Where’s the first picture-perfect location to start a trip along the Coastal Way?
Possibly the beach at Abersoch, which is absolutely stunning. It’s been a popular spot for holidaymakers for the past 50 years or so and can get quite busy. At dawn, however, it’s quiet. There’s no one around. The sea has swept the sand clear and you can see for miles. The space beneath the cliffs is dotted with colourful beach huts, and at around 7am the sun casts long shadows that stretch across the sand and out to sea. From Abersoch, you can see Cardigan Bay and where it’s heading. It’s a special place.
Llanbedrog, a little further up The Coastal Way, is also somewhere to stop if you’re looking for an impressive photograph. The beach is beautiful. It’s huge. The light is incredible and the panorama pretty epic.
And the most intriguing spot for a photograph?
While filming the Coastal Way video we stopped in Portmeirion, where the annual convention weekend celebrating The Prisoner – Patrick McGoohan’s 1967 television show filmed in the village – was happening. The programme still has quite a big cult following, and each year a fan appreciation group arranges a weekend of activities in the village to celebrate it.
Portmeirion was my favourite place on the Coastal Way to capture shots of people, rather than landscapes. It was full of vivid, bright colours with lots of dancing, laughter and light. The weekend when we were there was just on the turn of spring, and with the warm weather it felt like we could have been anywhere else in Europe. The village is very much Italian-inspired and just feels like a dream.
All this snapping makes us hungry. Can you recommend somewhere for lunch?
Slightly further along the route, in Aberystwyth, there’s a traditional pub overlooking the sea – the Glengower – with incredible views. We gazed through the big bay windows at the front, at times it felt as if we were actually in the sea. And we had club sandwiches – triple deckers – which were delicious. Lunch for two came to around £25.
Aberystwyth itself has some fantastic photography spots. From the top of Constitution Hill, a popular walking spot at the northern end of the promenade, you can see across the town and beach. Both are teeming with life. We caught the funicular electric cliff railway to the hill’s peak, which is a quirky way to travel, and enjoyed the sights of Cardigan Bay as the sea sparkled in the sunshine.
Where would you find the story’s closing shot?
I could travel along that coastline forever. It’s a place you could never, ever get bored of. You can take the Coastal Way as far as St Davids, but we stopped for the evening in Aberaeron, a harbour town in Ceredigion. It’s literally like something from a retro postcard, all the houses are painted different colours, there’s great little delis and there are kids crabbing from the harbour walls.
We enjoyed a locally brewed beer in the acclaimed Harbourmaster Hotel, which is situated in a large deep blue town house on the edge of the harbour (as its name may suggest!). After a long day touring the Coastal Way we were content to nurse our pints and people-watch for a while. Families were out, walking the town, enjoying one of the first warm evenings of spring. I got a nice shot of one family sitting together on the harbour, legs dangling over the edge, eating chips from a bag without a care in the world.
That would be my closing shot.