Post image for Wales Coast Path: Cemaes to Church Bay

Wales Coast Path: Cemaes to Church Bay

August 9, 2015 · 20 comments

Date Walked: 14th April 2015

Distance: about 11 miles:

Map used: OS Explorer 262 – Anglesey West

A bag was being transferred between accommodations by Anglesey walking Holidays. They charged £16 a day to transfer one bag (their minimum charge, which would have covered two bags).

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I had stayed last night at Bryn Padrig Bed and Breakfast and very pleasant it was, too. I made no note about breakfast which is not a bad sign  as I am wont to complain here if I find breakfasts lacking.

Walking back down the High Street I passed the Stag Inn where I had enjoyed a couple of very nice pints and an excellent steak pie last night. The good people of Cemaes have made a novel feature of a large redundant buoy which used to mark the Harry Furlong Rocks at nearby Trwyn Cemlyn where many a ship had been wrecked.

The Harry Furlong buoy in Cemaes, photographed from the Wales Coast path on Anglesey by Charles Hawes

The Lobster cages complete the sea-side theme don’t you think?

The Caemesites (supported by the EU, local council and the Welsh Government) have also made the most of their resources by creating a little rock heritage trail with different rock types glued to occasional plinths along the path.

Heritage stone trail, Cemaes, photographed on the Wales Coast Path in Anglesey by Charles Hawes

I reckon that glue must be top class to have withstood the vandals

The coast is very rocky around here; no sandy beaches  until the end of the day.

View to the Wylfa Nuclear Power Station from Near Cemaes, photgraphed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

In my excitement about getting up close to the Wylfa Power Station I inadvertently made a short cut and missed out Wylfa Head, where there is a local nature reserve. The path goes through a wood where much clearing had taken place and where homeless birds may find a safe haven in boxes attached high up several decapitated trees that have been left standing.

Wood near Wylfa, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

We are very good in this country for making homes for clueless birds.

I got a bit confused about the route in the wood but a flight of expensively built steps I came across had to climbed come what may.

Steps leading to the Wylfa power station viewing point, photographed by Charles Hawes

Not much used I suspect

And I was glad I did, as they were clearly intended to offer the prime viewing point of the power station.

The Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, Anglesy, photographed by Charles Hawes

Really interesting colour scheme. Would love to have been in on that discussion

 This power plant has been generating electricity for 44 years and even running at half-throttle (one reactor is permanently shut down) it can supply enough electricity for 20% of Wales’ consumption.  The plant is due to close finally at the end of 2015, but I wouldn’t be surprised if its life gets extended further and another may be built on the site.

Retracing my steps, I scrambled down through the woods to the perimeter road, somewhat in awe of this massive feat of engineering.

The Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, Anglesy, photographed by Charles Hawes

I suspect there are some countries where walking around a Nuclear Power Station taking photos would get you arrested

 It was all very quiet. Just a bit of a hum from the transformers.

The Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, Anglesy, photographed by Charles Hawes

The path crosses the approach road to the plant and follows a  rough perimeter track to give the walker a good view of it’s south side….

The Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, Anglesy, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

….. before heading back to the coast at Porth Y Pistyll

Porth y Pistell, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

After a mile or so of this easy walking by the low and rocky coast the very elegantly sweeping Cemlyn Bay appeared.

Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

A very fine curve, indeed

Pebble beaches are hard work to walk on so I kept to the path that uses the shingle bar that separates the bay from a large lagoon, admiring the occasional sea-kale plant that had managed to  establish itself in the pebbly bank.

Sea Kale at Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Why this precise spot?

An island has been made in the lake where hundreds of noisy nesting terns (complaining about my presence, no doubt) had been given little houses to live in by generous ornithologists.

Cemlyn Bay Nature Reserve, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

In fact the lagoon was the made by an aviator called  Captain Vivian Hewitt in the 1930’s who made his home in Bryn Aber at the far end of the lake, protecting it by a massive brick wall that gives the place the feel of a fortress.

Bryn Aber, Cemlyn Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

You might think it a bit bloody ugly

Just passed the house there is a memorial celebrating the 150th anniversary (in 1978) of establishing a lifeboat on Anglesey (though why then, and here I did not discover).

Lifeboat memorial, Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Spot the reflection of my flash? My bad.

A gentle climb from here provides another view of the power station…..

View of Wylfa power Station from near Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

….before the path descends to the bay known as Hen Borth where a shipwrecked foreign youth in the C18th was said to have great skill as a bone-setter.

Hen Borth, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Sheep pic of the day

The next mile or two belongs to the National Trusts Mynachdy estate which extends to Carmel Head.

