237 Aberffraw to Rhosneigr

I catch the bus into Aberffraw and start my walk along the river bank, heading towards the coast. The tide is high.

01 Ruth walking down the river from Aberffraw, Anglesey

As I approach the beach at the mouth of the estuary, I’m greeted by the familiar sight of Yr Eifl on the far horizon. I’m pretty sure today will be last time I get such a good view of its triple peaks.

02 mouth of Afon Ffraw, with Yr Eifl in the distance, Ruth Livingstone

I climb up onto the headland at the mouth of the river and take a photo looking back towards Aberffraw. It really is a beautiful place.

03 looking back to Aberffraw, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

From here the path follows the coastline, running flat and easy beside the shore.

04 rocky coast, Ruth walking the coastline, Aberffraw Bay, Anglesey

The sea is clear, with blue-green water, and the rocks are indented by numerous sandy coves. It really does remind me of Cornwall, but with everything on a miniature scale: lower cliffs and smaller bays.

05 hidden coves, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

And there is a surprise around the corner. I reach a little bay – Porth Cwyfan – and here is a little chapel perched on an island. It’s not marked as a church on my map, but the island appears to be called Cribinau.

07 church on tidal island, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

As I walk around the bay, I see that Cribinau is a tidal island, with the causeway just visible as a line of partially submerged rocks. It’s a shame the tide is high, because I would have liked to visit it.

08 tidal causeway, Porth Cwyfan, Ruth walking the Anglesey Coastl

The other thing I discover while walking around this wonderful bay is…

06 seal, Ruth Livingstone

… seals.

I never get very close to them, because they remain out in the deep water, but I do manage to get a couple of blurry shots with my camera.

Unfortunately, at this point the coastal path does its usual trick and abandons the coast. I’m back to road walking. Again.

Although the road looks quiet – more a lane than a road – I can hear the roar of traffic close by. And, so, I expect to encounter cars at any moment, and am surprised when I don’t meet any.

09 inland walking around the Anglesey Motor Racing Circuit, Ruth's coastal walk

Takes me a while to work out that the roar is coming from a nearby motor racing circuit. High banks keep the track hidden from view. In fact, it’s this circuit that keeps walkers away from the shore. Pity.

Once I’ve walked beyond the racing course, I pick up a permissive footpath that leads along the side of a field and back towards the coast. (Thank you, Bodorgan Estate, for allowing walker’s through your land.)

10 permissive path through Bodogan Estate, Ruth hiking the Isle of Anglesey Coast Path

I can no longer see the coastline of the Llyn Peninsula across the sea, and the familiar outline of Yr Eifl has disappeared. Instead, there is Holy Island ahead across a wide bay and the unmistakable hump of Holyhead Mountain, otherwise known in Welsh as Mynydd Twr.

Holy Island in the distance, Ruth hiking in Anglesey,

Actually, Holyhead Mountain isn’t really tall enough to be classed as a proper mountain, although it is the highest peak on Anglesey and it does look dramatic, dominating the skyline.

From here onwards the path hugs the coast, and I walk along the top of low cliffs, around jagged rocks and narrow coves. The sky is clouding over, and the sea has lost its deep-blue hue, but it’s still beautiful.

12 Porth Tarfyn and Porth Trecastell, Ruth hiking the coast, Anglesey

I approach a lovely little sheltered beach (Porth Terfyn, I think). Just beyond is the wider beach of Porth Trecastell.

12 Porth Tarfyn and Porth Trecastell, Ruth's costal walk, Anglesey

There is road access and a car park at Porth Trecastell and, for the first time today, I begin to meet other people. There are a couple of men in brightly coloured kayaks. But are they really kayaks? The men’s legs aren’t enclosed and their paddles only have one blade.

14 Kayaks, Ruth's coastal walk, Wales

A group of  seals, whose heads I’ve been watching bobbing about in the middle of the bay, swim towards the shore and – suddenly – turn out to be a group of divers with tanks on their backs.

15 divers coming ashore, Ruth Livingstone in Wales

On the other side of Porth Trecastell is a headland with an ancient chambered cairn that is famous because in contains some unique, decorated stones. A sign explains how you can arrange a guided visit and go inside the cairn. I decide to do that this afternoon, and set off to walk around the headland…

16 climbing out of PorthTrecastell, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

… only to discover the entrance to the cairn on the far side – and realise it’s shut for renovations. Shame.

17 Chambered Cairn closed, Ruth walking to Rhosneigr, Anglesey

Onwards. I can see a long stretch of beach ahead, and know I’m approaching Rhosneigr. The path is well-trodden and its easy walking.

18 Porth Nobla, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey, Near Rhosneigr

When I reach the beach, it looks perfect – a series of coves with bright sands and gentle waves – although the photo below is slightly misleading, because there are plenty of people about.

19 Ruth walking the beach towards Rhosneigr

A family have gathered for a picnic, with a rug spread out on the sands. Suddenly, a black Labrador runs past me and heads straight for the food, licking the plates and snuffling through the plastic bags. The family glare at me – and I suddenly realise they think it’s my dog!

