Anglesey Coast Path 5 Cemaes to Holyhead

The first part of the next days walk was dominated by Wylfa Power station; no longer in use this station came into service in 1971 and finished at the end of 2015. A new nuclear station is now being constructed on an adjacent site. The land is lower here than the previous day, no huge cliffs but the feeling of remoteness continues.

Leaving Cemaes and back on the Coastal Path with Wylfa in the distance

Nearer the power station there are some delightful views in peaceful places.

Although in the process of decommissioning, the station remains a massive structure. It is necessary to skirt inland around the station and the extensive ground works underway associated with the new station, but the path soon rejoins the coast after passing an old water mill building.

Cafnan Mill

Cemlyn Bay is an attractive bay with a distinctive shingle embankment created during the storm that caused the Royal Charter disaster mentioned earlier. Behind this embankment is an RSPB Nature Reserve. We chatted with some of the volunteers who told us that the reserve is a special location for little terns that nest on the island in the lagoon behind the embankment. But last year otters appeared and just about destroyed the colony; what a dilemma. The RSPB are unsure how best to react. The embankment path is shut during the nesting season but we were able to walk across, it being September.

Soon after leaving Cemlyn Bay we met a birdwatcher nicely tucked behind a thick hedge giving him good shelter from a strong cold wind off the sea. He told us about the many seabirds he had seen that day. Shortly after a large group of Scandinavian hikers overtook us in ones and twos and strode ahead deviating from the path to visit Sant Rhwydrys Church, a church in the middle of a field slightly off the path. We gave it a miss but stopped soon after for a rest on a lonely beach.

Refreshment stop

The coast then became more rugged with corresponding more ups and downs. After a little while the Scandinavians started passing us again and by the time we stopped for some lunch it was just the back markers that had yet to reach us, The last two had gained a dog companion somewhere and were anxious to leave it with us but we demurred.

The curious white spikes we spied from way off are known as the Two White Ladies.

The Ladies were designed to align with the lighthouse on the island of West Mouse.

West Mouse island and Lighthouse (just about visible)

Further on we saw an attractive sea arch at Ynys y Fydlyn. The island is thought to have been an iron age hill fort.

Along the way we had a couple of good views of seals and the coastline was spectacular. Towards the end of the day it became less rugged and we left the Coast Path at Port Trwyn and went inland to catch a bus for our penultimate B&B.

Looking back over Porth Trwyn Bay where we had our last view of the Scandinavian party

We had a little wait for the bus followed by a break-neck drive with a driver obviously anxious to get home. Our lodgings were in a farmhouse with swallows still attending their nests. The landlady kindly gave us a lift to the pub that evening and a lift back to the Coast Path the next morning.

Another part of Porth Trwyn Bay

The final days walk was quite long but through much gentler terrain than the previous day. Most of the time Holyhead Mountain was encouragingly in view.  

There were some impressive bays before we reached the marshy land and long deviation round the Afon Alaw estuary. We finally crossed the river on the attractive green bridge only completed in 2012.

Approaching the Afon Alaw Footbridge which saves a few kms of walking

After crossing the bridge there is a longish walk down the other side of the estuary.

Just before reaching the village/town of Valley there is a walk along a beach and then into the houses and along a road. Somewhere along the road we lost waymarkers and thrashed about for a while before a kindly gentleman offered us directions, saying that new houses and owners were protesting about the path. We attempted to follow his directions but I think we probably failed and ended up walking along a quite unpleasant stretch of coastline that took us right to the Stanley Embankment crossing over to Holy Island and back to Holyhead.

At this point my companion was on her “last legs” and there was a dividing of the ways. I stayed with my companion and eventually caught a bus into Holyhead while D bravely carried on walking to fully complete the coastal path, possibly one instalment of an exercise to circumvent Wales on the Coast Path.

We met up at the B&B we stayed in the first night and treated ourselves to a celebratory meal that evening. Next day, on our way to the station we visited the Official starting point of the Coast Path.

The Anglesey Coast Path is, in my view, a fantastic walking route combining magnificent coastal views with interesting historical interest and heritage. I would encourage anybody to give it a go.

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