At under four miles long and as flat as any walk comes in Wales, this makes a lovely autumnal morning or afternoon stroll. There are options to extend, including an obvious diversion along the Mawddach Trail. This walk may be short, but it packs in some of the best scenery to be found in Wales, lots of landmarks and opportunities for wildlife spotting, too.
What to expect:
Distance: 3.5 miles
Terrain: Flat, beach, lanes and byways
Start: Fairbourne Station, Grid Ref SH 61623 12880
Finish: Barmouth Station, Grid Ref SH 61210 15828
Off we go!
- Turn right off the platform and walk down the beach road to the coast. Cross the Fairbourne Steam Railway track and turn right to follow the seafront. Follow the road or the beach – the choice is yours!
- Beyond a nine-hole golf course, look out for a signpost for the Wales Coast Path pointing inland, close to a small unsurfaced parking area. This is where you leave the coast and follow a well-made embankment path as it borders an area of marshland. Alternatively, carry on following the beach and dunes northwards to the end of Fairbourne railway where you’ll find Harbour View Cafe, serving light snacks and drinks during the summer season.
- Follow the causeway path for about a mile and then as it turns left along the Cambrian railway line before carefully crossing it at Morfa Mawddach Station.
- Now the footpath goes across the wooden, pedestrian Barmouth Bridge, alongside the Cambrian line viaduct, offering stunning views of the estuary and Cadair Idris ridge on your right.
- After the little toll-gate (no longer in use), follow the main road into Barmouth. There is a pavement but beware that the road can get quite busy with holiday traffic. As you arrive in Barmouth, bear left towards the harbour and then follow the road around to the seafront and main car parks, from where the station can be found on the right.
Look out for…
Golf Halt on the Fairbourne railway. Until 2007 it was given the name of – wait for it – Gorsafawddacha’ idraigodanheddogleddollonpenrhynareurdraethceredigion, which translates to “the Mawddach station and its dragon under the northern peace of the Penrhyn Road on the golden beach of Cardigan Bay.” It was designed to gain publicity as Britain’s longest place name.
Good to know…
Barmouth Bridge is 699 metres long, the longest timber viaduct in Wales and one of the oldest in regular use in Britain. While the pedestrian toll is no longer collected, please find some loose change to drop into the nearby honesty box. The money will help go towards the upkeep of this marvellous Victorian structure.