Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 5 Traeth Coch to Llanfair PG
|35.97 km||585 m|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish:
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Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 5 Traeth Coch to Llanfair PG Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 5 Traeth Coch to Llanfair PG Details
After getting warmed up yesterday, today was when we finally found the pace, with a hefty 36km covered. The section over from Traeth Coch to Penmon is a fine walk that would have been improved with better visibility. Some intriguing boulder clay caves just before Beaumaris broke up a section that was otherwise too much tarmac. The less said about the Beaumaris to Menai Bridge section the better, unless you’re a stickler then get the bus as this is mainly on tarmac and finally on the main road (though a very quiet one!)
The section from Menai Bridge to Llanfair PG however, is well worth doing and without doubt the best section of the path along the Fenai.
The bus dropped us off somewhere nearer the main road than the coast, adding extra distance that may only have been three quarters of a kilometre, but was annoying nevertheless. On reaching the Ship Inn and the coast, it felt like the proper start of the day with the first half of the walk in sight ahead all the way to Bwrdd Arthur, the high point of the morning.
The Red Wharf Bay section starts from the Ship Inn, following salt flat paths for most of the distance around with only a few stretches on tarmac. Be warned that the going is very wet along this section, with sections clearly showing signs of having been below the high tide line recently. They have been spring tides, so this is the exception rather than the rule, yet one to be aware of.
Only beyond the wettest sections does a sign proclaim that the path becomes tidal and that that there’s an alternative, though the section was easier and drier than what had just been walked. Boardwalks help, and the path is even diverted along a narrow wall for a distance which has a grab rail either side. The salt flats continue all the way around to the far end of the beach, where you finally get some solid tarmac under your feet, incidentially the only welcome bit of tarmac you’ll walk on today, and the marsh gives way to sandy beach.
The going may have been wet, but at least it was flat, and the legs will suffer as the path pulls up to the lofty heights of 120m (and an optional diversion to the 164m Bwrdd Arthur), which is incidentally the highest you’ll get until you reach the final few kilometres over Holyhead Mountain. However, while this is pleasant enough section, other than the views towards the Orme, it’s rather disappointing. You’re roughly a kilometre away from the sea for most of the walk towards Trwyn Du, and not until you reach the final section along the priory wall past Pentir do you start to feel you’re back on the coast. Hopefully, this section will soon be improved to provide coastal walking rather than rural.
Ynys Seiriol (or Puffin Island / Preistholm) is the largest of the islands that you pass on the walk, as opposed to walking around. It appears close, but the narrow strait between is hazardous and this is yet another corner of the island protected by a light house, albeit a rather small one just off shore. The southern coast of the island now lies ahead, and probably the least interesting section as there’s too much tarmac bashing and where you are on the coast it’s often heavy going on shingle.
Setting off from Trwyn Du along the first few kilometres of tarmac takes you to Penmon Priory, one of the first historical sites along the section. There are also a number of industrial remains from the old limestone quarries, including the old port of Porth Pemon. After three kilometres on tarmac, though a pleasantly quiet road with good views over to Snowdonia on a clear day, the path becomes just that once more, and it’s mainly a beach walk now to Beaumaris (with two more short road stretches). However, the caves and patterns in the boulder clay along this section mean that there’s at least some interest to be had along the way.
Finally, you’re in Beaumaris where you can have a well earned pint or two and the finest town on the island. You’re better off treating this section as being more urban in it’s nature, and appreciate it for that as opposed to comparing it to the more rugged northern coast. Visit the castle, do some shopping or have a pint and a bar meal. Possibly even catch a bus, as the next section to Menai Bridge isn’t really worth doing. Even the landlady at the pub we visited suggested as much.
It consists of a quiet road, a yomp through a few fields with no view and a tedious road walk down to Menai Bridge. This section of the Straits is particularly built up, meaning that the coast is all privately owned and consists mainly of people’s gardens. Actually, the houses along here are more the types that have grounds as opposed to gardens, so not much chance of this section becoming any more interesting any time soon.
The section from Menai Bridge to Llanfair PG more than makes up for it. Walking underneath the gagantuan arches of Telford’s suspension bridge before walking on to Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge is an experience in itself. With the giant structures dominating the view, it’s easy to miss the tidal rapids along this section that are known as the Swellies that are more noticeable depending on the tide. They were so hazardous that they had their own pilot who’s house can still be seen on the tiny island of Gored Goch, and is still occupied.
Once you’re past the Britannia Bridge (which was originally a tubular bridge that burnt down in the late 70s and rebuilt to carry both the railway and the main road over the Straits) the path pulls uphill before returning to the shore past the small church of St Mary’s and on the shingle shore past the statue of Nelson. A short section passes Plas Llanfair, an MOD establishment with big brother signs all around – make sure you don’t pass this place outside daylight hours! The path ends on the A4080 main road, but there were signs that they were busy preparing for the imminent opening of the Coastal Path in May, and were preparing a path along the main road. Today though, having walked around 36km, we just headed into Llanfair PG and hoped that our legs would still move tomorrow.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.
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