Anglesey Coast Path 1 Holyhead to Aberffraw

A small group of us started this walk at Holyhead, arriving by train. The trip was organised by D with accommodation arranged in advance, so we had a schedule to keep to. The route is officially 200 km and D had allowed 12 days of walking. Our accommodation was all B&B.

On arrival at Holyhead we were not very impressed by the town; it seemed quite run down. But this impression improved when we left the station area and approached the sea front, enormous harbour and promenade on our way to our first B&B.

Next day, our first of the walk, took us to Trearddur. On the sea front at Holyhead we saw our first waymarks sunk into the pavement of the promenade. There are two varieties because the route at this point is both the Welsh Coast Path with a sea shell with a dragon tail symbol IMG_20170827_085101 (2)

and a tern symbol for the Anglesey Coast Path.

The path soon left the promenade and joined a track that took us past a grand old house, believed to be owned by the Harbour Master in former times and possibly the man in charge of the harbour construction. Soon we were in the Breakwater Country Park with  elegant entry gates.

In the background to this picture you can see some of Holyhead Mountain, the highest point on Anglesey, and the effect of quarrying for the stone that was used to build Holyhead harbour breakwater. The country park contains the remains of a brickworks which, we were told by a passing local, specialised in refractory bricks. Later on and higher up we had a good view back over the breakwater, snaking out into the sea. 

It is 2.7 km long, longest in UK, and accessible on foot. It was opened in 1873 after 28 years of work that employed around 1300 men and cost 40 lives (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holyhead_Breakwater).

The path passes close by an isolated building at North stack, a fog signalling station 

before climbing again. The path passes close to the top of Anglesey Mountain and it would only take a short detour to go to the top, though we selected not to take advantage. and carried across hillsides bright with blooming heather and gorse.

We reached the picturesque South Stack lighthouse around lunch time and found a picnic bench by the crowded RSPB cafe to take our lunch.

South Stack lighthouse

We visited Elin’s Tower before joining the road to continue our walk. Later we enjoyed great views back along the coast with clear views of lighthouse, tower and Holyhead Mountain.

The path continues mainly along the cliff top as the coastline meanders along with many pretty coves. At one of these, Porth Dafarch,

the path descends to a beach – very busy on this warm Bank Holiday Sunday – then climbs again away from the road and along the cliff top.  Fairly soon we were approaching Trearddur Bay 

Craig y mor – a reputedly haunted house

with a distinctive and rather threatening house on the shoreline.

Trearddur was the end of our first day’s walk and we repaired to our B&B for some rest and reflection. The paths had been well maintained and route-finding simple; it was lovely to see so many choughs and the scenery was spectacular. We had been walking for about 9 hours including stops and covered about 21 km. We felt we deserved our supper.

Next day, after a full cooked breakfast, we were off before 9. We had lighter packs because we were returning to our B&B that evening; this proved the easiest option with availability of accommodation. We planned to walk to Four mile bridge. The route started along the road out of Trearddur and soon joined a track heading for the coast while the road headed inland towards Four Mile Bridge, our destination for the day.

The walk started off as a coastal cliff walk that gradually decreased in altitude until we were walking along a beach and then a marsh to reach the bridge. There were good views behind, back to the start of the walk and our overnight resting place.

View back with white houses of Trearddur and Holyhead Mountain in the background

The coastline had more attractive coves and the odd cliff “door” arch.

Nearest village Rhoscolyn

After the cliffs we descended to beach level and walked past the holiday park in Port Wen bay.

It was quite windy and we were pleased to find some shelter near the beach at Sandy Bay. Using steps, we left the beach and walked through woods for quite a way inland before returning to the water on a marsh

and eventually almost wading to reach Four Mile Bridge.

The misleadingly named Four Mile Bridge joining Holy Island with the rest of Anglesey

We had a pleasant rest in a pub serving Leffe beer before our bus took us back to Trearddur for the night.

Next day another bus took us back to Four Mile Bridge for our walk to Aberffraw. The first part of the walk involved passing down the water on the opposite bank to that of the previous day.

Looking back to Four Mile Bridge

The path then passes close by Valley airfield, an active RAF base. Walking under the flight path was a bit unnerving. After that there is a long stretch along the beach parallel to the runway.

Heading to Rhosneigr past RAF Valley

After Rhosneigr, with a stop at a surf cafe, there are several more pretty beaches.

Beach at Porth Tyn Tywyn

Cutting across a headland the path passes a neolithic burial mound

Barclodiad y Gawres

Port Trecastell

followed by another pretty sandy bay. From here to Aberffraw, there were two notable features. The first, a rather surprising roar of motorcycles on a racing track. The second, a delightful church on an island, looking very isolated.

St Cywfan island church

We stayed overnight in the Prince Llewelyn, very comfortable.

 

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