The wide stretch of Silver Bay is empty. I know there is a holiday park hidden somewhere close by, and can see a tiny shack-cum-café at the top of the beach, but it’s closed. Nobody on the sands. I wish I could stay longer in this beautiful place.
Onwards. The path leads me through heathland along the top of low cliffs, following a shoreline punctuated by rocky outcrops and hidden coves.
Sections of this coastline are designated open access land, and it’s nice to be able to walk across wide spaces without fences and hedges.
I’ve met no other walkers so far today, but that doesn’t mean the coast is particularly peaceful. The waves crash against the rocks, the wind shrieks in my ears, and jet planes scream above my head. This all adds to the feeling of wildness and excitement.
The view ahead is both magnificent and menacing.
Further along I see holiday chalets perched above the coastal strip. And a couple of men hiking with large rucksacks on their backs.
Proper walkers! But our paths don’t cross. We seem to be walking in different worlds. I’m sticking as close to the wild cliffs as I can, winding in and out and following the curve of headlands and coves. They are taking the more direct route – in a straight line across manicured grass.
I wonder why people do that? Why choose to walk the coast path, but not actually walk close to the coast at all?
The rocks by the shore are both beautiful and intriguing. Such a variety of forms and colours. I wish I knew more about geology.
The path dips down into a little cove and crosses a steam.
It’s too windy to check my map, but later I work out this must be Porth Gorslwyn. (Actually, there are numerous tiny coves and rocky outcrops shown on my OS map, and most of them have no names at all.)
The blue object in the grass, which I took to be a fisherman’s bucket, turns out to be a coastal rubbish bin.
It’s unusual. I like the design. Doesn’t look like standard local authority bins. I wonder who empties it and why it’s here.
Maybe this area is very busy during the holiday season? It’s still only early May. But the bin isn’t very deep and has no lid. Wouldn’t any rubbish just blow away?
I cross the stream and walk on. After Porth Gorslwyn comes Porth Cae-du. I look back across Cymyran Bay and can see the bright line of the beach, Traeth Cymyran, where I walked before.
The jets are still wheeling and banking above me. A pair of them. One following the other. But I only manage to catch one in a photograph because they are so widely spaced apart.
The sea is too blue to be aquamarine, and too green to be cerulean. Can’t pin the colour down. Anyway, it shifts and changes with the light. I feel almost dizzy with the beauty of it all. Or, maybe, it’s the wind making me giddy and throwing me off balance.
I round a headland, Plas Esgob, and am surprised to see a group of kayakers heading out of a bay towards the open sea. With this wild wind and choppy waves? I’m not surprised when they begin to capsize. It’s like watching a pack of dominoes. One goes over, the others come to the rescue, and they tip over too.
Shouldn’t laugh. But it really is quite amusing.
The path takes me around and into the bay. Borthwen. It is a deep horseshoe shape, creating a calm basin inside the shelter of the headlands, but interrupted by a series of impressive rocks, standing sharp like sharks’ teeth.
At the apex of the bay, I head down a path towards the sea. It’s not a proper footpath, just a convenient shortcut, narrow and overgrown, down to a little cove. And then something slithers across the sand in front of my feet.
There’s only time to catch a quick glimpse as the creature disappears into the tangle of bushes on my right hand side. Too quickly for a photo. But not too quickly to mistake the markings. An adder!
I watch my step more carefully now, but reach the shingle of the shore without further incident. The little cove is connected to a larger stretch of sand. And I find myself at one end of a beautiful beach, curving around the top of the bay, with rippling waves creating perfect semicircles. And all so peaceful after the wild waves of the open sea.
At the far end of the beach I stop for lunch, perching on a low wall and watching a few scattered strollers and dog-walkers enjoying the sands.
After eating, I follow the coast path which turns, unfortunately, away from the shore and follows a road, climbing up the headland to the west of the beach. Over the tops of houses and private gardens, you can still catch great views across the little bay with the ‘snake cove’ directly opposite in the photo below.
Leaving the road behind, the path continues climbing and climbing -through a wide open space of gorse, grasses, and scattered boulders – towards a watchtower perched on the crest of the hill.
