Anglesey Coastal Path – Wales Coast Path Section
Route Summary: The Anglesey Coast Path is now a section of the Wales Coast Path, but was established many years before. The guide given is clockwise, but can be walked in either direction, while Anglesey’s Wales Coast Path section technically starts at Menai Bridge.
The Anglesey Coast Path is now a section of the Wales Coast Path, but was established many years before. The guide given is clockwise, but can be walked in either direction, while Anglesey’s Wales Coast Path section technically starts at Menai Bridge.
|217.8 km||3544 m|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Caergybi / Holyhead
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Anglesey Coastal Path – Wales Coast Path Section Route Map and GPX Download
Anglesey Coast Path Guidebooks:
Summits and Places on this Route
Anglesey Coastal Path – Wales Coast Path Section Details
The Anglesey Coastal Path is a 214km trail around the island of Anglesey in North West Wales. The route is diverse, ranging from high rocky cliff tops paths, shingle and sandy beaches, to coastal woodland walks and lighthouses. The whole route is generally very easy to follow by keeping an eye out for the distinctive Wales Coastal path waymarks. They may take on the guise of a proper wooden finger post, or a much smaller circular identical circular emblem tacked onto a post or stile. There’s also an arrow on these that you should observe very carefully!
Anglesey Coastal Path Distance Chart
Anglesey Coastal Path Route Summary
Officially, the Anglesey Coastal Path is divided into 12 manageable sections. However, we found it wasn’t too challenging to walk it over 8 days which included one section walked over 2 days, so we should have completed it in 7. We have adapted the official itinerary very slightly in order to start/end in more sensible places or adapt the place name to something we think makes more sense (Porth Trwyn to Porth Swtan, Pentraeth to Red Wharf Bay, Moel y Don to Llanfair PG and Llyn Rhos Du to Newborough).
The 8 day itinerary is as follows: 1 from Caergybi/Holyhead. to Church Bay, 2 Church Bay to Cemaes, 3 Cemaes to Amlwch, 4 Amlwch to Traeth Coch, 5 Traeth Coch to Llanfair PG, 6 Llanfair PG to Malltraeth, 7 Malltraeth to 4 Mile Bridge, 8 4 Mile Bridge to Caergybi/Holyhead. Days 2 and 3 were meant to be a single day, making most of the sections around 30-35km in length, with the exception of the 25km 1st section in order to break ourselves into the walk gently and as we were carrying camping equipment for the first 2 days.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 1 Holyhead to Porth Swtan
Distance – 25 km, Height Gained – 220 metres, Time – 8 hours
The first leg of the Anglesey Coastal path is reasonably easy with the highlight being the final section between Porth Trwyn Mawr and Porth Swtan / Church Bay. This initial section along Penrhos Coastal Park takes in some nice enough coast, for which the cliché of ‘nice’ seems appropriate before crosssing the Stanley Embankment and the Old A5 to Y Fali / Valley. The route continues inland, to cross the estuary of the Afon Alaw before rejoining the coast at Traeth y Gribin and the route finally starts to feel wilder. It doesn’t last as you pass through the manicured and well kept caravan sites at Llanfwrog. From Porth Trefadog, the route does become quiter, passing Porth Trwyn and a few more headlands, before finishing at Porth Swtan / Church Bay. Swtan refers to the thatched and whitewashed cottage next to the carpark which you can visit if it’s open.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 2 Porth Swtan to Cemaes
Distance – 18.5 km, Height Gained – 375 metres, Time – 5-6 hours
This is one of our favourite sections on the Anglesey Coast, with the highlight being just about everything from Porth Swtan as far as Cemlyn Bay – especially Ynys y Fydlyn, Trwyn Cerrigyreryr, the views towards Ynysoedd y Moelrhoniaid / The Skerries and Trwyn y Gader / Carmel Head. 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. From here you can see the Skerries and waves breaking violently onto the jagged teeth at the base of Trwyn Cerrigyreryr.
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 decommissioned nuclear plant at Wylfa in the near distance.The next section of coast to Trwyn Cemlyn and the shingle bar at Cemlyn Bay is rather sedate in comparison.
Here you’ll pass the strangely walled Bryn Aber, and while it looks like a jail, 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 Cemlyn Bay 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 before the final few kilometres down into Cemaes, a small sheltered harbour where tourism has replaced fishing as the main industry.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 3 Cemaes to Amlwch
Distance – 14.5 km, Height Gained – 430 metres, Time – 5 hours
The highlights of day three are Porth Padrig, Dinas Gynfor and Porth Wen. From the beach at Cemaes, It’s only a kilometre or so to the first bay of the day – Porth Padrig with the church of Llanbadrig high on the headland above. If you’re taking it leisurely then you may be interested to know that there’s a vineyard just around the corner, along with a campsite. There’s plenty of climbing on this section, though nothing overly strenuous doing it as a separate section, but at the end of a 30km+ day it would be a different matter!
