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

Wales Coast Path (Anglesey): Malltraeth to Brynsiencyn

December 28, 2014 · 15 comments

Distance: about 13 miles

Map used: OS Explorer No.262: Anglesey West and 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. 

After a perfectly acceptable though fruitless breakfast at Syn y Mor  it was a most pleasant start to the day to cross the mile long Cob.
The Cob at Malltraeth, photographed from The Wales Coast Path on Anglesey by Charles Hawes

Too early in the day for my wit

On either side, various tidal loving birds were mooching about in the marshes.   The  path meets the car park for Newborough Forest and then heads south, away from the road.

Newborough Forest, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes
One man shuffling up ahead on his morning constitutional was soon passed, then a group of cyclists who were discussing the merits or otherwise of making it a longer ride.
Malltreath to Brynsiencyn-3
As the path turned due west a slim black girl, dressed for competition and  looking very serious burst into view. She was chatting to her mother, who was cycling close behind her; they flashed passed me  and disappeared. The forest is mostly a coniferous plantation though with enough broadleaved trees to make it interesting.  By the track were swathes of Chamaenerion angustifolium (Rosebay Willow Herb) – considered by most gardeners to be a weed but which we use extensively at Veddw.
Rosebay willow herb in Newborough Forest, photographed from The Wales Coast Path in Anglesey by Charles Hawes

This is at the tail-end of its flowering

There were also some nice clumps of Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife) which we also find room for in the garden.
Purple Loostrife in Newborough Forest, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I really ought to use the macro facility more

 After a couple of miles of these pleasant woodland tracks the sounds of the sea persuaded me to head off the path and climb the steep sandy dunes that were depriving me of the sea view. At the top I could see that I had emerged on the far end of  Penrhos beach, deserted apart from a man below me, sunbathing  in the altogether.
Sunbather on Penrhos Beach, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

It’s nice to have the sun on one’s bits

 It might have been considerate but it would not have been easy to retreat and find another point to make my landing. As I contemplated whether I would risk disturbing him he gave his Best Friend a little wiggle and I decided to head straight down and pass him as if he wasn’t there.
Penrhos beach, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Deserted but for the odd nudist and dead jellyfish

You might have thought that after 700 miles or so of walking the coast I would be bored with sandy deserted beaches; not a bit of it. It still feels exciting and a privilege to have these great swathes of the natural environment to myself. There is so much to see; I kept noticing the gelatinous bodies of beached jelly fish.
Jellyfish on Penrhos beach, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I can see a face in it that reminds me of a Dr Who monster

I surmised that, having seen one yesterday for the first time, there must be something about the water in these parts that is especially attractive to them.
Jellyfish on Penrhos beach, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Nature loves to work in symmetry

After nearly a mile of this solitary bliss I saw some people ahead making their way over to Llanddwyn Island, (which is not an island except at the highest tides). The map shows a lighthouse, cross,  tower and the remains of a church on this rocky outcrop – clearly a not to be missed detour.
Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

Some of the paths are made up of crushed sea shells (just saying)

The ruined St Dwynwen’s church is picturesque….
St Dwynwen's Church, Llanddwyn Island, photographed by Charles Hawes

I do hope you notice the carefully framed cross

 ……and the white-washed conical tower of the lighthouse even more so.
Lighthouse on Llanddwyn Island, Anglesaey, photographed by Charles Hawes

I see no lights

On the eastern side of the island (presumably sited there as it would be more sheltered from the predominately westerly winds) is a terrace of tiny Pilots cottages, now housing  a rather good museum cum visitor centre (apart from the fact that there is no one selling ice-cream).
Cottages on Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

A vending machine with ice-cream would be acceptable

Another pretty tower by a harbour overlooks Llanddwyn Bay.
Conical tower on Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

Just when you were hoping for one conical tower, another one comes along

As I made my way back to the mainland  I wondered if anyone in the past had ever thought that the place was being a bit, well, over-developed.
Cross on Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey, photgraphed by Charles Hawes
 A large explanatory board near the beach describes it as “The Island of the Blessed.” Pause for thought. The beach continued for another mile, increasing in human population as I neared a massive car park that served the day visitors. Here I might have stopped for a coffee or ice-cream but having been blessed with a spirit of abstinence I turned my back on such temptations and found the straight a d narrow path again as it followed the east side of the forest.
Newborough Forest, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I never got on with holding hands as an adult

From the path, there wasn’t much to see of the National Nature Reserve to my right that is Newborough Warren. A few horses wandered about but not a sign of rabbits. The car park for the warren visitors has been decorated by puzzling yellow painted metal sculptures.
I see it now! Sheaves of corn (but why?)

Sheaves of corn?  (but why?)

 Following a minor road and a row of houses, the path reaches the A4080 and then turns right down a track by a chicken factory (n.b. there was little cafe just before the turning). The track become a grass path leading to two properties marked on the map as Troes -yr- afon and Glan -yr-afon.
 Malltreath to Brynsiencyn-27
Passing between the cottages the track then reaches the River Braint, where I was faced with some grand stepping-stones.