The views up here are fantastic. Below is a group of rocky islands – Ynysoedd Gwylanod – according to my map, and a navigation tower – Rhoscolyn Beacon. Beyond is the faint outline of… yes, of Yr Eifl. I can make out its familiar shape. And I also realise I can see all the way down the length of the Llŷn Peninsula.
To the south is another grand vista. There’s Borthwen bay in the foreground, Cymyran Bay behind, and the faint outline of the mountains of Snowdonia in the distance.
But I must stop looking back and start looking forward. I have the rest of Holy Island to explore and the not-really-a-mountain peak of Holyhead Mountain is beginning to dominate the landscape.
Onwards. I walk down a narrow track through the gorse, taking the most direct route towards the sea. But the track soon peters out – maybe it’s just a sheep track after all – and I spend an aimless 20 minutes wandering around trying to find another way through the thorny bushes.
Eventually I give up and climb back up the hill to rejoin the official coast path. From here the route is wide and clear. That’s Rhoscolyn Head straight ahead.
But I can’t resist turning off to the left and following the ins-and-outs of the shore. The cliffs are high and the area is a geological paradise. I love the coloured rocks.
Rhoscolyn Head itself is not open access land, which is a pity. Here a long, tall wall separates a grazing pasture from the windy strip of coastline. But at least you can follow the path around the outside of the wall, close to the edge of the cliffs, and you aren’t forced to turn inland.
The views are wonderful. I’m looking across Porth Saint towards… well, that must be the outskirts of Trearddur Bay.
A couple of white goats come down the path towards me, their fleeces blowing in the wind. At the last moment they step aside, and stand near the edge of the cliff. One of them turns its head up towards the sky. Sunbathing? Or just testing the wind? Windbathing?
The wall on my right is pretty impressive. Much taller than I am, and running for several hundreds of yards, it’s made entirely of dry stones.
Meanwhile, the natural stones on my left are putting on quite a show too. I’ve never seen so many colours jumbled together. It’s as if a giant child has been given a massive paint brush and set free to paint the cliffs.
It’s not just the colours that are impressive. The rocks are folded up, crumpled and creased, looking as if they are made of nothing more solid than flimsy cardboard.
The tectonic forces that shaped these patterns are mind-bogglingly immense. And the earth’s crust is still moving. Both Anglesey and the nearby Llŷn Peninsula are still the centre of frequent small earthquakes.
Time is passing and I’m growing tired. Onwards.
In the cliff below me there is a natural arch. White rocks? Must be limestone. Such a mixture of textures along this coast.
The next part of the walk is equally lovely, over rocky cliffs with the wild sea below. I stop for a snack and manage a self-portrait.
I reach a place called Porth-y-garan. The tide is low, leaving exposed rocks and muddy sand, and this area must be even more beautiful when the tide is in.
At the far end of a series of coves is a holiday park and here the path leaves the shoreline, passes between the pastel-coloured tin boxes, and climbs up to high ground above the park.
I’m growing closer to Trearddur. The rocks are still wild and rugged, but now there are houses perched on top of the cliffs.
I leave the official coast path (by mistake) and find myself following a permissive path that scrambles over rocks close to the shore. Ravens Point is ahead, but the way is barred by private property. Shame.
Another permissive path takes me down the side of a house and joins a road. I walk past an odd mix of residential buildings: retirement bungalows, modern holiday homes, and bland 1970s suburban houses. Ahead, over the brow of the hill, is Trearddur Bay.
From here the official path follows the road. Although most of the small headlands are privately owned, they provide permissive access, along with warning notices telling you what you can and cannot do. I weave in and out, following the coast as closely as I can, and making the most of the final few miles of my walk.
Ahead is Trearddur beach. I scramble down to the sands and walk close to the waves.
When I reach the start of the promenade I turn inland down the road to where I’ve parked my car. It’s been a glorious stretch of coastline – the best stretch of coast since the Llŷn Peninsula and the climb over Yr Eifl all those days ago – and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Miles walked today = 12 miles
Wales Coast Path so far = 892 miles
Total distance around the coast: 2,399 miles