Cwm Tydu Circular Coastal Walk
Click here for a
map of the walk
by Ceredigion County Council and led by David Thomas, author
of several books on Dylan Thomas and New Quay, the walkers met in the
car park of the Crown Inn at Llwyndafydd. This pub, now a renowned
local restaurant also, was once the meeting place of the Cilie poets -
children and grand children of Jeremiah and Mary Jones.
day had not started well with an overcast sky and a persistent drizzle.
However, as if on cue, the rain stopped and the sky began to clear.
There were only nine of us, including David Thomas and Paul Evans from
the County Council (Coastal Footpaths).
The river Dewi
set off to Cwmtydu alongside the Afon Dewi - Dylan
Thomas' 'Singing Dewi' where the river tumbles over a series
of rocky ledges on its way down to the sea at Cwmtydu. The road is
narrow here, overhung with the branches of Sessile Oaks that
cling to the side of the valley above the road. On our left beside the
river were tall larches, no doubt planted by a former owner
of Pendderw whose private road crosses a bridge and climbs
the side of the valley to the unseen house on the edge of the fields
these narrow coastal valleys, the sun struggles to penetrate the steep
enclosing hillsides and dense forest canopy. As a result there is a
profusion of Ferns on both sides of the road, while many branches are
thick with Polypodium
and the grey boulders are clothed with mosses.
soon came to a road junction at Felin Huw - although there was no
visible trace of a mill today. Here there is a bridge over a
deep gorge where the river rushes between . Beneath the bridge we were
told sheep were once dipped. The road to the left led up a steep slope
to Cilie farm, once the home of the famous 'Cilie Boys'. Although they
all held day jobs, they were famous poets of the day, visited by many
notables including Lloyd George.
Cwmtydu Lime Kiln
| Further on the road
becomes less steep and we emerge from under the trees to the flat
valley bottom where the Dewi - now known as the Tydu enters
the sea. Here the shingle bank pushed up by the waves forms a lagoon
before the river rushes across the pebbles into the sea. At the top of
the beach is an old Lime kiln - restored in recent years and shown at
the left. Lime Kilns were common in this area with many along the
Ceredigion coast - some being seen at Cei Bach just the other side of
New Quay. Click here for a
page about Lime Kilns in Ceredigion
| The path leaves the
beach through a 'kissing gate' and then zigzags up the hillside to give
an excellent view of the beach below. You can click on the photo to get
a bigger version (500x375). As we climbed the path we disturbed a pair
of Ravens from the rocks below, and then moments later we saw a Chough
with its distinctive red bill and feet. There are only a few dozen
pairs of this threatened species on the Ceredigion coast and the path
between Cwmtydu and New Quay is one of the best places to see them.
Castell Bach Beach
below us a fishing boat out of New Quay was surrounded by Herring
gulls looking for a free meal. We watched the boat for a few minutes
and then continued along the path for half a mile or so. As we reached
the top of the hill we were treated to a stunning view of the
Ceredigion coastline extending far to the north.
Immediately below us was a
rocky grass-topped islet cut off from the shore by a sand and shingle
beach and quite inaccessible at high tide. On the grassy plateau beyond
could be seen the remains of an Iron Age fort 'Castell Bach'
was some excitement from the group when a big Grey Seal was seen
watching us from the water below. He remained in the same place
alternately diving and then resurfacing for a look around as we skirted
the bay and descended to the remains of the iron age fort
little River Soden runs from Nanternis into the sea
Squill Scilla verna
Orchid Dactylorhiza purpurella
of us had noted the many flowering species of coastal plants
growing in the stunted grass growing at the top of the cliffs. Here we
found the Spring Squill, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Thrift, Stonecrop, and
We continued along the coastal
path until descending to another little beach. Like Cwmtydu and so many
other beaches in this part of coastal Ceredigion, this beach
was formed where a river cut through the hills. The rocks and
pebbles worn away by the river over thousands of years have formed a
beach. However, the river only flows gently when there has been no
heavy rain so the action of the waves immediately fills in any channel
the river might form in the beach every time there is a high tide. As a
result, the river's water runs across the beach pebbles into the sea.
among the plants growing at the top of this beach were the kidney
Vetch, the Bird's Foot Trefoil and the Thrift. The path climbs up a
steep slope (be careful here) on the other side of the beach before
turning inland and following the densely wooded side of the valley
towards Nanternis. After half a mile the footpath from the beach joins
with the path that follows the coast to New Quay. Here there is the
'Byrlip', National Trust sign. The valley at this
the most magnificent displays of ferns one is ever likely to see in
Britain, there are Male Ferns, Shield Ferns and especially Hart's
Tongue Ferns looking so lush and green they could almost be mistaken
for Asplenium nidus in a garden centre!
another half mile the narrow woodland path widens as the path runs
above a water treatment facility. Through a couple of gates and it
meets the road in the little community of Nanternis. The road is steep
and is quite a climb until, leaving the village it levels out. At the
cross roads by a quaint old furniture shop, we continued as the road
descended into Llwyndafydd to the welcoming Inn where we had started
our walk some three hours earlier.
impeccable timing, the skies opened and rain poured down -
but not until we were in the pub!
the New Quay Cliff walk can be found Here
The Dylan Thomas
Trail in New Quay is Here.
Details of the
Aberystwyth Bat Group walk can be found Here
The Llanina Beach
Walk is Here.
The Tregaron Bog
(Cors Caron) walk is Here
all photos © Rod