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The Ceredigion Coast Path

 

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Section 2b - Borth to Aberystwyth direct – Ceredigion and Wales Coast Path

First climb outTotal distance 6 miles (9.6km) Grade - First 3 miles from Borth are very Strenuous but superb walking then moderate grade with an easy finish for the last mile into Aberystwyth. Cliffs and Coves.

Click Here for information on your overnight in Borth at the start of The Ceredigion Coast Path.

If you have arrived at Borth from Ynyslas or across the great Bog of Borth, be ready for a shock – there is no gentle introduction to the ups and downs of the Ceredigion Coast Path. As soon as you leave the town you are thrown straight into some very strenuous climbs and descents – on the other hand it’s also straight into some of the most dramatic and exciting walking on the whole route.

Steep StepsLeave the shingle and sand and climb to the lonely Borth War Memorial above Abberwennol Bay – take a last look here to Ynyslas and at the northern end of the county of Ceredigion - a lovely view with the full sweep of the bay, before you start on the switchback to come. But don’t linger too long – the memorial here had to be rebuilt in 1983 after lightning struck it down and you are a bit exposed up here!

It’s a steep drop, to cross a small stream with a nice little bay if you have the time to visit, before a big climb to the top of the cliffs at Craig Y Delyn. This is a huge slope of sheer rock face dropping off below you - known locally as Harp Rock for the its strata which are said to look like harp strings.

You have climbed around 380 feet to this lofty spot which is the highest point of the day, so if you make the climb in one go then you have done well. From here it’s a breathtaking cliff-top walk, exposed in places, with short sections of narrow path and big drops, culminating in an improbable descent on steep steps down the cliffs to the solitary house at Wallog – it’s a superb and thoroughly exciting welcome to Ceredigion’s cliffs and the week of walking ahead.

Wallog HouseWallog is as it seemed when you first spotted it a mile back - a solitary house, perhaps the loneliest on the whole route, wedged in a deep green valley beneath huge coastal peaks and it feels a million miles from the promenade at Aberystwyth…even though it’s only 3 miles away!

Sarn Gynfelyn is notable at Wallog Beach; a stony causeway around 20 metres wide which heads straight out towards Ireland for over 11km – it’s part of an ice age moraine of glacial debris and an unusual sight, best viewed at low tide. Legends abound that this is one of the roads to the sunken Atlantis-type kingdom of Cantre r Gwaelod.

Beyond Wallog, the path remains dramatic but with lower and more unstable cliffs, so the path detours quite a bit, but there remain impressive drops to the waters below. The walking is moderate now but thoroughly enjoyable, with unique rock formations, twisted strata and bedding planes far below you at the foot of the cliffs, particularly evident at low tide. If it’s high tide there’s still plenty to see, with the more sheltered sections here good for wild flowers including thrift, harebells and sea mayweed.

You suddenly arrive breathless at the little bay at Clarach, which comes as a shock after the isolation of the last few miles and a reminder that Aberystwyth is not far now. Once a pretty beach, it is now home to a heck of a lot of caravans and various amusement rides. It’s small and well contained however, within a wide U-shaped glacial valley, which absorbs the caravans neatly and the place has a happy, holiday feel about it. Most importantly for the walker, it is the first chance for some refreshments since Borth, and after the climbs and descents you are likely to be very grateful to stop here for an ice cream or a cup of tea.

The next section is more likely to be one where you have other walkers for company as it’s a short hike from here into Aberystwyth on well-maintained paths, but a bit of company is nice for a change! After passing through conifers, look for kestrels hovering above as you join a lovely, airy path high above the ocean with more dramatic cliffs.

Aberystwyth BayThe walk ends as you reach Constitution Hill – originally Craig-Glais – humorously re-named by Victorians for its very steep 430ft climb up from the town – It’s nice and easy from this side however and you are rewarded as you arrive with iconic views over the ‘other capital of Wales’ with Aberystwyth laid out before you. This was once something of a Victorian playground -there was even an early prototype of the roller coaster up here at what was then known as the Lunar Park. The bandstands and ballroom have gone but there is still a café and a huge camera obscura if you want a closer look at the next stretch of trail!

The descent is an exhilarating switchback straight down to the beach and town, zigzagging below the cliff railway and smugly passing red faced and panting visitors from Aber heading upwards and looking like the regret it…although presumably improving their constitution, at least.

The coast path takes you right through Aberystwyth and is utterly faithful in delivering all the sights - the Victorian seafront promenade, the pier, Gothic university buildings (a kind of Hogwarts-by-the-sea) and then onto the little headland to pass the castle ruins and finally the harbour.

Click Here for information on your overnight in Aberystwyth on The Ceredigion Coast Path.

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