Thursday. Twelve of us arrived, either direct or via Penrhyn Castle, to Anglesey during the afternoon. We were to stay in two luxurious properties near the village of Llannerch-y-Medd, both approached by a long drive: Drws y Coed and Llwydiarth Fawr. We drove out to Lastra Farm Hotel near Amlwch where we enjoyed a good meal.
Friday. We were surprised that Clive managed to arrive at 8.00 in time for breakfast, having left Northampton at 4.00. What dedication!
We had quite a late start from our properties, driving in mist, to Breakwater Country Park, which is in a beautiful setting among high rocks and bracken, west of Holyhead. We set off at 10.50 to walk 10 miles anti-clockwise around Holy Island. The sun soon came out, and revealed a very scenic coastline, taking in North Stack and South Stack, and scrambling over Holy Mountain.
All went well until we tried to take a short cut in Holyhead, which resulted in some lack of time and frustration, and an extension to our day. 11.8 miles.
We returned to the B & Bs at 6.15, to get ready to dine again at Lastra Farm, with the table booked for 6.45.
Saturday. Having booked an earlier breakfast, we drove to Camaes in the north of Anglesey, where we left our cars, took the 9.30 bus to Amlwch, then quickly changed buses to alight on the A5025 road and walk across fields to Dulas Bay.
There was more visibility today, but cloudier. The tide being out, we took a path along the beach, then inland again, then emerged on cliffs overlooking the islet of Ynys Dulas. This walk was particularly interesting, with ruins of the industrial past around nearly every bay.
At Bull Bay, after 11 miles, we were given the opportunity to take a bus, which would leave in 5 minutes, back to the car. Everyone declined and settled for a drink at the Bull Inn. Only then were we warned by locals that the remaining coastal walk to Cemaes Bay “is very up and down, particularly at the end”. Too late for the bus! How right they were! A pity no-one counted the steps up and down but they lasted for much of the next 6 miles! But what wonderful scenery! We had also been told that we should watch out for porpoises, and we were fortunate enough to see a school around the next bay.
Having arrived in Cemaes at 6.45, we were extremely lucky that the “Stag’s Head” was able to find us a table for 13 on a Saturday evening without a booking, and the food was good. 17 miles.
Sunday On a clear, sunny morning we drove in a south-westerly direction to park the cars, in order to walk through the Newborough Warren Nature Reserve. The path led to Llanddwyn Bay, a splendid, expansive sandy beach, backed by sand dunes and pines, and over the water the mountains of Snowdonia (firstly in silhouette). We proceeded to Llanddwyn Island (being low tide now a peninsula) where we could explore the church remains and pilots’ cottages. An information board there helped us identify the Snowdonian peaks which we could now begin to see in colour.
We had our picnic lunches among the dunes, ice creams at another car park, then back to the cars. 8 miles.
A leisurely day, this, as we visited Plas Newydd, a NT property overlooking the Menai Strait, for a cup of tea and a tour of the house and grounds, home to red squirrels.
Then from a layby on the A5 we stopped to photograph the impressive Menai Bridge, before heading into Beaumaris for an outside peek at the castle and the hope of a meal. Fortunately a very efficient waitress was able to provide a table for the 11 of us (two of the party, who had booked in for 3 nights, headed off to Cheshire), where we again had an excellent meal.
Well, Clive, another fantastic break! Thank you so much for organising it.
We don't walk all the time!