Plas yn Rhiw and Rhiw village walk
A relatively short but quite challenging walk with fantastic coastal views and interesting history. Head up through coastal woodland to the village of Rhiw, skirting around the base of the mountain and back down to Plas yn Rhiw along country lanes.
Car park at Plas yn Rhiw, grid ref: SH237282
Turn left from Plas yn Rhiw car park, up the steep road towards Rhiw, looking out for the second blue Coast Path sign on your left.
Enjoy views of Porth Neigwl, a 3.5 mile long beach which was historically infamous for being a treacherous place for sailing, with records of more than 140 shipwrecks in this bay alone. Today, Porth Neigwl is a popular site for surfers, offering some of North Wales's best and most reliable surf break. Porpoise and bottlenose dolphins can be seen here too, and the soft cliffs offer one of the last sites in the UK where the large mason bee is still recorded; a solitary bee that relies on soft eroded cliffs for nesting and the bird’s foot trefoil plant for forage.
Go through the black kissing gate on your left following the Coast Path sign leading you into a field.
Follow the coast path signs leading you through a recently planted area of native trees and down towards Garth Woods which you’ll see ahead of you.
A small 13.5 acre ancient woodland which is unusual on Llŷn, especially because of its proximity to the sea and coastal heathlands. This woodland is a great place for bluebells, with extensive carpets of bluebells in April and May, and a variety of fungi in the autumn and into winter. The edges of the woodland is also a great place to spot and hear both green and greater spotted woodpeckers which require some of the dead standing trees present for both nesting and feeding. Some tree planting work has been completed in the field leading you towards Garth woods. The aim being to create a wood pasture parkland on the edge of the main woodland itself.
Cross the wooden bridge into the woodland, following the trail which climbs up the slope.
A kissing gate leads you out of the woodland, go through this gate and turn right to continue following the coast path signs up the steep slope. At the next coast path sign turn right following the stone wall up the slope.
As the slope begins to level off turn right following a ‘circular walk’ and up past Pant, a National Trust holiday cottage.
Continue up the hill leading you through two separate gates and into the village of Rhiw.
On re-joining the road turn left, walking a short distance past Capel Nebo on your left and up to the crossroads in the middle of the village.
Turn right at the crossroads following the sign for Sarn 3 ½ miles.
Follow this road past a row of houses, the old school and village hall on your left up to a junction on a corner, turning right at the blue sign which reads ‘Unsuitable for wide vehicles’
Mynydd Rhiw today
Mynydd Rhiw, a common land designated as a SSSI provides an important site for both wildlife and archaeology. Much work has been done recently to allow the re-introduction of grazing to help ensure that nature can thrive here. This heath is a great place to see skylarks in spring, stonechat, wheatear or chough feeding on anthills.
Follow this road for about 600 meters, until you reach St Aelrhiws church. Turn right at the junction below the church with a red post box on it.
Mynydd Rhiw's past
An axe factory was discovered on Mynydd Rhiw in the 1950s during gorse burning. It is assumed that the site dates to between the 5th and 3rd millennium BC (the Neolithic period). It consists of several round hollows where rocks were excavated and flaked to produce various tools, such as axes and scrapers. These were traded widely over a very long period during the Neolithic and early Bronze ages. This special place helps to reveal a picture of life on the flanks of Mynydd Rhiw at the end of the Stone Age. The remains show how Neolithic people strived to quarry a type of rock especially suitable for the manufacture of stone axes, and other tools of great importance to their way of life.
Follow the winding road down, back into the trees, past the tea-room and towards Plas yn Rhiw. Continue down the road to the junction and turn left to return to the car park. Please take care when crossing the main road.
Plas yn Rhiw
A 17th-century manor house with Georgian additions, enveloped by a beautiful garden of flowering trees and shrubs, with beds framed by box hedges and grass paths. There's also an orchard, meadow and woodland to explore with beautiful views across Porth Neigwl.
Car park at Plas yn Rhiw, grid ref: SH237282
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