David Atkinson walks the Wales Coast Path – Part 1 – Llandudno to Conwy
Job Title: Travel Writer & Journalist
Wales Coast Path – Part 1
They’re small, blue and unique.
You only find them on the Great Orme, the limestone outcrop that anchors the northern stretch of the Wales Coast Path around Llandudno. For the butterfly cognoscenti, they’re the feather-winged Holy Grail.
Sally Davies, Assistant Country Park Warden for the Great Orme Country Park, still remembers her first encounter with the rare Silver-Studded Blue. “It was dusk on Llandudno’s West Shore,” she says. “They were roosting on blades of
grass like a carpet of delicate flowers. So still, so tiny.”
She smiles. “I go back every summer now.”
I’d set out that morning to tackle the 207m Orme as part of my first taste of the Wales Coast Path, an 11km day walk from Llandudno’s Victorian promenade to Conwy harbour.
I picked up the Happy Valley Trail, one of three summit routes, climbing through the limestone grassland along a stony path. The sound of amusement arcades on Llandudno’s pier below faded on the breeze.
The trail took me up the Orme’s western flank and via St Tudno’s Church. The hermit saint, who gave Llandudno its name, founded the holy site in the 6th century. It remains, today, a stoic, stone-built place for prayer.
After a cup of tea, I took the Zig Zag Trail down to the West Shore, rejoining the Wales Coast Path by a statue of the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, a nod to the town’s little-known links to Lewis Carroll.
From here I followed the Conwy Estuary across sand dunes, venturing onto the beach to scour for pebbles, wave washed and mineral hued, as I was blown onwards by the sea air towards Deganwy.
“For me, this is the only way to approach Conwy,” says Jenny Towill, Coastal Access Project Officer for Conwy Council, who walked with me. “The harbour all glassy and still. The castle looming in the background.”
Oystercatchers played on the beach as the tide washed in. Water-running gullies snaked like exotic reptiles across the sands. It was dusk and the castle glowed with a cinnamon coating.
I was just starting but hungry for more.Activities, Wales, Walking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.