Land's End to John O'Groats Cycletouring Trip Part 1


Day 24 - Caernafon to Prestatyn

Caernafon is so close to Anglesey, and so close to that place with the really long place name that I couldn't resist cycling over there to take some photos. I can remember when I was very young seeing pictures on the television of the long place name at the station, and I fancied taking a look.

The full name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, but the locals apparently shorten it to Llanfair PG. So off I went from Caernafon and over the Menai Bridge following the signs, and after not too long, there it was. And, well, apart from a small railway station and a somewhat larger visitor centre with a big car park for coaches, there is not much more there to see.

The name translates as 'St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave'.

The town was originally called Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, which means 'The Mary church by the pool near the white hazels' but the village was renamed in the 19th Century.

This was around the time when the railway was built between Chester and Holyhead at the beginning of the 1850s. A local committee was put together to try and encourage trains, travellers and 19th Century tourists to stop at the village in order to help develop the village as a commercial and tourist centre. It is believed that the name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch was invented by a cobbler from Menai Bridge. Today the village is signposted as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll and is known to locals as Llanfairpwll or Llanfair or Llanfair P.G.

The domain name http://www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk seems to exist, but the site doesn't respond whenever I try

Back out of here fairly quickly after some photos, and back over the Menai Bridge to Bangor. Here I bought a decent spoke key and a Trangia gas conversion kit. This was at a decent camp shop called 'The Great Arete'. The two young lads in this shop knew their stuff and were asking me all sorts of questions about what tent and sleeping bag I was carrying etc.

In town, I met 2 local lads on serious mountain bikes, and they kindly showed me the way to Tal y Bont via the cycle track. I then took a look at the A55, a dual carriageway running eastwards towards Colwyn Bay. This was looking particularly hairy, so I took to the back lanes and ran through a couple of villages as far as I could, taking local advice. At one point the path took me onto a wide pavement on the A55 facing oncoming traffic for a few hundred yards. I cycled through the next village and then crossed over the carriageway using a bridge and cycled behind the crash barrier for the last part taking me close to Colwyn Bay.

Colwyn Bay to Prestatyn was good flat cycling on the coastal cycle path, but I was getting worried about somewhere to stay. I nearly came off my bike due to the amount of sand on the path. Eventually I stayed at a campsite in Prestatyn. This was £4.25 + 40p showers. The distance today was 55miles with a maximum speed of 27mph.



Photograph of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch railway station
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch railway station



Photograph of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch railway station
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch railway station



Photograph of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochrailway station
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch railway station



Photograph of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch visitor centre
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch visitor centre



Photograph of the Menai Bridge
The Menai Bridge



Photograph of the Menai Bridge
The Menai Bridge




© Copyright  Piers Pettman - This page last updated 08 July 2006
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