Post image for Wales Coast Path (Anglesey): Brynsiencyn to Menai Bridge

Wales Coast Path (Anglesey): Brynsiencyn to Menai Bridge

January 4, 2015 · 17 comments

Date walked: 1st August 2014

Distance: about 8 miles

Map used: OS Explorer No.263: Anglesey East

At the start of these walks on Anglesey I flew from Cardiff to Anglesey Airport near Holyhead on the excellent Citywing service. They have lost the contract since!


I had stayed last night at Ardudwy bed and breakfast on the far side of Brynsiencyn. Although Menai Bridge was only an easy 8 miles away I would then need to get a bus back to the airport for a 4pm flight so I had requested breakfast at 8am.  It was an exceptional breakfast to0. I was delighted to be offered a bowl of fresh blueberries and there was fruit on offer to take with me on the walk.

As Derek The Weather had predicted it was raining. Quite hard. So  with waterproofs and gaiters in place I was re-tracing my steps through the rather dreary village by 9.  A  track opposite the Groeslon Hotel (nice place and is sadly closed now) headed for the Menai Strait and re-united me with the coast path at Llanidan House. The official map for the Wales Coast Path gives you a choice here between a minor road or a beach walk for the next 3/4 mile. The tide was in and I was getting wet anyway, so I opted for the firmer surface of the road.  Across the rough field on the other side of the strait I had a murky view of  Y Felinheli (see my post from Caernarfon to Bangor) .

View to Y Felinheli across the Menai Strait, photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Not a great pic I know but the best I could do.

A half a mile  from where the two routes converge I was faced with another split.  Checking with the map I couldn’t see why the route was shown to the right as I found that it was just heading for a jetty at Moel-y-don.

Official Anglesey Coast Path sign photographed by Charles Hawes

On a wet day, this was a bit irritating

The path turns away from the coast and takes a minor road north-west towards the A4080. On a fine day and with more time I might have had a look at the church by West Lodge.

Church at the end of drive of West Lodge, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I failed to find out the name of it, sorry

The road passes the entrance to Plas Coch (a posh caravan park with a spa and fancy house) and then reaches the busy A4080.  I must have missed the sign telling me to go straight across the road and I had not updated my map on which the coast path had come to a halt. So in my ignorance I turned right, writing a letter of complaint in my head to Natural Resources Wales. But it was my bad.

The entrance to Plas Newydd was about half a mile on the right.

Entrance to Plas Newydd photographed by Charles Hawes

Sod the Whistler or the garden, they think this is their best selling point?

I knew from when I had visited to photograph for Discovering Welsh Gardens (see how subtly I got that in) that their cafe was close to the entrance so I decided to pop in for a cup of coffee.  Regrettably they did not have a copy of the book in the shop, so heres’ a pic of their urinals.

Brynsiencyn to Menai Bridge-7

I did get onto the path about half a mile later as a gate on the north side of the road to Llwyn Onn showed me how it had been intended that I avoid the road walk.  But now the official route does follow the road, albeit with a stone wall dividing one from the other.

Wales Coast apth next to the A4080 on Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

There was a whole day like this on the Hadrian’s Wall path

I provided some interest for some sheep as I trudged along.

My sheep shot of the day

My sheep shot of the day

Plas Newydd’s exclusion zone finished just before the village of  Llanfair­pwllgwyn­gyllgo­gery­chwyrn­drobwll­llanty­silio­gogo­goch and here the path heads for the coast again. There was a seaweed- covered little harbour at Pwll Fanogl and shortly afterwards a private pier with a rather neglected and curious stone building at its shore-side end.

Building on pier near Pwll fanogl photographed from The Wales Coast Path on Anglesey by Charles Hawes

Must have been cosy with a fire in

The path then follows a narrow ledge by the seaweed covered shore, giving me, though the rain, a murky view of  Britannia Bridge.

View to Menai Bridge from near Nelson's statue, photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Better than walking on the beach

I did need to get onto the slippery beach in order to approach the statue of Nelson commemorating his fall at Trafalgar that stands by the water, but it’s always fun popping seaweed.

Brynsiencyn to Menai Bridge-19

The path heads inland now and passes through the churchyard of St Mary’s parish church.

St Marys Church near Llanfair PG, photographed from the Wales Coast Path on Anglesey by Charles Hawes

Still raining, as you can see

I was very pleased to see some gravestones carved with the weeping tree that I have been noticing on on off in north Wales.

Gravestone in St Mary's parish church, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

This is not the most elegant rendition I have seen of the tree

Also of interest, and which I had a good look at despite the rain, is a memorial to those that lost their lives in the building of the Britannia  Bridge.

Britannia Bridge memorial, St Mary's churchyard, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

Memorial plaque to those who died building the Britannia Bridge, photographed by Charles Hawes

(and, so as not  to waste space, some others).

emorial to accountant for the BritammiaBridge, photographed by Charles Hawes

From the church, the path passes underneath the Britannia Bridge. Opened in 185o, it was built to just take the railway line but was adapted to also take road traffic in 1980; it was a noisy but fascinating place to be (and it was dry).

Underneath the Britannia Bridge, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

This was taken though the fence.

After a mooch around I had a look at the lions (which are at both ends but not visible from the road).

Four fat lions
Without any hair
Two on this side
And two over there

(John Evans 1826 -1888  possibly not Wales’ greatest poet)

The path descends to the base of one of the main supporting pillars…..

The Britannia Bridge, Anglesey photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Fantastic to be so close up to such engineering

….. and then turns left, passing though a narrow strip of woodland at the water’s edge. Fields follow the wood and the view now is to the Menai Bridge – an altogether more elegant construction  than its younger sister.

The Menai Bridge from near the Britannia Bridge, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

A terrible pic I know but needs must.

