The Anglesey Coastal Path 2014

Day One: 8th April

Weather: Sunshine and breezy.

Route: Holyhead to Trearddur Bay - 12.3 miles


I tucked in a merino base later this morning and boy was I thankful. A chill wind greeted me as I stepped off the train, as did two community policemen. Thankfully they weren’t looking for me.

It’s been many years since I walked through Holyhead and to be honest there isn’t a lot of it that I remember except that the main shopping street is quite narrow.

Like all the long paths I walk, the beginnings and the ends are usually in a town at the local station or ferry or car drop off point. This Coastal path is no different with the exception that the start and finish are the same point, the convenience of a railway station.

The way starts for me by crossing to the town via a fancy new stainless steel bridge, a great link with some interesting bronze plaques set into the walkway. The official start is just around the corner at St Cybils Church. A reasonable start and a walk through the houses of Holyhead, passing by the harbour and the great breakwater that zigzags out into the bay – I’ve been on worse starts to a LDP. It didn’t take long to get out onto the coast, and the ferries to Ireland were whizzing in and out of the harbour. The paths were moist but mostly passable on the worse stretches. I had to buy a new pair of boots yesterday as my old Salomon Quest were worn out. Just as well they are fit for use straight out of the box, though I wouldn’t really recommend doing that without breaking them in first.

There are a fine set of rustic gates that lead through the big old quarry area at the country park before the path rises up and around some steep sided cliffs. There’s plenty of room though as it winds through the heather and stumpy gorse. I didn’t realise it was a different type to the stuff I’m used to – a lot more compact – but it still scratches pretty good.

Up on the NW side of a Holy Island the wind was blowing but not as chill as I thought and I ended up just walking in my merino base and shorts – I like a bit of breeze round the Trossachs.

I passed by an old explosive store for the quarry, looking like a sentry post stuck all alone on the hillside, with views down to North Stack – an old fog signal station, but now a private house. The road down to it is a touch on the rough side and anything other than a land rover wouldn’t make it. I had the pleasure of watching the coastguard helicopter buzzing around the coast and thankfully nobody was being rescued or recovered.

There’s a plethora of paths all over Holyhead mountain – it’s a hill really but a mountain compared to the rest of Anglesey. The coast path is well signposted so it’s hard to go wrong really – a tern on a blue background. You could probably walk around here without a map just keeping the sea to the right.

Beyond North Stack is the more popular South Stack lighthouse, which sits at the bottom, down a long set of steps and a suspension bridge across to its rock base. I stopped for a chat to a twitcher here looking at various birds through a big scope, and while I was at it I had a 99 from Mr Whippy and it didn’t hurt one bit.

Beyond the car parks the path got quieter ( not that it was too busy) and I didn’t meet many people all the way to Trearddur Bay.

Some great Coastal scenery with sea stacks, foaming turquoise seas and bright sun. You can’t best that fresh smell.

Where the path took to the road they have managed to create a path through the fields alongside, but there were one or two stretches of minor road walking, passing by the RSPB bird reserves, where the swallows were enjoying an early harvest of insects.

The coast scene didn’t change much all the way to Trearddur Bay and I ambled across the sands to my B&B to end my day.

Anglesey is pretty flat really, squished by past ice ages, which really gives the coast more appeal. But don’t get me started on the geology of the place. It’s very complicated and contains words such as melange and Mona complex – sounds exotic and it is. It’s designated as a Geopark and is world renowned. It is complex though and that’s for another post (pretends he knows something about it)

Day one finished - Did I say it was sunny and dry?

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leaving the station to cross over the harbour on the new bridge and the start of the Anglesey Coastal Path

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The official start was here, passing by a funeral, which was a timely reminder to self - enjoy life!

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after a walk along the streets of Holyhead the route skirts by a boatyard on the way to the country park

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It is well waymarked throughout  the entire route, with the Tern as the official 'mascot'

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looking over to Holyhead harbour and the breakwater beyond

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  into the country park and the houses are left behind. A big Quartzite lump ahead

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some giant gates mark the beginning of the park - there are some fine examples of craftwork dotted around the island

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looking back to the zigzag breakwater and the ferry terminal - they whizz in and out frequently

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High cliffs with North Stack at the end of the headland, and an old ammunition store situated nicely away from the quarry

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looks like a sentry box really

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the path teeters along the cliff tops, but always wide enough for a firm footing

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the view down to North Stack  - a fog signal station

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remnants of old buildings. There used to be a hill fort up here. Holyhead and the Aluminium smelter chimney down below

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North Stack receding into the distance - a bit like my hairline

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South Stack Lighthouse and the swinging suspension bridge that connects to the cliffs. Plenty of seabirds here

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just in case you didn't notice

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some impressive coastline and plenty of ozone flying around

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looking north to Holyhead Mountain from the RSPB bird reserves

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The bay called Abraham's Bosom - a great coastal landscape. There is a gent with a blue jacket on if you can spot him. I think his names Wally

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a little further along the coast and South Stack reappears

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two ferries race out into the Irish Sea bound for Dublin. A line of 'stacks', which must look spectacular in bad weather

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fantastic weather for my first day

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down onto the beach at Treardurr Bay with my B&B over the far side

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  a last look back to the north. It's been a great day's journey


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