It begins to feel like proper coastal walking as the narrow path follows clifftops with the breaking waves far below and plenty of roller-coaster headlands to get the legs pumping. Porth Llanlleiana is a worthy first stop for a short day like this one, with it’s narrow cove and disused clay processing plant. A gruelling, but thankfully short pull brings you up to the hill of Dinas Gynfor with it’s ruined coronation tower which is the most northerly point in Wales.
It is then on towards Graig Wen and the bay of Porth Wen which includes an old brick factory. Definitely a spot full of interest for anyone with even a casual interest in industrial archaeology. You’ve got to wonder how long the buildings and chimneys will survive in their present state. From Porth Wen, a few kilometres of decent coastal walking brings you to Porthllechog / Bull Bay and on to Amlwch. Just before you reach Amlwch you’re faced with the old Octel / Great Lakes monstrosity looking like part of the film set of Mordor before arriving at Amlwch Port to finish the section.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 4 Amlwch to Moelfre
Distance – 20 km, Height Gained – 430 metres, Time – 6 hours
The clifftop walking was sustained most of the way with the exception of Traeth Lligwy, and a few decent beaches to boot. The highlight of the day was the golden Traeth yr Ora, and practically all the clifftop walking! From Amlwch Port, the path wends it’s way with as little trouble as possible above the rocky shore, with the landmark of Trwyn Eilian and the lighthouse dominating ahead. There are no obvious bays that stand out along this stretch, but the coastline itself is rugged and provides good walking nevertheless. Within the hour, you’ll be in Porth Eilian, with the elusive lighthouse seemingly no nearer. The northern coast now behind you, you turn the north eastern corner to continue on the east coast towards Traeth Dulas.
Traeth Dulas involves a short detour inland on damp paths, with the opposite side appearing agonisingly close on a low tide, but with the benefit of passng the Pilot Boat pub. It’s then up over a hill and down to Traeth yr Ora which is one of the sandiest and quietest beaches on the trail. That is in contrast to the next beach, Traeth Lligwy which has huge car park, facilities and a cafe.
Moelfre is only as short distance ahead and it’s very own, imaginatively named Island – Ynys Moelfre. Some strange cliff formations are crossed before then, with overhanging cliffs and sections of horizontal beds that have been quarried away in a manner that’s appears at first glance to have been eroded in an unusual manner. This is also the site of the Royal Charter ship wreck that went down on the 26th October 1859 with 450 souls lost (and a handful only surviving). Looking at the rugged shoreline today, you’d give anyone in such a disaster long odds on survival as even if they could swim to shore.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 5 Moelfre to Red Wharf Bay
Distance – 10 km, Height Gained – 160 metres, Time – 2.5 hours
The fifth official section is a bit on the short side, and a fit walker migh be able to tack this section onto day 4. From Moelfre, it’s less than a kilometre to Traeth Bychan’s sandy beach and a couple more to Benlllech. This final section still has some surprises as the path follows a narrow and just sufficiently exposed cliff-top path into the resort. While there’s a gorgeous beach here, it’s busy and a stark contrast to the secluded beaches and coves on the previous sections.
The path to Traeth Coch (Red Wharf Bay) from Benllech is rather non-descript and passes the sewage works (not great at any point and worse still when you’ve just polished off a 99 and all the remaining food in your pack). You’re much better off following the beach around and rejoining the path before the headland of Trwyn Dwlban. A final walk through another huge caravan park and the welcome sight of the Ship Inn marks the end of this leg and the start of a pint or two in the beer garden while admiring the view across Traeth Coch.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 6 Red Wharf Bay to Beaumaris
Distance – 21 km, Height Gained – 390 metres, Time – 7 hour
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 and only beyond the wettest sections does a sign proclaim that the path becomes tidal and that that there’s an alternative!
From here, the coast path used to pass near Bwrdd Arthur, but recent improvements have seen a welcome new section of path open for the next 4 km to Mariandyrys before folowing country lanes and bridleways to Trwyn Du. Opposite, you’ll see Ynys Seiriol (or Puffin Island / Preistholm) which 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 in many respects the least interesting section.
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 the caves and patterns in the boulder clay providing some interest 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. It’s worth making time to visit the castle, do some shopping or have a pint and a bar meal.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 7 Beaumaris to Llanfair PG
Distance – 11 km, Height Gained – 200 metres, Time –25 hours
As previously mentioned, the initial section is underwhelming as it’s mainly road walking all the way into Menai Bridge. That’s hardly surprising considering that this stretch of Y Fenai is more developed than any other on this side. These include gothic hotels, huge detached houses, smaller residences and even a multi-storey apartment block that would look more at home in Benidorm than the Anglesey coast. Even so, thre are glimpses of views towards Y Fenai and Snowdonia.
