How to enjoy the beauty of the Welsh coast from the comfort of your own home

It is a hot summer afternoon.

As the sun beats down on the glistening Irish Sea, TV presenter Sean Fletcher is working up a sweat.

He is walking up Mynydd Enlli on the magical Welsh island of Bardsey. With him are two new companions, Island warden Hannah and her pet donkey Chico.

It is not your average day out. But this is not your average adventure.

Sean is walked part of the path on the island of Bardsey Credit: ITV

It is one small part of an epic journey to visit some of the amazing places along the 870 miles of the Wales Coastal Path.

Wales is the only country in the world to have a continuous path that stretches around its entire coastline. And now TV viewers can enjoy some of the finest sections without leaving the comfort of their sofas.

Wales is the only country in the world to have a continuous path that stretches around its entire coastline. Credit: ITV

ITV Cymru Wales is broadcasting Wonders of the Coast Path, a six-part series, presented by Sean from 8.30pm on Monday 27th April.

Says Sean: “I’ve got my favourite spots on the Welsh coast that I go to, but there’s always been a little part of me that’s thought, ‘do you know what, it’d be great to walk the coast path.

“It’s an amazing thing to do. I’ve discovered four thousand year old sunken forests, eaten oysters fresh off the beach, stargazed under the darkest night skies and walked on deserted beaches that would rival anywhere in the world.

“I didn’t realise how many gems there are - and they’re not hidden gems, they’re all out there and it’s on our doorstep.”

Sean had a go at a sword fighting in north Wales Credit: ITV

Sean’s epic journey covers the entire length of the Wales Coast Path. His adventure was filmed during summer last year and now, at a time when the entire nation is living under lockdown, his journey seems more poignant than ever.

“We have the most beautiful and diverse coastline in the world, waiting there to be explored and enjoyed by everyone when we are past this and the time is right.”

  • Watch as Sean discusses his adventures for the series with ITV Wales presenter Andrea Byrne:

Sean goes sword fighting at Harlech Castle Credit: ITV

Sean’s coast path adventure starts along the North Wales coast, taking in Anglesey before leading to the Llŷn Peninsula and travelling down the length of Cardigan Bay.

From there the path takes Sean around the Pembrokeshire coast and on to Carmarthen Bay and Gower. The final leg of the walk sees Sean head along the South Wales coast, to the end of the path in Chepstow.

It’s an epic journey that leads Sean to some of Wales’ most iconic landmarks and some less well known attractions. On Gower, the scenery literally takes Sean’s breath away when he attempts to beat the tide and take on the challenging walk to the end of Worms Head with Gower Conservation Ranger Kathryn Thomas.

Sean at the end of Worm's Head on Gower Credit: ITV

“You should never underestimate the walk to The Worm,” warns Kathryn.

“It’s about a mile to the end, but there’s a lot of scrambling involved. You have a five hour window of opportunity, two and a half hours either side of low water” she adds.

“If you get it wrong, you’re stranded there.”

In South Pembrokeshire, Sean gets special access to the Castlemartin Firing Range, one of only two tank ranges in Britain that fires live shells and rockets.

Sean gets special access to the Castlemartin Firing Range Credit: ITV

It is not necessarily the kind of place you would expect wildlife to thrive. But on one of the range beaches, Sean discovers one day old seal pups with National Park Ranger Lynne Houlston.

The team came across one day old seal pups in Pembrokeshire Credit: ITV

On the Llŷn Peninsula the path leads Sean to Porth Ceiriad Bay, where he hits the waves with extraordinary local surfer Llewelyn Williams. He is leading the world in adaptive-surfing after losing his leg when he was run over by a car.

Llewelyn Williams lost his leg when he was run over by a car Credit: ITV

“I kind of remember opening my eyes in hospital and my mum telling me ‘your leg’s gone, you’ve got one leg’, and thinking OK this is it,” Llewelyn recalls.

