239b Silver Bay to Trearddur Bay

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.

a01 Silver Bay, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

Onwards. The path leads me through heathland along the top of low cliffs, following a shoreline punctuated by rocky outcrops and hidden coves.

a02 Ruth walking Holy Island, Anglesey

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.

a03 rugged coastline, Ruth walking towards Borthwen, Anglesey

Further along I see holiday chalets perched above the coastal strip. And a couple of men hiking with large rucksacks on their backs.

a04 holiday park and hikers, Ruth walking in Anglesey

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.

a05 rocky shore, Ruth trekking the coast of Holy Island, Wales

The path dips down into a little cove and crosses a steam.

a06 Porth Gorslwyn, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

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.)

a07 Clean Coasts litter bin, Ruth walking in AngleseyThe 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.

a08 over Cymyran Bay to Traeth Cymran, Ruth on Holy Island, Wales

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.

a09 fast jets from Valley Airfield, Ruth walking the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path

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.

a10 Rhoscolyn Beacon, Ruth Livingstone on Holy Island, Anglesey

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.

a11 kayakers, Borthwen, Ruth Livingstone on Holy Island, Anglesey

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.

a12 Borthwen bay, Ruth's coastal walk, Holy Island, Anglesey

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.

A snake!

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.

a13 Ruth hiking in Anglesey

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.

a14 view over Borthwen, Ruth walking in Anglesey

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.

a15 climbing up to lookout station, Rhoscolyn, Anglesey, Ruth's coastal walk

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.

a16 view over Rhoscolyn Beacon and Llyn Peninsula, Ruth trekking in Wales

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.

a17 view over Cymyran Bay, Ruth Livingstone on Holy Island

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.

a18 Holyhead Mountain, Ruth on the Anglesey Coast Path

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.

a19 Rhoscolyn Head, Ruth hiking on Holyhead Island, Anglesey

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.

a20 beautiful cliffs, Rhoscolyn Head, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

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.

a21 walking towards Trearddur, Ruth on Holy Island, Anglesey

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?

a22 two white goats, Rhoscolyn Head, Ruth's coastal walk, Wales

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.

a23 dry-stone wall, Ruth Livingstone

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.

a24 coloured rocks, Rhoscolyn Head, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

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.

a25 swirling patterns in rocks, Ruth Livingstone

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.

a26 natural arch, Ynys Gybi coast, Ruth Livingstone

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.

a27 self-portrait, Ruth Livingstone, Anglesey

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.

a28 Porth-y-garan, Ruth walking the Holyhead coastline

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.

a29 looking over Porth-y-garan, Ruth Livingstone

I’m growing closer to Trearddur. The rocks are still wild and rugged, but now there are houses perched on top of the cliffs.

a30 Raven's Point, Ruth's coastal walk Holyhead Island, Wales

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.

a31 outskirts of Trearddur, Ruth's coastal hike, Holyhead Island

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.

a32 Porth Castell and Porth Diana, Ruth walking to Trearddur Bay

Ahead is Trearddur beach. I scramble down to the sands and walk close to the waves.

a33 Trearddur Beach, Ruth Livingstone in Anglesey

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


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 239b Silver Bay to Trearddur Bay

  1. paul sennett says:

    looks amazing is that your first Snake sighting in 2,399 miles? I saw an adder last on Dodman Point in Cornwall.. Right underneath a stile as I stood on it..

  2. Still keeping tabs on you; soon you will be out of sight once you’re round Holyhead Mountain!! Just love your commentary and pictures; I can help with the Welsh names but not much of the geology!! Sooooo impressed and so pleased that the sunny weather is much kinder to you.

    • Hello Brian and Jane, and how lovely to hear from you. Yes, Llyn is about to disappear from view, but I will always have fond memories of the coast there, my time in your lovely B&B, and the car park from hell! Have given your address to various other walkers I’ve met along the route. Your pick-up and drop-off service is excellent. BW, Ruth

  3. Di iles says:

    Looking forward to catching up on your blog Ruth. I’m walking The Llyn at the moment and wifi limited so will catch up again at home.

  4. Mary says:

    I love your blog Ruth. So straightforward and clear and I particularly love it when you say how boring the road walks are.
    I was cross the other day when I was walking a well signposted route which ended suddenly on a road with cars racing round bends. I looked at my map and sure enough, you had to walk along this road for 2 miles. Impossible!

  5. Gayle says:

    “I wonder why people do that? Why choose to walk the coast path, but not actually walk close to the coast at all?”
    With all previous Long Walks having been point-to-point, where I tend to plan the most direct off-road route possible, only taking circuitous routes for particular features of interest, when I set out on the coast I did spend the first few days having to remind myself repeatedly that the whole point was to walk around the coast, and not to cut across headlands!

    • It’s always tempting to take the shortest route. I remember when my husband walked to meet me as I approached Land’s End. I asked him what the path ahead was like. ‘Actually, it’s a bit boring,’ he said. I steered him away from the wide track where everyone else was walking and we headed along a narrow path that wound around the cliff edges, with wonderful views down to the rocks and the sea below. ‘This is better,’ he said. ‘It’s next to the sea.’ Yes. Exactly.

  6. Marie Keates says:

    That really was a stunning walk with all those wonderful rocks. I loved the goats too. We have adders in the New Forest but I’ve only seen them once,

    • The goats were magnificent. I’ve seen a fair number of adders now (4, I think) and grass snakes. I think the beauty of walking alone is you get to see and notice these things.

  7. I’m absolutely thrilled to have found your blog via someone who reads mine – your Anglesey posts are particularly interesting as I’ve been camping on the island two or three times a year for almost twenty years. I was there only a couple of weeks ago for ten days.

    Where you saw the White Arch on the coastline, about a hundred yards inland is Tyger’s memorial stone. I missed the White Arch last year as I was looking for the stone so a couple of weeks ago I went back to find and photograph the arch – I saw the goats too. Check out this post on my blog –
    http://tigermousetales.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/sunday-june-12th-2016-penrhos-trearddur.html and this one for the story of brave Tyger – http://tigermousetales.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/friday-june-5th-2015-story-of-brave.html

    I’m really looking forward to reading more of your blog, especially the posts about Anglesey – I can imagine our paths may have crossed more than once on the island 🙂

    • We’ve probably met each other, Eunice, or at least seen each other in the distance!
      Yes, I saw the Tyger memorial stone but didn’t write it up due to lack of space. And the goats are lovely, aren’t they?

  8. theresagreen says:

    A stunning and eventful walk, the perfect way to spend a day! Jealous of your Adder sighting-I haven’t seen one for several years! I think your goats are some of the ones I referred to in my post about the goats on the Gt Orme as having been relocated to Anglesey to help out with conservation. Nice to see they’ve settled in over there.

Leave a Reply to Ruth Livingstone Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s