Tarquin's cycling pages

12 March 2011 - Millennium Coastal Path

WhereMillennium Coastal Path
(Brecon Beacons and South Wales)
Date12 March 2011
Duration2 hours 40 minutes
Distance13 miles (~21 km)
WeatherOvercast with rain at the turnaround
Trail conditionsDry tarmac and dirt track
Anonymous Unknown Silverfox SFX01
Josie Wilton-Jones 9 Concept No Limit
Mark 'Tarquin' Wilton-Jones 30 GT LTS 2000 (TWJ)
Nicola Brankley 32 Gary Fisher Marlin Disc

Trip report

Description by Mark 'Tarquin' Wilton-Jones

See pictureSee pictureThe nausiatingly named path runs through the equally nasiatingly named Millennium Coastal Park, from Llanelli to the Pembrey Country Park. It is artificially constructed over what used to be wasteland, with views over the Llwchwr (Lougher) Estuary towards the Gower. We started at the Discovery Centre, on the west edge of Llanelli.

See pictureSee pictureThe path is intended for use by walkers and cyclists, and is so easy that even a beginner on a penny-farthing would want to try a little off-roading, just to liven things up. Even the fun looking wooden platforms have signs saying that cyclists may not ride on them.

See pictureSee pictureA short uphill and downhill as it passes over a railway line, and you may be convinced that this is actually exercise. Another path joins from the right, with the way on continuing to hug the coast.

See pictureSee pictureA short distance on, past some more path junctions, the artificial wetland lakes begin. Not bad. Artificial, but not bad. Better than housing estates, I suppose.

See pictureSee pictureA second gentle climb, and the path crosses back over the railway. We took a quick detour to the left to get back to the estuary, then turned right to rejoin the main path.

See pictureSee pictureAn obvious artificial peninsula gives a good view over the tidal sandbanks of the Llwchwr Estuary. It's good for a little off-roading if you're bored with the monotonous trail conditions. Which you could easily be.

See pictureA short distance beyond is a car park and junction where the way on is the continuing track ahead-left. This then skirts a skate park and a car park to arrive at the Pembrey Harbour.

See pictureSee pictureThough it is possible to cross footbridges to take shortcuts here, the official route turns right, and skirts all three docks of the harbour. Just as it reaches the car park on the far side of the first dock, it turns back on itself, and heads away from the docks. A short distance away, it crosses the road to pick up a dirt track running near the coastal dunes.

See pictureSee pictureThe route hugs the coast, passing a couple of junctions to reach the edge of a large tidal inlet. It then follows the inlet past the Pembrey Burrows dunes.

See pictureSee pictureNear the far end of the inlet is a large pillbox. As we reached it, it began to rain, so we took the opportunity to turn around.

See pictureSee pictureThe trail then takes a small path to the right, continuing onwards to the Pembrey Country Park, where it officially ends.

See pictureSee pictureBy the time we returned, the tide had dropped, exposing the extensive and impressive sand banks of the estuary.

It is of course possible to extend the route in either direction. It is even possible to continue along the various cycling routes to the far side of West Wales, if this is really what appeals to you.

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