Seven things you didn’t know about the Welsh coast

Some amazing facts you might not know about the Wales Coast Path

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Our new free augmented reality (AR) app has been launched along the 870-mile Wales Coast Path is giving walkers the opportunity to uncover a different side to the Welsh coastline.

The Seven Facts

(includes a 13,000 year old submerged forest to Wales' endangered leatherback turtles)

1. The beach where land speed records were broken

Did you know that during the 1920’s, Pendine was the epicentre of world land speed record attempts? The six-mile stretch of golden beach in South Wales was perfect to test the capabilities of the latest speed machines. It played host to a gripping contest between speed hero Sir Malcolm Campbell and a motor engineer from Wrexham called John Parry Thomas, who tragically died during a record-breaking attempt in 1927.

Take the mile-long walk from Gillman Point to Pendine village along the Wales Coast Path where you can use the AR app to drive the Blue Bird racing car in your own attempt to set a new land speed record.

2. Wales’ secret World War II history

When the threat of Nazi bombing put the Royal Artillery’s Coastal Gunnery School at Shoeburyness in Essex at risk in 1940, the Government relocated it to the Great Orme in Llandudno. The now derelict observation posts and gun emplacements were used during target practice, and were listed as a protected ancient monument in 2010.
You’ll be put through your paces as you try to sink as many targets as you can on the AR app’s World War Two artillery game. After earning your stripes as a first-class gunman, complete the scenic two-mile walk to West Shore promenade, boasting amazing views out towards the Isle of Anglesey.

3. The extremely rare turtles of Borth-Y-Gest 

The critically-endangered leatherback turtle can be spotted in Tremadog Bay during the summer months, as they arrive from the tropics to feast on Jellyfish. These huge turtles can grow up to a couple of meters long and weigh up to a tonne - about the same as a small car. They are also unique among reptiles, being able to maintain their own body heat, even in the chilly waters of Wales.
During the two-mile walk from Ynys Cyngar to Black Rock Sands in Borth y Gest, AR app users can say hello to their very own 3D turtle and learn more about our four-flippered friends.

4. Carmarthenshire’s 13,000 year old submerged forest

During low tide at Marros Beach in Carmarthenshire, the sea retreats and reveals a glorious ancient, submerged forest. The forest dates back to before the last ice age, over 13,000 years ago, when the Bristol Channel would have been a great plain linking the British Isles to the European mainland.

Use the app to learn more about the region’s ancient history and take a peek at the range of life that dwells just beneath the surface of the beautiful beach. 

5. First ever wireless signals transmitted over water

On the 13th of May 1897, radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi (and his assistant George Kemp) made telecommunications history by transmitting the world’s first wireless signals over water. It was transmitted from a headland known as Lavernock Point to a mass on Flat Holm Island, a distance of around three miles. His first message read “Are you ready?”... And they certainly were!
App users can learn more about Marconi as well as exploring Cardiff Bay in the 1920’s, one of the largest dock systems in the world at that time.

6. The mystery of the Menai Strait’s sinking ships

A mysterious story surrounds the sinking of three ships in the Menai Straits. The first, a pleasure schooner, was sunk on December 5th 1664. All 81 passengers died, except one, his name was Hugh Williams. 121 years later, on the same day in 1785 another ship sank with 60 passengers aboard. The only survivor - Hugh Williams. On December 5th 1820, some 75 years later, a third ship sank drowning all aboard, except… Hugh Williams!
After delving into Menai’s mysterious shipwrecks, explore the area’s architecture as you walk towards the town with the longest place name in Europe. 

7. Lawrence of Arabia was born in Tremadog

Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, was born at what is now Lawrence House in Tremadog in 1888. He became an object of fascination throughout the world, renowned for his role in the Arab Revolt of 1916 and for his vivid writings about his experiences and adventures, which went on to inspire the Oscar-winning epic Hollywood film Lawrence of Arabia.
To explore more of the area’s beautiful scenery follow the path from Black Rock Sands beach towards Criccieth, where you will find the majestic Criccieth Castle.

Further Information

Find out more details about our app on our website on our Plan your Visit page

Download the app

Simply download the app before you arrive and use your mobile phone to scan one of the specially created experience panels to unlock a range of interactive features and bespoke augmented reality animations. 

Download the app for free via the link to the Apple App Store (iOS devices) or Google Play (Android devices), by searching ‘Wales Coast Path’.

You can even share your experiences with your friends using the photo filter feature or by capturing images of you, your friends and family interacting with the fun augmented reality scenes.