View to Carmel Head, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

In the distance I could see three intriguing white structures. The approach was across fields, once again populated by frisky cattle who had heard of my visit and did not want to miss sight of this hiking celebrity.

Cattle on Carmel Head, Angklesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

From my evidence, cattle like me more than sheep.

They (and their mates) would have wanted to have followed me but a single strand barbed wire fence frustrated them and they had to content with mooing me a loud “goodbye”.

Cattle on Carmel Head, Angklesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Ok, that’s quite enough soppy animal talk – Ed

The path took a muddy dip in the land crossed by a little wooden bridge …..

Approach to carmel Head, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Those naughty cattle had made it muddy ( Oi, I said that was enough – Ed)

….before rising again to bring me close to these unique monuments known as the Three White Ladies.

One of the Three Ladies, Carmel Head, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

One off – white lady

White only from a distance, these stone structures were built in the 1860s as navigation aids, warning (when lined up from the sea) of a shallow reef.

One of the Three Ladies, Carmel Head, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It’s not very lady-like, is it?

Two are on the mainland, the third is situated on West Mouse island, half a mile out to sea. I thought them quite beautiful.

One of the Three Ladies, Carmel Head, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I thought you might like one more view of the power station

Just passed the Ladies, was a chimney of  an old copper mine and a ruined building.

Chimney of an old copper mine on Carmel Head, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Yes, it is slightly wonky

I was surprised that it is possible to get inside the chimney.

Chimney of an old copper mine on Carmel Head, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Flash is very useful sometimes.

The path curves round Carmel Head, rising to a couple of hundred feet and giving a great view out to the islands known as The Skerries a couple of miles off-shore.

The Skerries, photographed from The Wales Coast Path, Anglesey, by Charles Hawes

Near the shore, the occupants of a single yacht were enjoying the breeze.

Yacht off Carmel Head, Anglesey, Photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I should have given them a wave

This next wild and rocky mile felt rather wonderfully isolated and I had it to myself.

Coast near Carmel Head photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Ahead was the headland of Yns y Fydlyn, only really an island at high tide; the outline of Holyhead mountain in the distance showed me that I did not have that far to go to complete my circuit of the Anglesey Coastal Path.

Yns y Fydlyn, Anglesey photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

The path drops down to a the little Lyn y Fydlyn, next to small wood.

Lyn y Fydlyn, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

A nice spot to camp, I thought, though I was quite looking forward to my next bed for the night.

Lyn y Fydlyn, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

 The last couple of miles of the day were a very pleasant continuation of this easy walk alongside the low cliffs.

Wales Coast Path, near Church Bay, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

These were quite dramatic at times…

Wales Coast Path, near Church Bay, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

….but did not have any taxing gullies or deep inlets to cross and I was soon looking down onto the sandy beach of Porth Swtan, or Church Bay for the English.

Church Bay, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I’ll settle for Church Bay

There is a nice little shop and cafe on the cliff-top above this obviously popular beach, though today only a few people were around.

Church Bay, Anglesey, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I had an ice-cream, natch.

I was staying at the Loft at Pen-y-Graig, which is about half a mile from the beach, following a minor road north. I passed the Lobster Pot restaurant, which looks very ordinary from the outside but came highly recommended – besides there wasn’t anywhere else to eat in the area.

The loft is part of a small complex of buildings and Victoria and her husband live in one of them. She was very welcoming and took me across the yard to the building that contains the loft. It was a charming place that I loved as soon as we started up the flight of stone steps that leads to the upper floor. Inside the bedroom  (chilly and a little gloomy but simply and nicely furnished)  was to the right of a landing. To the left, a spacious living cum kitchen with a bathroom off one corner.

The Loft at Pen-y-Graig, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

That waste bin spoils the effect somewhat

I immediately wished I was staying a week. Victoria had laid a table for tomorrows breakfast but I declined her offer of bringing me a full cooked breakfast, instead taking up the treat of some ducks eggs which I would cook myself.

The Loft at Pen-y-Graig, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes

A loaf of bread and ample butter meant that I had the treat of tea and toast with plenty left for the morning.  I had arrived in good time so I had time to shower, unpack and relax before walking back down to the Lobster Pot.

I am not a very fishy person when it comes to food, but given that fish was its speciality I waded in, choosing a Crab Mornay, followed by Turbot in a white wine, saffron and shallot sauce. Both were delicious. I accompanied the date and walnut sponge with a glass of Muscat and felt thoroughly treated as I ambled back, still in daylight, to the Loft.

There was an electric heater but it was struggling slightly to warm the room so I completed my evening of treats by putting a fire in the wood burning stove, curled into the sofa and wished that Anne was with me.

