Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 2 Church Bay to Cemaes
Summits on this Route
Distance: 18.5 km
Ascent: 379 m
Start and Finish:
Post Code for Sat Nav:
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 2 Church Bay to Cemaes Details
The second day of our Anglesey Coastal Path trip, where you can see from the images how well the weather held out.
The best bit was everything from Porth Swtan as far as Cemlyn Bay – especially Ynys y Fydlyn, Trwyn Cerrigyreryr and Carmel Head. After camping at Church Bay, we were gutted that we could easily have bivvied discreetly along this section of coast. Worst bit was undoubtedly Wylfa, and while the grounds are nicely tended, it felt like we were going around in circles in the forest (I had to check the route now to be certain it wasn’t!) Second worst bit was the ‘blister’ – see below! This basically shortened the day, leaving us with 10km to make up elsewhere, or use the 8th day.
We had intended to walk as far as Amlwch today, but for various reasons we wouldn’t quite get as far. However, the quality of the walk ensured that this would be one of the best days on the entire trip with the exception of Yr Wylfa. The weather continued to hold fair, and was all set to be fine for most of the week.
The route set off directly uphill from Church Bay, a struggle first thing in the morning. Gladly, like most of the ascents on the coast they are over with before your body realises what you’re doing and you can just keep going on the ensuing descent.
The views towards the Skerries and the lighthouse dominated, and we’d be used to having some point of reference in the distance for most of the trip. Breakfast was anticipated towards the unusual features of Ynys and Llyn y Fydlyn. Ynys y Fydlyn is a pair of stacks, the smallest of which can be reached easily from the shore while the larger is a bit trickier and only accessible at low tides. Behind the beach, where the shore has built up into a bar, lies the freshwater lake of Llyn y Fydlyn. This is truly a unique place and one of the highlights of the entire coastal walk for me.
Between the shore and Ynys y Fydlyn we could see the Skerries and waves breaking violently onto the jagged teeth at the base of Trwyn Cerrigyreryr. You can understand how so many mariners died on these shores as even if they survived the sea, they’d be smashed and killed against the rocky shore if they swam ashore. Even if they were lucky enough to find a cove, we’d passed so many that were inaccessible that even then their survival wouldn’t be guaranteed.
It was regretfully that we moved on, though we hadn’t realised how close to the corner we’d come. We only realised that as the coast opened up to the right and we reached our first turning point. Trwyn y Gader or Carmel Head feels remote, even if there are remains of copper mines and ‘white lady’ navigational beacons here. Looking east makes it clear that this is a landscape dominated by man, as we see the industrial remains close by and the soon to be decommissioned nuclear plant at Wylfa in the near distance.
The next section of coast is in comparison rather sedate, though still worthwhile with plenty of rocky shore down below, along with myriad bird life. This soon gives way to yet another change in landscape as Trwyn Cemlyn is reached and the nearby Cemlyn Bay is crossed by the shingle bar. It was here that I had to stop to investigate some nasty blisters, and I knew then that Cemaes would be as far as I went today, and even that would require some willpower.
There’s an unusual building near the carpark at the nearside of the bay, the strangely walled Bryn Aber. Appearing like a jail or something similar, it was apparently something much less sinister. Owned by the eccentric aviator, Vivian Hewitt, the walls were merely built in order to prevent cats from entering his garden and chasing the birds which he so loved to watch. In a similar vein, walkers are asked not to walk along the shingle bar from April to July, with a short road diversion being in place around the lagoon. As it was March, we crossed the shingle but considering how hard the going was, the road might be a better option.
Once past the nature reserve and its car parks, you have but one headland before you have to cross the site of the Wylfa Power Station. This is a real knock back to earth moment, but getting it out of the way as quickly as possible is advised. You’ll then be approaching Wylfa Head, and views into Porth yr Ogof and towards Cemaes that make you forget about the eyesore behind you. There’s an old coastguard lookout on here that’s sadly been vandalised, but the headland makes a most pleasant stopping point.
The path then continues for a few more kilometres down into Cemaes, a small sheltered harbour where tourism has replaced fishing as the main industry. There are a number of pubs here, but not on the harbour front as expected.
The Stag still served food, and more importantly some liquid refreshments so we called it a day there, about 12km short of where we wanted to be and with sore feet to boot.