This was to be our final visit to Anglesey, well not quite as we will be back in September but just to use the hotel. We stayed at The Victoria Hotel and used Benji and his minibus for the first two days and then public transport for the rest of the week. The Coast Path took us from the end of the rugged north and along the sandy beaches of the south west, finishing by walking up the straits with views across to Caernarvon, Snowdonia and the Menai Bridge.
Sunday 2 June 2019 – Rhoscolyn to Cymyran: 8.8 miles (14.1 km) +130m -126m
On a damp and windy morning we drove to Cymyran where the minibus was waiting to take us to Rhoscolyn. We walked along the coast from Borthwen to Traeth Llydan (Silver Bay) where the Path took us inland along gorse lined paths to Pontrhybont or Four Mile Bridge (so called because it is four miles on the turnpike from Holyhead). We then walked back down the other side of the strait that divides Anglesey from Holyhead returning to our cars.
Monday 3 June 2019 – Cymyran to Abberffraw: 10.0 miles (16.1 km) +156m -156m
It was a much nicer day than Sunday but still not very warm. From the bus station the bus took us to Abberffraw and then Benji drove us on to Cymyran. The walk started along the beach to Rhosneiger. In days gone by this stretch of the coast earned notoriety through its pirates, Llandron Crigyll, the Thieves of Crigyll – the name of the river that flows into the sea near Rhosneiger.
Further on we passed a Neolithic burial chamber, Barclodiad y Gawres (the Giantess’ Apron) and then around the Ynys Mon Racing Track and down to the shoreline at Llangwyfan. Here there is a church in the sea, marooned by erosion. A defensive wall was built in the 1890s.
When we arrived back at Aberffraw we had a drink in the pub as there was an hour to wait for the bus to take us back to Menai.
Tuesday 4 June 2019 – Plas Cefn Mawr to Pen-Lon: 8.4 miles (13.5 km) 113m -155m
The bus dropped us off at a crossroads at Plas Cefm Mawr where we walked down the road towards the straits at Moel-y-don. We followed the coast down to Tal-y-Foel where, until 1952, a ferry ran from here to Caernarvon on market days. We also passed the site of the Mermaid Inn, Anglesey Sea Zoo and Foel Farm.
As the tide was out we crossed the Afon Braint, Anglesey’s longest river, by means of the giant stepping stones. They were large and the distance between them was a challenge for our shorter legged walkers.
Passing the Model Farm we walked along the road to Pen-Lon roundabout where the walk finished. We had made such good progress that we had a hour to wait for the bus, so rather than stand at the bus stop we walked to Newborough where we had tea and cake in a cafe.
Wednesday 5 June 2019 – Malltraeth to Aberffraw: 5.3 miles (8.5 km) +103m -103m
A more leisurely day was planned with time to explore Aberffraw. To begin, the bus took us to Malltraeth and when we were all ready we walked along roads to Hermon. Here we found that the route had been altered even though the OS showed the original route. The new route took us along roads into the Bodorgan Estate and eventually onto the dunes.
We then had a pleasant walk along the beach and headed up the estuary and into Aberffraw.
Aberffraw was the medieval capital of Gwynedd and, for a short period, the whole of Wales. Llewelyn the Great who united Wales briefly in the 13th century, called himself Prince of Aberffraw. Stone from its embematic Llys (a court now reconstructed at St Fagans) was used to build Beaumaris Castle. The site of the Llys is now buried beneath the village. To compensate for this we did manage to find an excellent cafe called Llys Llewellyn where we had lunch before getting the bus back to Menai.
Thursday 6 June 2019 – Malltraeth to Pen-Lon including Llanddwn Island: 9.8 miles (15.7 km) +155m -155m
As the previous day we caught to bus to Malltraeth. The first part of the walk was along The Cob which was built to reclaim land from the sea.The Path then took us into Newborough Forest.
We made our way through the forest to Llanddwyn beach. As the tide was in we had lunch before crossing to Llanddwyn Island. This wasn’t on the Wales Coast Path but we wanted to do this detour because the island was so inviting.
Not everyone could wait for the tide to go out and some tried to cross early.
Anglesey is often referred to as the Island of Romance and Llanddwyn is the Island of Lovers, dedicated to St Dwynwen, the patron saint of lovers.
After a leisurely walk around the island we crossed the beach and picked up the Path again and walked in the direction of Abermenai Point, before turning inland to Pen-Lon. Whie waiting for the bus we went into the nearby cafe and had an ice cream.
Friday 7 June 2019 – Plas Cefn Mawr to The Menai Bridge: 5.2 miles (8.3km) +189m -229m
Our last day on Anglesey and once again we caught the bus to the start point. The bus service on Anglesey is amazing. It is more of a public service than a means of transport. On one of our journeys there were two girls sitting in front of us and they had a couple of carrier bags containing bottles. When they got off the driver was concerned that they should look after themselves. He, like all the drivers, knew all their passengers, many by name. On another occasion a lady wanted to get off the bus and when the driver saw who she was, he offered to drop her off at the shop rather than the bus stop.
Back to the walk. After a short walk along a road we turned onto a path that took us past Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber. This was too good to miss and some of us detoured off the Path to look around.
Bryn Celli Dduis generally regarded as the best preserved Neolithic Passage Grave on Anglesey. Dating from the fourth millennium BC, the monument is complex with the Passage Grave being constructed over a hedgeform enclosure. The site has been subject to many investigations. Outside the entrance to the tomb a replica of a monolith found within the grave is displayed; the original is in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. [text: Mark Corney]
The Path took us to the main road past the grounds of Plas Newydd. We then dropped down to the straits at Pwll-fangol where the landscape artist Sir Kyffin Williams lived until his death in 2006.
Passing Nelson’s statue, a navigational aid, we headed up towards Llanfairpwllgwyngyll and St Mary’s Church which was the origin of the village’s name. It’s long name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch or Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave.
We were then back down to the straits passing under the Britannia Bridge and on to the Menai Bridge which completed our 133 mile circumnavigation of Anglesey.
We then walked back to the hotel for a celebratory buffet lunch before the long drive home.