I’m relieved when the real owners appear and shout at the dog to stop eating and come back. I wait for them to pull the dog away and then I hang back to allow them to walk well ahead of me. It’s NOT my dog.

20 naughty labrador, Ruth hiking in Wales

I love this beach, ringed by dunes and with its mix of soft sands and hard rocks. But the sunshine of the morning disappears as the wind picks up. The sky turns dark one minute, and bright the next. Waves foam and splash against the rocky outcrops.

21 waves and wind, Ruth hiking Rhosneigr, Wales

I walk onwards, and Rhosneigr grows closer.

22 approaching Rhosneigr, Ruth hiking on Anglesey

At one point the beach is interrupted by a stream, but this is easily crossed via a footbridge. Dark clouds are massing overhead. There is definitely a rainstorm coming.

23 bridge into Rhosneigr, Ruth Livingstone walking the coast

I walk around the outskirts of Rhosneigr. It’s a pretty village, with brightly painted houses and narrow streets and, for the first time since I arrived in Anglesey, I feel I’m in a proper tourist resort.

24 Rhosneigr, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

The downside of a tourist resort is the crowds. The upside is there are plenty of places to eat. I stop at a place called The Surf Café and order coffee along with a scone, strawberries and cream. Then I order a large piece of cake. Yes, after several days of illness, I really have got my appetite back.

After my meal (should I call it late lunch or afternoon tea?) I head back to the beach. Now I’m walking up the western side of Rhosneigr. Ahead is a curving bay of dunes. The tide is well out now and the sands gleam with water-patterned ridges.

25 Rhosneigr beach, Ruth hiking in Anglesey

The beach is interrupted by a wide stream and I’m not sure how to get across it. My plan was to walk onwards to Valley and catch the train back to Rhosneigr, but the sky has turned dark again, the wind is blowing hard, and I’m feeling tired after my long walk yesterday. The wide stream provides a convenient excuse to stop.

I retrace my steps and head into Rhosneigr to find my car.

Miles walked today = 9 miles
Wales Coast Path so far = 872 miles
Total distance around the coast: 2,379 miles


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
This entry was posted in 16 Anglesey and North Wales and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 237 Aberffraw to Rhosneigr

  1. jcombe says:

    There was a wedding taking place at that island chapel when I did this walk (the tide was out) so I didn’g get to look inside either. Must be a wonderful place to get married. I was amused that the bride arrived just as I passed the end of the track – in a beaten up and very rusty VW Camper van!

    On another walk around Angelsey (the other side of Holyhead) I was walking with a Swiss couple who had got off the same bus and were also walking the coast path. They pointed to Holy Island and Holyhead Mountain and asked me “what’s that out there”. I told them it was Holyhead Mountain. Their response was “Pffft, that’s not a mountain”!

    • What a fabulous place to get married! But you would have to time it right with the tides. And maybe wear boots.
      Love the story of the Swiss couple dismissing/dissing Holyhead Mountain 🙂

  2. Blimey, if you keep on at this you;ll rate you’ll catch me up and overtake me.

    I was lucky enough to pass the chambered cairn just as the guide was wiating for someone else to show up to see inside, so I got an impromptu look-in too.

  3. Wow, I really garbled that first sentence didn’t I? It’s been a long day.

  4. always a pleasure reading and following along on your adventures…I love that you are doing this journey in small sequences, it should inspire many to put feet to their dreams and do the same wherever they are.

  5. Marie Keates says:

    That poor family having their picnic disrupted by a dog and then rained on.

  6. Harper Haye says:

    Really interesting blog, Ruth. I was there last week at the Barcloddiad yr Gawres in Aberffraw. They’ve still locked the tomb up although it you go to Bryn Celli Ddu, you can walk right in and have a totally different experience. Good luck with the travels. Harper Haye at http://www.manc-holidays.co.uk. My account of the same route is on my own blog at WordPress

  7. A shame you didn’t get to go across to the Church In The Sea because the tide was in – have a look here for a photo taken of the inside of the chapel (through a very grimy window as the place was closed) – http://tigermousetales.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/saturday-july-30th-2011-church-in-sea.html

    • What a lovely blog you have, Eunice, and great photos of the church. Thank you. (I tried to comment on your post but couldn’t – a common problem I find with Blogger sites I’m afraid.) Anyway, I’m thinking of getting a camper van for Scotland. Not a big caravan, just a little van. Any suggestions or advice?

      • Don’t be tempted to get an old VW camper van, they cost a fortune to buy and a fortune to fix when they go wrong, which they frequently do. Have a look at a Romahome – depends what your budget is but you could probably get one of the smaller ones second hand for less than ten grand – the larger ones sell for much more than that.

        Mine isn’t a camper van as such, it’s a large Toyota Granvia mpv adapted by my ex partner – the back seats were taken out and the space converted with a wrap-around dog guard fixed in and a raised bed for the dogs with storage space underneath. The centre turns into a double bed, which I use if I’m only away for a night or two, any longer than that and I put the tent up then I’ve got plenty of space. It’s possible to buy ready-converted Granvias complete with kitchen etc but you’re looking at £14,000 or more.

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