Walk to Mynydd y Twr (Holyhead Mountain) and Ynys Lawd (South Stack)
|5.72 km||286 m|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish:
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Walk to Mynydd y Twr (Holyhead Mountain) and Ynys Lawd (South Stack) Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
- Holyhead Mountain (220 metres)
Walk to Mynydd y Twr (Holyhead Mountain) and Ynys Lawd (South Stack) Details
A steady walk up Mynydd y Twr, Holyhead Mountain that has some pretty rough and steep sections on the descent (if in doubt, return the same way).
The route starts off at the lower South Stack Car park, where parking is free but limited (it gets busy quickly!). This is located at SH210 818 and can be reached from Holyhead by following the signs for South Stack from Holyhead (past the high school).
1 You have two options to start off, the best of which is to follow the coastal path waymarks which descends towards the clifftops. There isn’t much exposure, and the clifftop path from here to Twr Elin provides exceptional views towards Ynys Lawd and Pen-las Rock. There’s even a bench here, but doesn’t leave much room for people to pass when you’re seated! Follow this as far as Elin’s Tower, a white tower that’s unmistakeable.
1a Alternatively, follow the wide track that starts near the disabled parking spots and leads to Twr Elin.
2 Take the steps directly up the hillside, again clearly marked with the coastal path waymark, up to the minor road. We took the path to the right that takes you to the middle car park and the cafe in order to pick up supplies.
3 Continue along the road (whichever route you took above) and when the road ends at a final tiny car park, ignore the sign for Mynydd Twr and instead head on uphill along the coastal path. The path is rather rough, but you soon arrive at an old lookout station with views that make it worth it. We could see the mountains of Wicklow clearly.
5 Mynydd y Twr is clearly visible directly ahead, with people easily picked out on the summit. Keep on the coastal path, which takes you past the radio station buildings and a final climb to the high shoulder above North Stack where you leave the coastal path.
6 There are numerous paths to the summit, but there’s a clear path with steps that is easier than the other path 100m to the east. You only have 50m or so to climb, so you’re soon on the summit, leaving the heather behind for more welcoming grass.
7 The views are breathtaking from here, considering that you’ve only climbed to 220m. We could clearly make out the Wicklow Mountains as well as the Mourne in Ulster. There’s even the remains of a Roman signal tower on the summit that gives the hill its name (twr = tower). If you’re doing this as a prelude to the coastal path, then you can see the entire island and the mountains of Eryri beyond.
8 The descent we took was in a southerly direction and needs some care as it is steep and rough. It flattens out while you’re still high above the easy path, and the obvious route ends at the top of a cliff (which has a right of way crossing it!) Instead, take the route left which snakes it’s way easily enough through low gorse to the main footpath.
9 Follow this path, towards the main radio station building (it looks like a 1970s block of toilets) and you’ll rejoin your earlier route for a short while before leaving it for a tarmac road. The track does descend back to the upper car park (the sign that you ignored earlier) but a more direct route is to follow the footpath that soon veers off parallel to the left of the track. This turns into an old lane (with remains of tarmac just discernable) that takes you directly down to the RSPB Cafe.
10 Follow the lane downhill to the start. It’s well worth visiting the hut circles while you’re there. These are yet another Cytiau’r Gwyddelod – or Huts of the Irish – of which there are at least 3 marked on the OS map for Ynys Cybi with another just across the water on the main island at Ynys Leurad between Y Fali and Four Mile Bridge.