign, keep to the left hand side of the next field. At first glance, this is not particularly clear but there is a fingerpost by a gate in the far left corner.

A little further on, you come to the National Trust land of Pen-y-Cil where, at SH 156243, there is a stone cairn. As you approach it, there is the cove of Parwyd to the right, where the rock strata is revealed.

Stone cairn

Rock strata at Parwyd

Below the cliffs at SH 160246 are the ruins of docks at Porth Pistyll. This was built to take granite stone quarried at Graig y Cwlwm, nearby. Work is believed to have ceased in the 1930s and the sea has gradually eroded the port. It was a dangerous place to work as the men had to use ropes and ladders to get down to the port!

Remains of the port at Porth Pistyll

Just beyond the ruined port, a footpath goes off to the left (SH 162249) but ignore this and continue along the cliff top path.

At SH 163255, descend some stone steps to the cove and slipway at Porth Meudwy. Turn left at the bottom to follow the broad track up the valley.

Steps down to Port Meudwy

At SH 159256, just as the track bends right, turn off it left over a footbridge across a stream. It is easy to miss this turn.

A stony path and then steps take you up to the caravan site. Go through the site to the road and turn right.

After 50 yards or so, turn left off the road through a kissing gate following the direction of a public footpath fingerpost.

The footpath is a little unusual in that it is on top of a distinct banking. Follow this to a road and turn right and almost immediately left on a broad track. When you get to the gate of the property, branch off left through a kissing gate.

Go over a step stile and in the next field, head just to the right of a power pole. The onward route through a kissing gate is clear.

Follow the right hand boundary in the field after the kissing gate – the arrow on the kissing gate I found a little misleading.

At the farm, go through the double set of gates to join the farm drive and follow it to the road where you turn left.

There are a couple off footpaths marked on the map to the right which would save some road walking but to be honest, I had my sights set on a pot of tea and cream tea at the Ty Newydd farm café just along the road, so simply followed the road back to the Coastguard Station, the same route taken by car at the outset. The distance saved by using the footpaths would be small and as the road is a dead end, there is little traffic.

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