“Two months later my mates carried me down to the beach and chucked me in the water. And as soon as the first wave hit me and I came back up, I felt alive.

“When I’m in the ocean with my surfboard nothing else matters, this place is just like heaven.”

As well as leading Sean to some awe inspiring views and wonderful people, the path also winds its way past locations of some remarkable moments in history.

On The Great Orme near Llandudno, Sean ventures underground to explore the largest Bronze age copper mine in the world.

Near St David’s at Whitesand beach he takes part in an archeological dig to unearth the secrets of St Patrick’s Chapel and discovers a thousand year old skeleton.

And at Pendine Sands on the Carmarthenshire coast, Sean witnesses racing car ‘Babs’ roar down the beach where she broke the land speed record back in 1926.

Sean witnesses racing car ‘Babs’ roar down the beach where she broke the land speed record back in 1926. Credit: ITV

Behind the wheel is her owner Geraint Wyn-Owen, exactly fifty years after his father exhumed the car’s crashed remains from the very same beach.

“Bits of the car were terrible, but he had the foundations of a running car within two and a half years,” explains Geraint.

“I’ve got brief memories of the first day it ran up a main road in the middle of Wales. A policeman turned up and said you can’t possibly run this with all these cars going by, I’ll shut the road.”

Sean surveys dolphins in Cardigan Bay Credit: ITV

Wonders of the Coast Path is an ITV Cymru Wales production and the producers set out to make a series that shows off the path itself and the wonderful places it can take you to explore.

Matthew Tune, Series Producer and Director explains: “Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what’s sitting on our doorstep. But filming this series has really made me appreciate what an ever changing and magical coastline we have right here in Wales. It truly is world class."

And, with the nation continuing to self-isolate the series has taken on a new meaning. Executive Producer Jonathan Hill adds: "In these difficult times when people aren't allowed to enjoy the great Welsh coastline this series offers a wonderful escape to some of the most spectacular places along The Wales Coast Path.

“What really enriches this series are the fascinating characters Sean meets during his journey from north to south. I hope that once the restrictions are lifted people will get a chance to discover the wonders for themselves."

  • Sean's Coast Path Top Ten:

  • 10. Dolphin spotting at New Quay.Cardigan Bay is home to Europe’s largest population of Bottlenose Dolphins. Look out to sea from the harbour or coast path and you may just spot one.

  • 9. Walking Worm’s Head

  • Historically named 'Wurm' meaning 'dragon' by Viking invaders, Worm's Head is shaped like a giant sea-serpent and marks the most westerly tip of Gower.

  • 8. Harlech Castle

  • Like a scene out of a movie, Harlech’s battlements spring out of a near-vertical cliff-face.

  • 7. Pendine Sands and the land speed record

  • Discover the epic battle for the land speed record that took place on this seven-mile-long beach in the 1920s.

  • 6. Menai Strait

  • Walk the shores of this beautiful saltwater ‘river’ that separates the island of Anglesey from the mainland. Cross the Menai Suspension Bridge for amazing views.

  • 5. Black Rock and the Lave Netters

  • At Black Rock, just east of the Prince of Wales Bridge, you can discover the history of the local Lave Netters who still fish in the raging tidal water of the Severn Estuary.

  • 4. Merthyr Mawr sand dunes

  • At 200 feet Merthyr Mawr has the second highest sand dunes in Europe and is a haven for wild flowers, insects and reptiles.

  • 3. Stargazing at Uwchmynydd

  • Perched on the very tip of the Llŷn Peninsula, Uwch Mynydd is regarded as one of the best places in Wales to see the starry night skies and the Milky Way.

  • 2. Whitesands Beach

  • Overlooked by the imposing craggy hill of Carn Llidi, this wide expanse of fine white sand curves north towards the remote rocky headland of St Davids Head.

  • 1. Surfing off the Llŷn Peninsula

  • With its volcanic hills - breathtaking beaches - and wonderful wildlife, this is Wales’ Land’s End. It’s quiet beaches also have some of the best surf in Wales.