Walk the Wales Coast Path from Porthmadog to Harlech
This is the shorter version of the Wales Coastal Path, avoiding the inland section via Maentwrog. This is the new official route as it’s now possible to cross the Dwyryd via the new Bont Briwet.
Distance: 18.8 km
Ascent: 188 m
Time: allow 5 hours
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Porthmadog to Harlech
All facillities in Porhmadog, shops, pub and cafe in Penryndeudraeth as well as a good selection in Harlech.
Check out the businesses nearby for more places to stay and drink.
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.
Local buses and the train connects this entire section. The Ffestiniog Railway also runs between Porthmadog and Penrhyndeudraeth.
Businesses on this section of the Wales Coast Path:
Walk the Wales Coast Path from Porthmadog to Harlech Details
The Wales Coast Path from Porthmadog to Harlech can now be completed in a day quite easily now that the Bont Briwet across the Dwyryd has opened. It previously involved a lengthy inland detour via Maentwrog which is still a worthy circular walk and one we’ll be adding soon. The walk visits the famous village of Portmeirion, but you’ll need to pay to go in as well as allow half a day to explore.
Porthmadog and the Cob
Looking across the Glaslyn Estuary, you’ll see the low lying coast of Morfa Harlech barely a few kilometres away, but most of the day’s walk away. Spare a thought however for our ancestors who either had to walk across the treacherous sands of Traeth Bach or detour all the way inland to Nantmor. Today at least, you can cross the embankment known as the Cob which was built in 1810 by William Madocks in order to avoid the detour inland to Nantmor. The Cob was built to reclaim the land in the Glaslyn Estuary, and the town of Pothmadog was built on this reclaimed land. Madocks was an MP in Boston, Lincolnshire which is an area derived from draining fenland, which no doubt inspired him to reclaim the land here.
Portmeirion to Llandecwyn
While the Wales Coast Path doesn’t go directly through Williams Clough Ellis’ Italianate village of Portmeirion, it would be a shame not to make time on the walk to visit this unique place. It’s famous for the filming of The Prisioner in 1967, a classic piece of television that’s quintessentially 1960s.
After a few footpaths, the path takes one of it’s numerous road yomps into the village of Penrhyndeudraeth. From Penrhyndeudraeth, the Wales Coast Path used to detour inland in order to cross the Dwyryd at Maentwrog until the new Bont Briwet was built in the last few years to take you quickly and unceremoniously over to Llandecwyn.
Llandecwyn to Harlech
The final section initially follows the seawall that fronts the Glastraeth sea marsh. You’ll spot the island of Ynys Gifftain, which while it does have a right of way should only be attempted with some local knowledge or a boat! Past the hamlet of Ynys, incidentally welsh for island which provides some insight into the history of this place. The Wales Coast Path then heads inland across Morfa Harlech, a flat plod past a recycling centre, forestry and the golf course. Harlech Castle can be clearly seen ahead, dominating the hill on which it’s built and a clearly strategic position. The section ends in Lower Harlech, which has the railway station, shop and a pub.