Funny old world , if you look closely enough at the history of your own area then you would be amazed at what went on.
This walk was inspired by a friend – Ken Griffiths, who lives in the area and is a keen walker and explorer of all things outdoors, just don’t get him started on mines and quarries. He often posts pictures of Abergeirch and surrounding coastline.
I used to spend a great period of my youth staying in Morfa Nefyn with my grandparents during the summer holidays, spending time on the beach with my both my uncles and their family.
This was one of my nain’s favourite walks, usually Friday evening after tea, whilst scouring the bays and rough for stray, lost golf balls good memories. Hope this account serves you well ‘nain Fitz’ aka Stella Fitzpatrick up by the pearly gates.
It was a lovely afternoon and we arrived at Morfa Nefyn for about four ish , parked up under the usual lovely pine trees, anyone conversant with Morfa will know where I mean. If its full just pop round the corner to the National Trust car park. I have never seen Morfa so quiet, early June and the area should be a hive of activity with tourists and local alike. Covid 19 has really created some strange times, when will normality resume, will normality resume or will we be living life under a ‘new normal’, a tad heavy for a Sunday afternoon and I’ve not even started on my pilgrimage yet.
I was getting strange looks from my walking companion – Nel, evil eye telling me its time to go. We headed down through the quiet village of Morfa Nefyn towards Edern, 20 years ago you would be doing this at your peril as there was no pavement, but alas traffic was much quieter then. Again a sleepy village – as are most at the moment. We headed through the village and at ‘Y Groesffordd'(crossroads) turned right past the old shop. This road is a no through road and ends up at a farm at the very end Cwmistir Isaf, before you arrive there there are a couple of footpaths both on the right which lead you to the world famous Llŷn Coastal path, part of the Wales Coast Path network. We took the first one.
After a 400 yards of tinder dry grass we arrived at a lovely little bay know locally as ‘Bryn Gwydd Cove’, taken from the farm which it belongs too, time for a sit down and some water and readdressing that question ‘what is the new normal’, its was going round and round in the head now akin to hamster on his wheel. After 10 minutes of contemplation we carried on up the path and enjoyed the truly spectacular views down towards Tudweiliog and up towards the look out hut on ‘Trwyn Porth Dinllaen’
After just over three quarters of a mile you arrive at a lovely picturesque, natural bay called Abergeirch, this is a tiny estuary at mouth of a the river which comes down from a SSSi site on the Llŷn called Gors Geirch, teaming with wild duck and a variety of nesting birds. I could have sat there all day, and Crazy Nel was eyeing up the ducks I must say. At times you can get a build of seaweed there with a lovely aroma but to me this is natural, nature at its best, just watch out for flying golf balls from above.
Now, I hear you ask ”Why did you call it cable bay earlier”
Before these times of high tech mobile telecommunications, satellites and so one, how do you think a telephone call was made from the UK to Ireland or telegram earlier, well simple, by running a cable across the Irish sea – yes seriously ……….
In 1886 Abergeirch was chosen at the location for some telegraph cables between the UK and Ireland due to its proximity to Ireland and its geology, and many more in the future as well. It wasn’t the first, that was in 1952 from Holyhead but the coastline wasn’t ideal. When the cable was laid they also built a small hut at Abergeirch to house the end of the cable and machinery. Remnants can be seen there today. A manually operated relay office was set up at Plas Tirion up in Morfa and run by an Irish gent by the name of John Wales. The cables were so heavy they were normally laid in two parts with a buoy either end, they would then lift both sides and splice them together.
|Here is a summary of cables|
Anglo-Irish Cables 1870-2010
After a bit of exploring we carried on up the path on to Nefyn Golf Club, a stunning 27 hole links course. One 18 and one 9 hole. It was established in 1907 by a few local gentlemen over a few pints at the well known watering hole Ty Coch. The coastal path actually takes you on the very edge of the coastline with the course to your right, so keep an eye out for the flying golf balls. The views and terrain are simply out of this world. The bay to the right is known as Borth Wen, stretching right up to the old coastguard look out tower on the end of the peninsula. We had a quick look the other side to see if the seals were out playing but not today, must have been following lockdown rules. The old coastguard tower has taken on a new lease of life now and is run as part of the national coast-watch institution run by local volunteers, good on them. From here you follow the path down to Lifeboat Bay, the home of the tremendous Tamar class all weather lifeboat and its recently build multi million pound state of the art station. Years ago we used to go swimming and crabbing of the old slip but HSE dictates otherwise now with secure fencing all around the facility, how times have changed. Its a lovely path around the coast taking in some amazing views of the Eifl, Nant G and towards Sir Fon on the north coast as well as the lovely soothing sounds of native sea birds and the eclectic mix of shanty type houses, boats and awesome flora & fauna. The Ty Coch was a sad site today, normally a quick half would be consumed before doing the last leg on the beach and back to the pickup but alas covid 19 has put a stop to that. It was myself and Nel all alone on the beach, not another person in sight.
On we went on the last leg, past the houses on stilts, it was a big tide, at low water. Again evoking memories of spending hours of an evening and at weekends netting shrimps under these houses, what a way to spend a childhood. As the water was so far out we were walking more or less in a straight line towards beach road at Morfa, feet aching and a very weary Nel by now we ventured back up the hill to find our carriage for the trip home leaving the wonderful memories of the north coast behind.
good old ‘nain Fitz’
Thanks for reading
Ger & Nel