Scenic Walks by Water Near Aberystwyth - Walking by water is good for the soul. Glorious views are good too. Combine walking by water and fabulous views to get a double benefit!
We recently enjoyed a fabulous walk along a section of the Mawddach Trail when we were staying in Aberdovey. This super walk is flat and easy and just 9.5 miles (15km). The route is along the disused railway track on the southern edge of the spectacular Mawddach estuary.
Whilst the trail can be joined at several points it officially starts at the picturesque market town of Dolgellau. At the end, you cross the iconic railway bridge over the mouth of the estuary into Barmouth. The day we did the walk, there were lots of cyclists using it too, but the path is wide enough to share! What we loved about it was the views across the water and the history.
Directly across the estuary you can see the hills which were at the centre of the Welsh Gold Rush in the 19th century. Gold was discovered in the area when prospectors were drilling for copper in 1834. Many mines were opened with fortune seekers flooding the area from 1860 to 1902. Welsh gold found here is renowned for its brilliant light colour. It is traditionally used for wedding rings for our royal family.
Borth to Aberystwyth
A while ago, we stayed in Borth, just south of Aberdovey and walked from there to Aberystwyth. The walk along the coast isn’t too difficult. It is a bit up and down due to the cliffs, but it is only about 6 miles (9.5km).
On a beautiful day you can see for miles across the water and if you are really lucky you may see wildlife in the water. Although you could walk to Aberystwyth, have a coffee or lunch and then walk back again, we decided to catch the train back.
This was where the fun started, we realised that neither of us had any money on us - our wallet and purse were in Borth! There was no way I was going to walk all the way back, so we popped into a local branch of our bank, explained our predicament and incredibly they gave us enough cash for lunch and a train ticket each!
It must have our lucky day, we saw dolphins that day from the pier at Aberystwyth too.
Borth Beach and Ynyslas Nature Reserve
The last walk I want to share is along the beach at Borth to the petrified forest and nature reserve. The submerged forest is usually visible at a very low tide. The stumps of the oak, pine, birch, willow and hazel trees have been stripped back by tides and waves for thousands of years. They are a stunning sight.
The trees, which are thought to have died around 1500BC, have been preserved by the acid conditions in the peat of the land and are the stuff of legends and songs.
Beyond them are the sand dunes and the Ynyslas Nature Reserve. This is the feeding ground for thousands of wading birds and the home for some rare plants and insects. We loved it when we visited although I must warn you, it can be incredibly windy up on the dunes. Parts of the dunes may be roped off in spring and early summer to protect rare ring plover eggs, which are laid directly on the sand. When you look out to sea, you may see dolphins.
We saw neither eggs nor dolphins that day, but we did have a brilliant, memorable time.
Amanda Ingham 22nd November 2016