Ffynnon Saint, Rhiw
Eifion & Viv Williams
This circular walk is
a varied one, with wide-open sea views, forest trails, walks across
fields, alongside banks and hedgerows full of wild flowers (depending on
the time of year). There are two or three steep climbs so it’s a good
work–out. The well occurs at around the half waypoint and is a real piece
of Pen Llyn history. We suggest that you wear strong footwear and allow
between 2 and a half and three hours for it. If you like bird spotting,
take your binoculars as there will be plenty to see.
1. The walk begins at
the main crossroads in Rhiw. Take the road that is signed ‘Plas yn Rhiw’. Walk down the steep hill that takes you to the road to Plas yn
Rhiw. (Don’t turn into the Plas yn Rhiw road).
We have seen
green woodpeckers whilst walking down the lower part of this hill. They
seem to roost in trees over on the right.
Pass the end of the road to Plas yn Rhiw. Continue on the road until you
reach the commemorative plaque for the opening of the new stretch
of road. Turn right through the gate and follow the old road.
|Pass a small
cottage on your left. This is Plas y Sarn a former home of RS Thomas a
vicar of Aberdaron and distinguished poet.
‘I inhabit a
whose stone is
of its builders.
by the sea they
But their message
to the future
Was: Build well.’
(From Sarn Rhiw
by R.S Thomas)
3.Continue on this
road, passing a farm ‘Tre Heli’ on your left with a caravan and camping
site on your right. Stay on the old road. Pass a small car park on your
4.At the junction with the new road cross
over to join a track signed ‘Tyn y Parc’. In the far distance you can see
the mountain ‘Garn Fadryn’ Stay on this track which goes along the edge of
a beech wood, (occupied in January by a large and noisy
community of long tailed tits).
5.Stay on this track, which takes you past a house ‘Tyn y Parc’ and
through two gateways. (It was at the second gateway that we
once saw an adder and a few seconds later, a slow worm).
Pass forestry sheds. The trees are now
|At the next
little clearing look left into the forest and see two very large
eucalyptus trees. They are quite distinctive with peeling bark. We’ve
looked and looked but have not yet managed to spot any koala
bears eating the leaves.
6. Stay on this track
which soon follows a sharp left bend and takes you up a very steep hill.
up to the top of this hill.
7. At the top of the
hill a stonewall is facing you. Turn left up some stone steps. Walk just a
few feet with the wall on your right. Go through a small wooden gate in
the wall. You have reached the Holy
Well – Ffynnon Saint.
This is part of
the history of the Pilgrim’s Way on the Llyn Peninsula. In the middle
ages, pilgrims made their way to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey
Island) a holy place. Three visits to Ynys Enlli equalled one pilgrimage to Rome. The area is full of churches and wells where
pilgrims stopped to rest on their journeys and this well is one of them.
We always make this a coffee stop on our walk, though it has to be said it
isn’t a particularly warm spot as the pine trees keep the sun off it.
Nevertheless it seems like a good spot to take a break, not least because
of the hill you’ve just climbed up.
8.When you are ready to
move on, stay on the well side of the little gate. Turn left following the
wall, which is on your
right. When you reach the large wooden gate turn left up the stoney track.
After about thirty yards look for steps up to a path on your right. Follow
this path until it joins another path. Turn left. Keep the forest edge on
your left. Do not go into the woods. Stay on this path till you reach a
10.Climb over wall
using special stones set into it. Follow path ahead, passing in front of
small cottage on your right. Keep walking in this direction with open
views to the sea on your left and a stonewall to your right. Pass another
small cottage on your right.
11. Go through (left)
metal gate and turn right up a narrow track. Pass cottage ‘Fron Oleu’ and
another ‘Tan y Garn’.
There is an
optional picnic site just over a stile near Tan y Garn. A field with big
stones and spectacular
views makes a good spot. Come back over the stile to continue the walk.
12 At the top of the
hill join a road. Turn left and walk along this road. Stay on it until
just before it drops downhill in a left hand bend (beside
13. Take a footpath
signed to your right (up steps) and over a stile.
your back to the sea walk up and straight across the field. Climb over
wall and turn left.
15.Walk on this path to
the next wall and climb over. Cross this field by following a vague path
upwards, diagonally to the corner of a wall. There is a footpath signpost
16 Turn left when you
reach a substantial track (which is the drive to the house Tan y Craig).
Pass a house on left with large black gates. Keep on this track.
17. Pass two cottages
on your right. The second one is called ‘Conion Ganol’.
18. Go through a metal
gate and follow the track passing a white house ‘Conion’ on your left.
19. The track meets a
road, turn left. Follow this road around the bend into the village of
Rhiw. Continue past the Village Hall, the old school and the telephone
kiosk – all on your right. Then arrive at the Rhiw crossroads where you
began this walk.
Many thanks to Eifion and Viv, for this walk.