The Annual Walk (3)

It rained most of the morning as we walked along the long beach of Hell’s Mouth, up past Plas yn Rhiw, where the Keating sisters developed the garden and preserved the local landscape, then over the hill to the manganese mines in the gullies beyond and on along the coast and across the green fields and farmland of westernmost Wales to Aberdaron.

Looking down from Penarfynydd to Porth Ysgo:-

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Llanengan

At the end of the day, we called in at Llanengan Church (key available at the Sun Inn).   It’s sixteenth century with matching south aisle and nave and screens which connect the two.

This is the path to the church:-

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This is a detail of the porch:-

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The Annual Walk (2)

Day Two was from Llanbedrog over the hill to Abersoch and then round the headland.

This was the beach in Llanbedrog with the multi-coloured beach huts owned by the National Trust:-

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This was the view across the bay to St. Tudwal’s Island (two of them):-

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Plas Glyn-y-Weddw

We stopped off at Plas Gyn-y-Weddw, Llanbedrog’s local art gallery, first built in 1856 as a private house by Henry Kennedy for Lady Jones Parry, the widow of Sir Love Parry Jones Parry, MP for Caernarfonshire and the founder of the Welsh colony in Patagonia.   The house was converted into an art gallery in 1896 by Solomon Andrews, the entrepreneur who had built the west end of Pwllheli, with trips for visitors on the horse-drawn tramway.

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Gwenogfryn Evans

We stayed the night in Tremfan Hall, a house which was built for Gwenogfryn Evans, a scholar of medieval Welsh literature and Oxford don who made a fortune out of producing The Library of Wales, bound in leather and printed on parchment.   He established his own printing press to print facsimiles of medieval Welsh manuscripts.   The house, so far as one can tell, is as he left it, except now converted into a hotel, with rather gloomily ornate interiors, animal heads, a tiger rug and ornamental wood carvings.

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Pwllheli

Pwllheli is more prosperous than I expected, a yachting centre with a large harbour, the end-of-the-line railway station, a high street mercifully free of chain stores, an ironmongers and a disused chapel.

This is the ironmongers:-

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Butlin’s

We passed the site of Butlin’s Pwllheli, one of the largest of his holiday camps, constructed during the war for servicemen, including the Duke of Edinburgh, and opened in March 1947 as a holiday camp after a public enquiry.   Clough Williams-Ellis appeared to oppose it on behalf of the Council for the Preservation of Rural Wales and as Planning Consultant to the County Council.   He promptly announced to the Inspector ‘I myself flatly disagree with their attitudes, and am one hundred per cent in favour of the camp’.   It’s a downmarket version of Portmeirion.

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The Annual Walk (1)

Today was the first day of the annual walk (well, most years).   This year, we’re doing the Llyn Peninsula from Criccieth round to Nefyn, having walked most of the coast of Wales, including the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, Cardigan Bay and, most recently, Machynlleth to Portmadoc.   The first stretch was along the shore from Criccieth to Pwllheli looking out to Harlech and Cardigan Bay, then on to Llanbedrog after lunch, a distance of 15 and a half miles.   This was the view from Criccieth:-

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A curious modernist villa on the outskirts was nominated for this year’s RIBA awards:-

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Criccieth

We spent a windswept afternoon in Criccieth enjoying the fact that Clough Williams-Ellis’s perfectly modernist 1948 pavilion on the sea front where Billy Butlin brought his customers has now been turned into a smart Maine-style restaurant:-

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Llandegai

I wanted to see the Westmacott monument to the first Lord Penrhyn and his wife which is in the village church outside the gates of Penrhyn Castle.   But the church was closed (Wednesdays and Saturdays only):-

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