Out There column

A car on Black Rock Sands at Morfa Bychan near Porthmadog on Saturday.
A car on Black Rock Sands at Morfa Bychan near Porthmadog on Saturday.

Observing that spring had well and truly sprung last week, I decided it was time to take the caravan out of storage and head for the seaside.

My husband Mark (Sparky) fancied a visit to Wales so we found a caravan site at Black Rock Sands near Porthmadog.

However, I’d forgotten it was the school holidays and the site was heaving with people.

Over the years I’ve occasionally wished I had been blessed with children, but at the weekend I was somewhat relieved that I hadn’t.

On the campsite, frazzled-looking parents trudged after their kids and had to endure the cat-like wailing of children’s entertainers in the site’s leisure complex. The kids were lapping it up though and it was good to see them having such a wonderful time.

We decided to give the entertainment complex a miss on Saturday and headed off along the Wales Coast Path to the charming town of Criccieth.

The first part of our journey took us along Black Rock Sands; a vast beach with views of Cardigan Bay and the distant peaks of Snowdonia.

It all sounds pretty idyllic but we hadn’t got far when cars started motoring up and down the beach. The council had even erected 10mph road signs along the sands.

We asked a local why the cars were on the beach and he explained that the council gave access to the beach but you had to pay for it. He said motorists accessed the beach to go sailing and kite surfing but the majority of cars that we saw just seemed to be full of sightseers.

It seemed like the height of laziness to me (and a danger for young children). Some cars drove far out on the sands and I was concerned that they’d get stuck.

The coastal path took us over a headland with stunning views and along a railway line into Criccieth.

The highlights were walking along Criccieth’s historic promenade, taking photos of its imposing castle, sharing a delicious bannoffee ice cream sundae at the famous Cadwaladers cafe and having a swift half in the atmospheric Prince of Wales pub.

It was a wonderful place for a short break. Might avoid the school holidays next time though…