Anglesey Coast Path 2 Aberffraw to Beaumaris

We started in the morning, soon after nine, by walking back into Aberffraw from our B&B, past the pub where we ate the previous evening, and down to cross the river. Then we followed a track crossing saltmarsh and sand dunes. Looking back there was a pleasant view of the river frontage of Aberffraw.

The track soon became a quiet inland road, which we followed, passing Borogan, which must be a grand house judging by the extent of the grounds and the gated entrances. After Borogan and just before Malltraeth we rejoined the waterside and walked along the edge of the Afon Cefni estuary with its very extensive sands. We were lucky to find a teashop in Malltraeth at just the right time for a coffee stop and some cake; it had just opened up the very moment we arrived. After refreshment we crossed the water on the dyke and continued on an elevated section down the opposite side of the estuary. We were soon walking through a pine forest, and finally emerged on the glorious beach of Newborough Sands. 

The tide was a fair way out so it was a dry walk to reach the small island of Yyns Llanddwyn.

The path out to the lighthouse, Twr Mawr, and Pilot Cottages

While some of my group walked out to visit the lighthouse I took the opportunity for a swim in the crystal clear water. The beach also offered good views of the Llyn Peninsula.

Leaving the island we walked along the beach reaching a crowded section near a car park where we left the beach and started walking through another stretch of pine wood. There followed a short section on a road which took us to a car park with a curious sculpture

Sculpture inspired apparently by marram grass

then off along a track and down to delightful stepping stones over the Afon Braint,

From there it was a short step to Dwyran and our B&B. This was one of the longest days about 25 km.

Next day was down to and along the Menai Straits. There was a thunderstorm in the night and heavy cloud remained. After traversing some country lanes and fields we emerged at the water, in a brief spell of sunshine, just opposite Caernarfon Castle.

After a brief spell of walking within metres of the water on the beach we joined a small road. We took a small detour off the road into a Farm shop and chocolatier to visit toilets and coffee bar then continued past the “Anglesey Salt Factory” and an old ferry station. At this point the Coast Path takes a large inland detour in order to circumnavigate Plas Newydd, a very large National Trust establishment. This is unfortunate in many ways but it did give us a chance to visit Llanedwen Church where we had lunch and had to don our rain gear. It also gave us an excuse to visit another interesting burial mound, Bryn Celli Ddu.

It is possible to enter into this tomb and look around although it was small and was rather crowded at that time, despite appearances in the photo. There followed a longish stretch of walking beside the busy A4080 road into Llanfair PG (more on this name later). The path is good but quite noisy and it was a bit of a relief to leave it behind and go back to the waterside.  We emerged at a small inlet/harbour.

Harbour where Afon Braint enters the sea, this is the river with the stepping stones

Just round the corner we had a magnificent view of Stephenson’s bridge and a statue of Lord Nelson.

The Britannia Bridge finished in 1850

We had a short walk, almost underneath the bridge up, to our B&B hotel for the night, which gloried in the full village name.

Next day was to be a shorter one, about 12 km, and we started one fewer in the group for E left us at this point and took the train home. We were headed for Beaumaris and a shorter day gave us the chance to spend some time looking round the castle there. The coast path went right past our B&B under the Britannia Bridge and down to the shore where the tide was in and the strong currents were visible on the water surface.

Looking across the straits from almost beneath Britannia Bridge

Within a short while the Menai Suspension Bridge was in view together with an ancient church and the Belgian Promenade. The bridge was designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1826. Prior to this cattle had to be driven across the straits as cattle sales were the main source of income for Anglesey.

St Tysilio’s Church dating from the 15th century

The Belgian Promenade that extends from the church to the bridge was built by a group of Belgians accommodated in Menai Bridge during the first world war when their village was occupied by Germans. As an expression of gratitude they built the promenade; hence the name. Shortly after passing under the bridge we found a coffee shop with great views over the water.

Leaving Menai Bridge village the coast path follows the main road for a while. The path is good and not without interest

Afon Cadnant emerging into the straits opposite a series of small islands

but the road is quite busy. Soon after this bridge the coast path follows quieter roads away from the coast but with frequent views across to the mainland. We found a small shop in Llandegfan to buy some lunch and sat on a bench with a fabulous view across the straits to Bangor pier.

Lunch stop view Bangor pier at bottom right looking incorrectly as though it might start on this bank

A little over an hour later we arrived in Beaumaris, by which time the cloud had cleared and it was a lovely sunny afternoon. The views across the water were impressive.

We had ample time to visit the Castle

and still had time for a drink in the sun outside our hotel while a very good guitarist played for us. A great day ending in the best of all possible ways!

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