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 as it provides postcard perfect views of both the bridges. 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! Note that the permissive section through the grounds of Coed Mor (between the bridges) is closed one day a year to prevent access rights from becoming permanent (December 10th).
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 8 Llanfair PG to Niwbwrch / Newborough – Llyn Rhos Du
Distance – 19 km, Height Gained – 185 metres, Time – 5 hours
From Llanfair PG, the coastal path is anything but. The coast here belongs to Plas Coch, and the coastal walker must follow a footpath along the main road and further inland though farmland before emerging finally ar Moel y Don. The stretch to Llanidan is tidal and an inland diversion is in place for those occasions (this diversion isn’t significantly longer). The coastal path then continues through farmland, short sections of country lane and shingle shore before heading inland again towards Niwbwrch.
This final section is a complex navigation through various fields, with a keen eye needed to spot the next waymarker in places. However, the highlight of this section has to be the stepping stones over the Afon Braint. Beware that when the tide is high, these are impassable and there is no alternative route.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 9 Niwbwrch / Newborough to Aberffraw
Distance – 24 km, Height Gained – 211 metres, Time – 7 hours
A total change of scene is literally around the corner. The path now follows dunes and forestry plantations in Newborough Forest and then towards a gloriously wide beach at Llanddwyn. Don’t let the forestry plantations put you off, as this isn’t a dark foreboding forest like many, but much more open. Just be ready to add some time to your walk as the sandy paths can slow you down. In season there’s a cateing van / hut at the main car park, which can be handy. The island of Llanddwyn, with it’s lighthouses and ruined church is one of the highlights of the coastal path and it’s worth making sure you’ve enough time to spend exploring here.
From the village of Malltraeth, the route avoids the coast for the first hour or so as there is no coastal access at the Bodorgan Estate, and doesn’t really pick up until you reach the beach at Aberffraw.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 10 Aberffraw to Four Mile Bridge
Distance – 22 km, Height Gained – 190 metres, Time – 6 hours
From Aberffraw the Anglesey Coastal Path sticks to the coast and soon reaches the church at Cwyfan and another unfortunate diversion inland, albeit a shortish one and the last significant one on the trip. This is another stretch to be avoided at the weekend if you’ve any aversion to noisy walks as the motorsport centre at Ty Croes rather detracts from this section. Once past it, there’s a decent bit of coastal walking before you reach Rhosneigr and what feels like endless beach walking. This is fine in moderation, but is heavy going on a long day especially as the sand continues beyond Rhosneigr as far as Plas Cymyran. You’re also literally a stone’s throw from Ynys Cybi, but you’ll need to walk a good few hours before you reach the opposite shore.
The final section is along the inland straits to Four Mile Bridge where the trail leaves the main island of Anglesey to return to Ynys Cybi for the final two secions. You can also continue along a section of coast path towards Y Fali if you wanted to wak around the entire island.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 11 Four Mile Bridge to Trearddur
Distance – 14.5 km, Height Gained – 180 metres, Time – 4 hours
The penultimate leg of the coastal walk leaves the larger island of Mon and onto the smaller Ynys Gybi (Holy Island) where you started your walk so many days ago. Though the fitter walker might combine the final two sections for a challenging day’s walking. The first proper bit of coast isn’t until Traeth Llydan is reached, but from then on you’re in for a treat. Passing towards Rhoscolyn the path climbs towards the coastguard lookout on Hirfron and the extensive views in all directions.
The rugged coast contunues to impress as you walk towards Trearddur, with rocky coves and arches ( Bwa Gwyn and Bwa Du ) to keep an eye out for. Trearddur is soon reached, and the ruggedness gives way to development.
Anglesey Coastal Path Stage 12 Trearddur to Holyhead
Distance – 19.5 km, Height Gained – 540 metres, Time – 6 hours
From Trearddur, there follows a complex coast of numerous bays and coves which is a pleasure to walk. It’s then around the headland of Penrhyn Mawr and the bay of Abraham’s Bosom before arriving at the fifth lighthouse of the walk (that includes the distant Skerries!) at Ynys Lawd or South Stack.
The Anglesey Coastal Path literally ends on a high as it passes the highest point of it’s 214km along Mynydd y Twr ( Holyhead Mountain). While the official route doesn’t take you to the summit of Mynydd Twr (Holyhead Mountain), it would be rude not to add this to the itinerary as on a clear day you’ll be treated to views of the entire island putting your walk into perspective. It’s then downhill and the end of the walk at Holyhead.