The Anglesey Coastal Path 2014

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Introduction

 

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I like to gather a little information before I travel so I can enjoy my surrounds with a little more knowledge than I had before and this path promises to be a little different in a few ways. Most of the LDP I have done have threaded me through mountains and hills, over and along, with much up and down. This one will have relatively little by way of ascent and descent and the only mountains in view will be Snowdonia (assuming clear views) to the east of the island.

The island itself is fairly flat, having been neatly mown down by the Irish sea ice during the last glaciation. The Menai Straits that seperate the island from the mainland were formed after the last ice age had finished. The highest point on the island (reached on day one) is Holyhead Mountain (a bit of a misnomer that one) at a majestic 230m or around 750ft in old money – hardly a mountain, but bright and shiny in it’s quartzitic glory.

Anglesey itself aside from the coast consists predominantly of farmland, some big, some small but most of it used for pasture and fattening up cows and surprisingly a large amount of chickens – obsviously they don’t eat the pasture. Which neatly brings the point of interest to the coast which is where the path runs. Nearly all of it has been designated AONB and there are very diverse habitats to be seen right along the coastline.

There’s going to be Salt Marsh, where sometimes it’s a joy to walk along the springy grasses if they’re not too wet, a bit like walking on a firm matress. But if the tides in I won’t be seeing too much.

The dunes of Aberffraw and Newborough Warren, where hopefully I can take the boots off and wander barefoot along the sand, maybe sit and saviour the moments in the spring sunshine (I’m going to look a mug if it rains for 9 days). I quite like walking between the dunes in the ‘slacks’ with the different vegetation easy to walk on and the chance of spotting some different birdlife.

There’s plenty of sea cliffs abounding around the north side of the island, hopefully rich in birdlife at the time of the walk. I always enjoy the view down to crashing waves, seeing the coastal features of sea arches.

Plenty of heathland walking through heather, grass and gorse which is always the smell of summer to me after all the years spent holidaying on Holy Island, walking around the headlands from Silver Bay to Rhoscolyn and back.

There’s also a bit of wetland, estuarine muddy parts if the tide is out always interesting where freshwater meets saltwater, and a limited amount of forest which doesn’t impinge much on the coastal path.

That’s all wetted my appetite for this walk, so much so I might go and buy a new T-shirt in anticipation of some warm sunshine. I’m looking forward to getting all my kit sorted out in the next week or two and this year I’ll be carrying all my gear as the baggage service has a minimum charge of two bags. I think I’d rather be a little fragrant than pay that charge. Maybe that will change if the path becomes more popular over the coming years.

Post walk thoughts

 

My first coastal long distance path and I really enjoyed the journey. There was something to see each day, with a great variety of interest - something to suit all tastes. It wasn't too taxing, and I never felt I'd overdone the days mileage. I did have a couple of diversions,but I also got lucky with the tide which left me with some less distance to cover. So overall my luck balanced out. There are plenty of stops for refreshments, so I found it unnecessary to carry volumes of water, as I topped up at the cafes enroute. I was of course helped by the great weather, and don't underestimate the power of the sun at this time of year. A great and thouroughly enjoyable experience, and all of the locals that I met were friendly and happy to pass the time of day.



The plan


At 124 miles around the coast it fits in  nicely to a 9 day schedule without having any punishing long days. It’s also within reach of Manchester by train which means I can travel down and walk my first day without needing a ‘day zero’ where I just travel to my destination. I've never travelled and walked a section before (apart from a short stretch of my Wobbly Coast to Coast) so will be interested to see if it impacts on the first days enjoyment or not. Less road walking this year, a bit more of the green stuff, and hopefully carrying less weight around the middle..

 

8th April Day one – travel to Holyhead from Manchester. Walk 11 miles to Trearddur Bay

9th April Day two – Trearddur Bay to Rhosneigr. 14 1/2 miles

10th April Day three – Rhosneigr to Malltraeth. 13 miles

11th April Day four – Malltraeth to Brynsiencyn. 13 miles

12th April Day five – Brynsiencyn to Beaumaris. 14 1/2 miles

13th April Day six – Beaumaris to Benllech. 15 miles

14th April Day Seven – Benllech to Amlwch. 15 miles

15th April Day eight – Amlwch to Church Bay 16 1/2 miles

16th April Day nine – Church Bay to Holyhead. 16 1/2 miles

The total ascent wasn't much compared to other LDP's .....Total mileage....137 from my SatMap GPS - there's a couple of diversions in that lot

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