Steppoing stones across the River Braint, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Requiring a bit of a leap – making them great fun

 The path follows the riverbank towards the village of Dwyran but heads south-east before reaching it, passing by  some fairly rough fields before joining a minor road leading towards  the Menai Strait. It stops short of the waterside but still affords a super view towards Snowdonia’s mountains…..
View to Snowdonia across the Menai Strait  photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes
… and to Caernarfon.
View to Caernarfon across the Menai Strait, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes
After a short dog leg it does  then reach the Strait and requires a brief walk along  a rough pebbly beach.
Menai Strait photographed from The Wales Coast Path on Anglesey by Charles Hawes

Not so much a beach as a foreshore?

I had decided to break my abstinence at the Mermaid Inn but sadly this has been converted to a private house.
The Mermaid Inn, Menai Strait, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

People just don’t drink enough in pubs these days

The path adopts a road which passes Foel Farm Park, offering no end of oral temptation.

Foel Farm Park, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

There’s a point in a day where the desire to reach your destination outweighs even chocolate opportunities

Further entertainment was on offer from a Sea Zoo or a visit to a salt manufacturer..

Entrance to Halen Mon, photograpjed fromn The waleds Coast Path on Anglesey by Charles Hawes

Yes, even this had a cafe

…… but I pressed on, leaving the coast and the path and headed inland for Brynsiencyn. Another of Anglesey’s very dull villages, I did finally allow myself an ice-cream from its shop and bought some sweeties.

My bed and breakfast, Ardudwy was situated at the far end of the village. A note pinned to the door promised an imminent return of my landlady but her husband pulled up a few minutes later, let me in, and launched into his life story, the offered cup of tea soon forgotten (by him, at least) .  Beryl arrived shortly after her ex-policeman husband (who had been involved in many a murder) and showed me my room (not en suite or en basin even but next to the bathroom).

After a nice snooze and a shower I was ready for a pint. The  Groeslon Hotel is a jolly place with friendly staff, a clean-cut styling and does what genuinely seemed to be home cooked food. Which I accompanied with a couple of good hand-pulled pints, natch and a whisky chaser. I thought I’d earned it.




{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin December 28, 2014 at 8:40 am

Excellent post, and you’re so near to the end of the path? Whatever will you do next?


Charles December 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Thanks. Still a way to go, though. The East coast of Anglesey and then the North Wales coast through to Deeside! Should finish some tine in 2015, though.


Paul Steer December 28, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Another beautiful part of the Welsh coast – and with poetry – nature loving symmetry – a man wiggling his Best Friend, and a visit to the Church of the Patron Saint of Love! The best yet Charles.


Charles December 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Yes, a lovely walk. But thanks for the high praise!


Julia December 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Oh, very pleasant apart from the installations in the car park that presumably received ‘funding’ – god help us . I don’t know why but I feel that I’m in a time warp with these later posts which isn’t a bad experience – quite surreal. Carry on Charles.


Charles December 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Yes, they are quite monstrous! Am happy to provide a relatively drug-free, time warped, surreal experience for as long as possible. But maybe the magic will wear off once I am back on the mainland?


Adam Hodge December 29, 2014 at 5:35 am

Sadly The Groeslon Hotel is closed and boarded up ! No more well pulled pints !


Charles December 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

That is sad and depressing news. The pub did feel quite different culturally from its environment. Perhaps the local inhabitants prefer getting their food from the the chippy and their booze from the Spar.


David Marsden January 3, 2015 at 11:48 am

I’m on a life mission (at least whilst walking) to help pubs stay in business. Good for them – less so for my belly. Beautifully framed cross (I noticed), less impressed with your friend’s friend. Pixelation in future? D


Charles January 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm

You are a Good Man. Publicans the length and breadth of the country will cry out ” Here is Dave the Foot, he has come to save us”.
Lets be honest, you zoommed in on the Best Friend and found it wanting. Is that not A Good Thing?


David Marsden January 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Dave the Foot? I rather like that. I shall have a tee-shirt made. And yes, perhaps it was a good, small, self affirming ‘thing’ but it still wanted pixellation. Charles, I was having my breakfast for goodness sake.


John January 3, 2015 at 8:28 pm

If you will excuse the butting in, I honestly cannot see what all the fuss is about. OTOH, I did note that Charles studiously avoided any mention of the reaction when he jumped down onto the sand next to the attachment to the aforementioned hard to see item.


Charles January 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

I was looking the other way


Colin Price December 6, 2015 at 7:42 pm

You would have noticed that the tide was close to the top of the Afon Braint stepping stones. They are well covered at a high spring tide. The ACP route description does now warn that you need to consult a tide table, after I commented on this.


Charles December 7, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Good for you. Yes, tides are very tricky sometimes on the Path and can lead to a lot of extra miles. I seem to have been lucky and usually have found the low tide.


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Copyright Charles Hawes (2012)