Entering the town was a confusing business.  I kept to the road passing the Royal Waitrose.

Waitrose in Menai Bridge, Photographed by Charles Hawes

I have it on good authority that Kate shopped here.

The path seems to find another way to the bridge. Either way I reached a Wales Coast Path sign pointing over the bridge to Gwynedd.

Wales Footpath sign from Menail Bridge to Gwynedd, photographed by Charles Hawes

What would you have done?

I was on the other end of the bridge in June, as I walked to Bangor. I’ve already skipped a few miles (and added a few!) of the path to date as you know. It wasn’t a difficult decision not to walk over the bridge twice. I made my way down the hill into town in search of the bus stop.

I found the stop. And a public toilet that enabled me to decently get out of my wet things and into my glad rags. Next to the toilets was the library so I went in there to check on the bus timetable and was greeted by Discovering Welsh Gardens facing outwards on a shelf by the door.

Discovering Welsh Gardens on display in Menai Bridge library, photographed by Charles Hawes.

What joy!

The bus ride through Anglesey’s interior only served to remind me what an architecturally god-forsaken place the island is; and its landscape isn’t much to write home about either. So if you intend to visit, my advice is to stick to its wonderful coast.

The airport terminal building was empty but for the three staff when I arrived an hour before my flight was due. The TV was bringing News of Fresh Disasters (that’s a very old joke for Anne), but I had my phone to play with. The departure lounge was poor on the people watching front; there were six of us on the flight back to Cardiff.

Just to make me feel at home it was raining when we got off the plane.

Citywing flight from Anglesey to Cardiff, photographed by Charles Hawes



{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Neil January 4, 2015 at 9:28 am

An interesting read, but not a walk I regret missing… Get enough rainy walks here… Looking forward to the North Coast.

But, hey… FRISBEE GOLF…! 🙂


Charles January 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Yes indeed, makes you want to drive up to North Wales this minute doesn’t it? Sod the Whistler, show me the Frisbee. Or maybe the NT are rolling it out at all its attractions.


Anne Wareham January 4, 2015 at 11:08 am

Oh Kate shopped there, did she? Well so did I !!! (and you, actually) No mention. huh. Still, forgiven because of the Alvar Lidell joke… Xxx


Neil January 4, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Yes, I’m also a bit put out that you didn’t mention that I’ve never ever shopped there….


Charles January 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

I hate to break it to the two of you, but you are not Royalty.


julia fogg January 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Splendid urinals and the rest of course


Charles January 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

You’d expect nothing less from the NT of course.


Paul Steer January 4, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Good to see your book on the shelf above Monty’s – but I fear that’s just due to alphabetics (invented that word). I too liked the urinals and the wet lion with small ferns under his paws.


Charles January 4, 2015 at 4:48 pm

TBH I didn’t even notice Monty’s book!
I like the Lions best, I think.


John January 4, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Now really, old chap! The chance photo of public nudity is one thing but hanging around in the gents with your camera risks you getting arrested. Especially if you suddenly throw a frisbee and shout “catch”! You are not filming Dr Who you know!*

Of course, Graffeg knew what they were doing when they made DWG just too wide to fit upright on standard library bookshelves. The shape essentially forces a full frontal display (and you have amply demonstrated you like photographing full frontal displays).

*A scene in series 1 of the Dr Who reboot which involved a meeting between 2 females in some imposing room was actually filmed in the gentlemen members’ toilet in the former Glamorgan County Hall. Puts the subterranean Hayes Island loos to shame!


Charles January 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Less of the old.
I thought I might move into glamour photography.
Who would throw a Frisbee in a toilet?
Graffeg like this size of book – they make special stands fore them so that places like the Millenium Centre house a whole raft of their books.


Neil January 4, 2015 at 11:10 pm

I can’t recall just how many years I’ve been pointing out to you that I’m a dab hand at applying glamour make up powder and holding light softening diffusers !!!


Charles January 5, 2015 at 6:36 pm

I had my first pic published in The Times in 1999. I think it was about then that you started encouraging me to go into glamour.


Cassie January 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Really enjoyed this! My Boyfriend and I decided to walk to Menai Bridge this weekend as we live nearby but have never done it on the coastal path but had the same trouble! as we didn’t see any sign into the field we got as far as Llanfairpwll! Hopefully we can follow this now 🙂 have you been on any other walks nearby?


Charles January 12, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Hiya. Glad its not just me that misses signs! Actaully I have done some walking from Menai Bridge anti-clockwise along the Coast Path. But am going back in April to do the whole of the section from Menai to Holyhead anti-clockwise.


Colin Price December 6, 2015 at 7:33 pm

The last post I caught and responded to was south of Carmarthen, where I had experienced deep South Wales snow early in 2013. Welcome to North Wales’s heavy rain! I walked this stretch, in this direction, a few weeks ago, and just managed to get through the gate at Pwllfanogl before it was locked for the night (on a previous, clockwise circuit I’d arrived too early in the morning, and had to climb over a rather daunting wall). The church near Moel-y-don is dedicated to St Edwen. I have a nice picture of it at dawn, from my first circuit of the island, should you wish to see it. I’m just about to send off another batch of comments to both Anglesey’s Footpaths Officer, and the responsible person from Natural Resources Wales. It seems that they did take some notice of the last batch – the route descriptions for the ACP have changed in line. Also the 30,000 words of comments on the WCP seem to have triggered some changes, including of route. I’m just going to look at your previous post. Better late than never.


Charles December 7, 2015 at 7:19 pm

Thanks for all these comments and observations. That is really good of you to be sending in comments to the footpath officers. I did do quite a bit of that in the early days but have been a bit lazy of late. I will do this again in the future though as it is good for all of us using the footpaths. Hope you enjoy the other posts.


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