Map:: Aberystwyth and Cwm Rheidol – OS Explorer Map 213
Distance 10.6 miles / 17 km
Approximate Time 4 hours
Description A splendid day (or half day walk for the more energetic) taking in dramatic coastal scenery, interesting wildlife and historic settlements and ending in the well serviced major town and tourist attraction of Aberystwyth.
Llanrhystud is a good access point for the coast and interesting in its own right having an impressive church designed by Richard Kyrke Penson and a mighty Iron Age hillfort from about 100BC .(SN552 695).
- Leave Llanrhystud for the coast either by following signs to the Pencarreg Caravan Park at the south of the village, or following the little side street from the Black Lion, or take the footpath from the north of the village heading to the coast.
- Once on the coast Path turn right and head north east. You are now in an area in which 26 species of butterfly have been logged. it is also good for seeing choughs, kestrels stonechats, wheatears and plenty of wildflowers. Further on, west of Ty’n-bwlch, seals are often visible and a colony of breeding cormorants,
- The path now follows a platform of glacial deposits for about two kilometres running past Mynachdy’r Graig a whitewashed farmhouse meaning ‘monks house on the rock’
- The path continues past the abandoned farmhouse of Ffos-las rejoining an ancient roadway towards Morfa Bychan where the beach will be of interest to geologists revealing strata of 400 million year old Silurian rock known as Aberystwyth Grits.
- We continue north east, joining an old green road used to carry lime, rising gently to several hundred feet above sea level and providing exhilarating views.
- As we look north to Aberystwyth there is a good view east to the mounds and ditches which formed the original Aberystwyth Castle in about 1100.
- The path now descends the Allt-wen slope and on to the long curve of Tan-y-bwlch beach on the north of which is a concrete pill box standing on a site known to have been occupied in the Mesolithic period of 6000 BC.
- After the pillbox take the track towards the harbour and you will pass through what was a sail and boat building area