Sunday, 28 August 2016

Meandering along the Mawddach

It was a lovely morning and the forecast was hot and sunny, just right for paddling in the sea so off we went.

After a stop for coffee in Dolgellau we parked near the beach in Fairbourne and decided we’d walk along the Mawddach trail first.

8 miles long the trail follows the river Mawddach from Dolgellau to Morfa Mawddach, the path also links to the railway toll bridge across the estuary to Barmouth. 

The Mawddach Trail is a hiking/cycling/multi-use trail that follows the path of the Old Great Western Railway and was one of the casualties of Dr Beeching when his report caused thousands of railway lines to be axed in 1964. 

Looking across to the river and the mountains of Snowdonia.

The railway was built in 1864 and carried Victorian visitors from North West England to the fashionable seaside resort of Barmouth.

For a short time the railway also carried slate from a quarry at nearby Arthog. 

This was our view as we walked onto the bridge across the river.

Partway across the bridge.   It was very windy and as we reached the middle I had to hold onto my hat to stop it blowing away.

Beautiful views of Snowdonia as we looked back upriver.

Our plan had been to have coffee in Barmouth, well that was the plan, but on a hot sunny day in August, the little town was absolutely packed.

As there seemed to be very little chance of us finding a seat anywhere we took the ferry back to the much quieter Fairbourne side of the river.

The railway toll bridge and mountains from the ferry

The ferry runs until early evening and costs £2.00 each per trip, we followed the signs as its location moves with the height of the tide.

Back on the Fairbourne side, we watched a train trundle across the bridge on its way along the coast.

The Fairbourne Narrow Gauge Steam Railway  as it left the Ferry terminus.

Viewed from the train, you can, possibly, just about see the trail we followed from Fairbourne to meet the Mawddach Trail.

Back at the station we finally got our much delayed, and by now much needed, coffee and watched as passengers filled the train as it once again set off for the ferry terminal.
 After coffee it was time for the beach and after scrambling over the pebble ridge, we paddled along in the sea, ah bliss!

It’s a wide sandy blue flag beach, and even on this gorgeous sunny day there was plenty of room, the crowds were all in Barmouth.

We also discovered a car park with much easier beach access, so that’s the one we’ll use next time.

On the way home, we sat on the terrace at The Grouse in Carrog and enjoyed the view while having dinner and a pint.

We probably only walked a few miles, before paddling along the beach, but it was an absolutely perfect day for meandering. 

Have fun, we are!

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