Portmeirion to Black Rock Sands, Gwynedd

Enjoy this walk with panoramic views of the Dwyryd Estuary and strolling through picturesque villages

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Start and Finish

Min y Don to Black Rock Sands


7 miles or 11 km 

Along the way

Close to the start point of the walk you’ll find the magical Italianate village of Portmeirion, designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. The village isn’t actually on the Wales Coast Path, but it’s well worth veering off to explore its colourful buildings and lush woodland walks. You’ll then cross Porthmadog Cob – an 18th centuary seawall to allow safe passage of traffic across the dangerous Afon Glaslyn estuary.  You can either walk it or cycle it as part of the Lôn Las Cymru national cycle route.

Don’t forget your binoculars – the salt marsh behind the Cob is a bird watcher’s paradise. The walk takes in Porthmadog, the historic slate-exporting town and harbour, before winding its way around a rocky headland to Borth y Gest. It’s one of the prettiest little fishing villages in North Wales and a great place to stop for a bite to eat and enjoy the fabulous views back towards Porthmadog and over the estuary to castle-crowned Harlech.

From Borth y Gest you’ll encounter a seemingly endless series of quiet sandy coves, before reaching the huge expanse of Black Rock Sands. Don’t be fooled by the name: this wide beach is a blanket of fine golden sand, perfect for picnics and castle building. You’ll also find rock pools and caves to explore, shells to collect and more of those panoramic sea views.

Walk Highlights

Rhys Roberts, Wales Coast Path Officer’s highlights:

"There is no end to the amazing views on this walk, looking up the Glaslyn river, over the salt marsh from the cob, with Snowdonia as a backdrop, makes you feel like you are in African film during the rainy season. The hidden gem of Borth Y Gest village with its beautiful little harbour and sea front is stunning". 

Need to know

There’s parking and public toilets at both ends of the walk. Porthmadog and Borth y Gest have plenty of stops for coffee, ice cream or a bite to eat, plus shops where you can pick up provisions for a picnic in one of the secluded bays between Borth y Gest and Black Rock Sands.

Itinerary and Map    

Download the Portmeirion to Black Rock Sands itinerary (PDF) and a route map (JPEG).

Want to go further? 

Try out our Family walk with a difference in Borth y Gest offering panoramic views over the Dwyryd Estuary and over to Cardigan Bay. Use the Wales Coast Path app to unlock exciting 3D video about the building of the Cob in Porthmadog.