Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 18:51 UK

Path links 'jewels' of coastline

By Carl Yapp
BBC News

The view from Ceredigion coastal path

As a wise old uncle once said to me: "Never under estimate the power of a good walk".

He believed it gave people time to mull over and solve their problems, but "you need at least five miles", he stressed, obviously speaking from experience.

With uncle's advice in mind, people in Ceredigion should be problem-free from now on because they can now trek the length of the county along the coast.

A stretch linking the network has now opened between Cwmtydu and Llangrannog.

I walked a small section of the 60-mile (96.5km) route north of Llangrannog on the day of the opening and what a stretch, although there was such a torrential downpour at one stage that it was more a walk on the wild side than a gentle stroll in the Ceredigion countryside.

Nevertheless, the views were truly breathtaking, and even though it rained it was worth every soggy step.

Ceredigion coastal path
This is a very exciting new project which has superbly linked up many of the jewels along the Cardigan Bay coastline
Environment Minister Jane Davidson

With a few sheep and the odd seagull for company, every twist and turn of the trail presented me with another opportunity to gaze at the amazing view.

Up ahead, I noticed how the path had been carved out of the side of a hill, and although it was quite steep in places it was worth the climb.

Robert Griffiths, from Aberystwyth, was also walking the path. He had caught a bus to New Quay and was heading to Llangrannog. I met him about 1.5 miles from his destination.

He forms part of a rights of way volunteer group which helps the council repair paths in the county.

"This bit offers walkers fantastic views, and although there are stretches that are unremarkable, you then think about the engineering feat of carving a path out of a hillside," said Mr Griffiths.

"There are wonderful views of Cardigan Island. I'm pleased the path has opened."

Walking attracts many tourists to Wales. In Ceredigion, tourism is characterised by the area's special qualities - its landscape, wildlife, heritage and culture.

Ceredigion coastal path
Part of the path is carved out of a hillside near Llangrannog

Officials say the path will boost the local economy, contribute to "green tourism" and improve people's health.

But the coastal path will have to compete with the likes of the Brecon Beacons, the Elan Valley and Snowdonia.

It was opened by Environment Minister Jane Davidson.

The Welsh Assembly Government has pledged to open a footpath along the entire length of the coast in Wales by 2012. At the opening, Ms Davidson said: "I am delighted to open this latest outstanding new addition to our rights of way network, the Ceredigion Coast Path.

"I have been looking forward to this day for some time - this is a very exciting new project which has superbly linked up many of the jewels along the Cardigan Bay coastline."

As for members of the Ramblers Association, they are celebrating the opening of the path by walking the entire route, starting on Friday. They will be joined part of the way by First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

A spokeswoman for the organisation said: "It has taken five years to create and is expected to be popular with walkers far and wide, providing a real and lasting boost to the local economy."

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