The Loft at Pen-y-Graig, Anglesey, photographed by Charles Hawes***************

I will be walking my last leg of the path from Bangor to Chester from  August 10th, finishing at Chester on August 17th. From what I gather the path just stops (or starts rather) somewhat unceremoniously by the canalised River Dee just south of the Sealand Industrial Estate. I say this just in case you fancy meeting me with banners, flags and cartloads of Champagne. I shall tweet my progress on the last day. 

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian Warburton August 9, 2015 at 10:37 am

Hi Charles, Re The White Ladies, I was going to mail this link yesterday but I see you have already added a description!!!! http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/A_heritage/Lighthouses/LG2_EW/White_ladies_sea_mark.htm

Regards
Ian

Reply

Charles August 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Thanks Ian! All contributions welcome.

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John August 9, 2015 at 10:39 am

Only a week between posts! We are fortunate though I wonder whether my suggestion to Anne that you could be gainfully employed cutting the hedges every other week is relevant? At risk of being boring, nice pics (again!). The discussion about Wylfa went something like “In 2015 this guy will be walking past and we need to give him [a] an excuse for going the wrong way (as usual) and [b] something to talk about so let’s pick a paint colour that will blend in with the vegation in season (and is currently on offer cheap in B&Q)”.

The memorial shows a quirk of Welsh (which is why translation can be difficult) in that the Welsh actually says “0ne hundred years and a half”, avoiding the use of “canrif” for century. “Canrif a hanner” would make more sense.

Can’t make North Wales for your climax, sorry, but will christen my new watering can “Charles” in tribute.

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Charles August 9, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Hmm. You’ll give me delusions of grandeur at this rate! Interesting about your translation. I am deeply honoured about having a watering can named after me, thanks.

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Anne Wareham August 9, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Cows, now is it? And you are blogging far too often – when will you ever have time foe anything else? Huh.
XXX

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John August 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Well, I was thinking that you could ascend a ladder with a hedgetrimmer whilst Charles took photographs. On the other hand, the graceful curves of the hedges should be preserved. And you need to allow for the fact that Charles is, by now, suffering from Aubrac absence so any old cow will do!

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Anne Wareham August 9, 2015 at 10:21 pm

Yep. Lost all discrimination.

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Charles August 10, 2015 at 8:46 am

It’s true. I miss the Aubracs, though they didn’t love me as much as Fresians.

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Paul Steer August 9, 2015 at 9:06 pm

I will miss this coastal ramble, there is something rather hopeful about walking next to the sea – the empty horizon – possibilities of new experiences beyond it. The sight of the little yacht in full sail sort of lifts the spirit. I hope the weather is bright for the last leg. See you on Wednesday morning !

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Charles August 10, 2015 at 8:45 am

Well, we’ll just have to lift your spirits and find new experiences in the hills! Next stop The Cambrian Way. But first there’s another week to do on the North Wales seaside (packs waterproofs).

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Ruth Livingstone August 10, 2015 at 7:40 am

Very much enjoyed your descriptions of Anglesey. Will definitely have to include it on my round-the-coast itinerary. The plinths with the rocks and descriptions are a great idea.

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Charles August 10, 2015 at 8:51 am

Yes, you must include it. Lots of great days.

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Anne Wareham August 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Sounds a familiar dynamic!

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Kevin "the Yank" August 14, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Charles & Anne – The Mrs & I are in Little Haven tonight, still on target to be in Veddw a week from Sunday. We gave a hearty “huzzah” and “hoorah for Charles Hawes” this morning as we stumbled up and down the wet & rocky path from Marloes in our wonderful Hiking Boots!! ?

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Charles August 15, 2015 at 5:42 pm

I am sure I heard the hoorah above the noise of the waves crashing onto the Flintshire coastal defences. Looking forward to your visit. Come after 4.30 pm and we can have tea and a bikki. (Don’t tell everyone)

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Kev "the Yank" August 18, 2015 at 5:57 pm

My lips are sealed!!

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Kevin The Yank August 22, 2015 at 10:06 am

Eastbound somewhere on the Irish Sea… Still adhering to our itinerary. The Mrs is reading about a Bad Tempered Gardener, & I am playing Candy Crush. Guess who the intellect is in this team…

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Charles August 22, 2015 at 2:13 pm

See you tomorrow!

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Alistair Hare December 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm

I have recently changed my domain name. Can you please change the Link for Porth y Pistyll to :

http://beachguide.wales/northwales/porthpistyll.php

Thanks

Alistair Hare

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Charles December 17, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Done – I think!

Reply

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