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Walk the Wales Coast Path Caernarfon – Diversion for Closed Aber Swing Bridge

By Dave Roberts   

on February 4, 2023   2/5 (1)

Walk the Wales Coast Path Caernarfon – Diversion for Closed Aber Swing Bridge

Further Details

Route Summary:

This section is mainly on tarmac, with a quiet cycletrack and a narrow country lane that occasionally has more traffic than is safe.

The Harbour Bridge has been closed more than open in recent years – allow an extra 3km to walk around the estuary via Pont Saint

Start and Finish: Caernarfon - one side of the bridge to the other.

Distance: 3 km

Ascent: 50 m

Time: 45 minutes

Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.


Everything needed in Caernarfon – this short walks also passes the Cei Llechi that has a cafe / bar / restaurant.

There are public toilets near the start of the walk, next to the Harbour Office.

Public Transport:

Traveline for UK Public Transport


Narrow country lane leaves little room for pedestrians and cars.

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Keeping Safe on the Wales Coast Path,  Navigation and the Gear and Equipment you’ll need.

Wales Coast Path Guidebooks:

Recommended Wales Coast Path Maps

Walk the Wales Coast Path Caernarfon – Diversion for Closed Aber Swing Bridge Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk the Wales Coast Path Caernarfon – Diversion for Closed Aber Swing Bridge

The Wales Coastal Path from Caernarfon on to Clynnog starts off at the Aber Swing Bridge, or Pont ‘Rabar locally. The current bridge was built in 1970 and is currently showing its age. It is often closed, as despite the best efforts of the bridge workers, there is a difficulty in sourcing parts for the bridge which means that any mechanical failiure can require weeks or months of delay while the requisite part is specially ordered or machined. This is cold comfort to the coastal walker who already has 30km ahead of them (or even worse, if you arrive here at the walk’s end – we won’t blame you for ordering a taxi) and there is no official diversion put in for coastal path walkers. The best route isn’t immediately apparent, even from the map so here’s our rundown of the recommended diversion around the Aber Seiont.

Note that Diversion for Closed Aber Swing Bridge, so this diversion could come in useful to anyone looking for an early start.

1 With the bridge behind you, head right either along the caslte or follow the harbour walls in front of the car park. Take a moment to think how this area in front of one of our most impressive and important UNESCO World Heritage Sites is an eyesore car park rather than something that enhances the location. The former lightship Britian is currently moored here, which harks back to the past when this would have been a major port. Keep an eye open for the remains of rails embedded in the tarmac. This is where the slates from the quarries of Eryri were exported to the world.

2 Towards the end of the ‘car park’ you’ll spot the Harbour Office and the recently renewed Cei Llechi which has a number of small shops and cafes. Pass thorugh here, maybe picking up a souvenir or a coffee, and continue towards the new Rheilffordd Eryri / Welsh Highland Railway station.

3 Cross the road here towards the station – which has a cofusing roundabout layout which neither pedestrians or cars are certain of. There’s a cafe at the station if yu need another coffee.

4 Fron the WHR station, continue along the pavement, paralell to the railway and you’ll come to the start of the Lon Las Eifion cycletrack in a 100m or so. Continue along this, be aware it isn’t a wide path and be aware of cyclists and runners. Continue on the path for around 700m (around 10 minutes) until you come to an underpass, and just beyond this there will be a path left. Cross the railway (carefully!) and you’ll emerge on the main road roundabout.

5 At the roundabout, turn right along the main road, crossing along  the road bridge seen below (you’ll emerge from the gap in the wall)

6 Cross the bridge and continune on the pavement as it turns right at the junction and again immediately right past the house on the corner – below:

7 – Follow this wooded lane around, and it initially winds, but soon opens out to provide a view towards the town and the castle. Don’t relax here, as it may be a narrow lane but it can be busy and some drivers will still drive with little consideration to pedestrians. The road takes a sharp right at the caravan park, continue along the road and you’ll soon emerge again at the estuary.

8 – Follow the green steel railings towards the bridge that is now immediately ahead, taking note here of the exceptional view towards the castle. You can now continue along the Wales Coast Path to Clynnog Fawr.


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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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