239a Valley to Silver Bay

I wait for the bus and the driver doesn’t seem to understand what I mean by ‘Four Mile Bridge’. Instead, he suggests a name that has Pont in it, or maybe a Bont. Anyway, it turns out to be the right place.

01 Four Mile Bridge, Ruth on the Anglesey coast path, Wales

I cross the bridge onto Holy Island and turn immediately left, following the coast path signs. The tide is high and there is barely a path to walk along.

02 Holy Island coast path, Ruth walking at high tide

I splosh through marsh and slide through mud – and am relieved when I reach a section of raised boardwalk. I wonder if the Silver Slashers were responsible for this improvement?

03 boardwalk across the marshes, Ruth walking to Rhyd-y-Bont

The weather started dull, but now the sun breaks through in intermittent bursts. I enjoy this part of the walk, alongside the waterlogged estuary and marshland.

04 Ruth hiking the coast path, Anglesey, Holy Island

But all too soon the path turns away from the coast (sigh) and heads up towards an untidy jumble of farm buildings.

05 Rhyd-y-Bont, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

I walk down the side of a barn,  around the back of terrace of holiday cottages, and along a track. At one point I try to follow a footpath that – although not the official coastal route – would take me nearer to the shore. But it is too boggy and I turn back.

At the end of the track I reach a minor road.

06 Road walking, Ruth on the Isle of Anglesey Coastal path, Holy Island

Two miles of road walking lie ahead of me. It’s pleasant enough, with farmland and woodland on either side, and little traffic, but not exactly a coastal walk.

After about a mile I spot a signpost with, rather confusingly, three pointing fingers all indicating the coast path. I realise there is an alternative route (a permissive footpath) that joins the road at this point.

07 alternative coast path route, Ruth on Holy Island

The sign on the gate says the path is closed over the winter months (October through to January) and I assume it is the end of the footpath I tried to follow a short while back – the one that turned out to be too boggy.

07b Llwyer Drwy Ganiatad Permissive Path, Ruth hiking in Anglesey

So I stick to the road and plod on, relieved when I see a sign to ‘Silver Bay’. Hooray! I’m heading towards the coast again.

08 road to Silver Bay, Ruth hiking in Anglesey, Holy Island

A short time later I come across the coastal path sign, pointing off to the left. It’s another permissive route and, like the first, is closed during the winter months.

09 coast path sign, Ruth on Holy Island, hiking in Anglesey

Grateful to leave the tarmac behind, I head through the gate. This is harder than it sounds, because the gateposts have sunk into the ground and the underside of the gate is wedged into the earth. It requires a lot of effort to hoist the gate up and heave it open.

But the effort is worth it. This is a delightful path. It passes through glades of trees..

10 permissive path through woodland, Ruth hiking in Wales

… over a little stream with a rickety plank bridge…

11 rickety bridge, Ruth trekking in Anglesey

… and along a raised boardwalk surrounded by tall grasses and budding bushes.

12 boardwalk, Ruth hiking on Holy Island, Anglesey

Above me the sky is noisy with jets from the nearby Valley Airfield. Reminds me of Lincolnshire, where we have plenty of RAF bases of our own.

I know I must be very close to the coast now. The air seems clearer and fresher, the light brighter. I climb over a rickety stile, covered in moss. Nearly there.

13 moss covered stile, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey, Wales

Suddenly, to my surprise, the path ends abruptly at a wooden gate in a rusty fence. Through the gate there’s no sign of the coast. Just another road.

I look at my map. This can’t be right!

And then I realise there is something very familiar about both the rusty fence and the three-fingered sign post.

14 familiar sign, Ruth on the Isle of Anglesey Coast Path

It’s the same road I’ve just walked along.  No! I can’t believe it.

But the truth is confirmed when I go through the gate and see the sign on the other side.

15 back where I started, Llwybr Drwy Ganiatad permissive path, Ruth Livingstone

So this wasn’t the ‘end’ of a previous alternative route, it was the beginning of a new one. And I thought I had a good sense of direction – hah!

Turning back, I retrace my steps: over the mossy stile, along the raised boardwalk, over the rickety plank bridge, through the glades of trees. And end up back where I started – on the lane leading to Silver Bay.

16 walking towards Silver Bay, Ruth on the coast path, Ynys Gybi

The lane comes to an abrupt end at a collection of houses, but the footpath continues onwards, heading down towards the coast. Definitely on the right route now. I can see the straits ahead.

17 across fields to Silver Bay, Ruth walking the Isle of Anglesey coastal path

The final stretch of the path runs through a wonderful wood of tall pines, along a sandy track. The only spoiling feature is the rather ineffectual fences that the landowner has erected on either side in order to keep walkers confined to the path.

18 through pine woods to Silver Bay, Ruth hiking on Holy Island, Anglesey

At the end of the woods there is a sudden and dramatic transition, as I leave the peaceful shade of the pines and find myself standing on a bank of high dunes, buffeted by the wind and drenched in sunlight.

I’m facing into the east – across Cymyran Bay – and the morning light is bright in my eyes. On the beach below me, the fierce wind whips up the waves, which crash against the sand and foam around the rocks. Everything shimmers with a silvery brilliance.

19 Ruth at Silver Bay, Holy Island, Anglesey

Yes, Silver Bay at last, and it really does live up to its name. A beautiful place.

[to be continued…]

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.

9 Responses to 239a Valley to Silver Bay

  1. owdjockey says:

    Oh Ruth!! Schoolgirl error there methinks.lol. I had to laugh. the proverbial walking in a circle!!lol. Fair do’s in owning up to that. Happens to us all. Did I ever tell you the time I drove up to the Northern Highlands of Scotland, only to discover when I iopened the boot of my car that I had left my rucksack with all my gear safely esconsed in my living room at home?
    It certainly looks abit tight at Four Mile Bridge, when the tide is in.

    • 🙂 Yes, an elementary error. And I always thought I had a really, good sense of direction and could tell – roughly – whether I was heading north or south or whatever. Mind you, I’ve never left my rucksack behind!

  2. Marie Keates says:

    Oh dear. I’ve had a few walks where I’ve gone wrong and had to turn back and it always annoys me, still, you had somewhere scenic to walk through twice so it wasn’t all bad.

  3. theresagreen says:

    It’s great to see your brilliant photographs and read your accounts of this part of the coast- it’s not a part of the island I’ve seen much of. I think you do amazingly well not to get a little bit lost more frequently here in Wales, especially as it has been known for local youngsters to change the direction of signs…..!

  4. Karen White says:

    Well, I have zero sense of direction so there’ll be nothing but sympathy from me! When I’m walking in the forest my friend often says “you must know where you are now”, and I have no idea. However I am better than her when going by car.

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