73. Trefor to Caernarfon

This was to be the first leg of  my journey around the Lleyn Peninsular section of the WCP. I drove early to Caernarfon and parked on the Aber foreshore (free) just opposite the castle. There is a footbridge that links the foreshore to the castle, but be aware that it closes overnight and opens at 07:00. I had decided to start my walk from Trefor which meant getting a bus . I walked to the nearby bus station and caught the 7:30 #12 to Trefor – only £2.40.

Yr Eifl

I think I should advise anybody walking this section to be prepared for an awful lot of walking on tarmac, in fact probably about 95% of it. By the time I reached Trefor, the sun was just coming up, catching the towering hill of Yr Eifl. It was a short walk to the A499, where I would spend most of the morning. Parts of the footpath are in fact the ‘old’ A499, which runs alongside the current A499, this meant having a super wide footpath. However, the main road is never far away, and the sea about half-a mile. The road is straight and flat, so you can make good time.

The ‘Footpath’

The first small village I came to was Clynnog-Fawr, here the new road by-passes the village but the WCP carries on down the main high street, offering some respite from the traffic noise. I came across Ffynnon Beuno (St.Beunos Well) which contained in a grade 2 listed enclosure, the water looked a bit ‘manky’ though with green algae abundant.

St Beunos Well

Back on the A499 and some 4 miles later, the WCP heads off down a road to the left towards Dinas Dinlle. Nothing seemed open as I passed through this quite little ‘resort’. As the path approaches Caernarfon airport, the WCP takes a sharp right. I however, had other ideas. I had decided to continue up  the beach and alongside the airfield. I met and spoke at length to a chap walking his dogs. At the tip of the promontory is Fort Belan, now a private residence. I had intended to walk past the Fort and join up with a public footpath which stops abruptly in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, by the time I reached the Fort, sea fog had suddenly blown inshore and it was difficult to navigate. I passed a couple of “private” signs as I cut across to try and find the public footpath. Under the cover of the sea fog I was not challenged, in fact, I have read that rambling groups regularly walk around this promontory. After passing a few World War 2 buildings I found the footpath sign, which advised that land beyond the footpath was private. I rejoined the WCP after about a mile. The next 5 miles was spent walking along country roads, which were not really very interesting.

Caernarfon Castle

I passed through Saron and continued down a road that took me back to the coast. This road would become the Aber Foreshore road, where I had parked. By the time I reached Caerfnarfon the sea mist had cleared. The walk took 5.75hrs.


Distance today = 17 miles
Total distance =   1100 miles

72. Menai Bridge to Caernarfon

Really today was a planned very short amble of only 9 miles with my daughter Nicola. The walk was predominantly on tarmac and for most of the way accompanied by a road. I managed to find a handy little parking spot just by the entrance to the Menai Bridge.

The beautiful Menai Bridge

The first part of the walk was through a wooded area behind the University playing fields. After about a mile we arrived at the newer Britannia Bridge. Slightly older than the original Menai Bridge, the Britannia Bridge was rebuilt in 1970 following a fire. The bridge carries the A5 to Holyhead on an upper tier and a rail track on a lower deck. The upper tier was a later addition and resulted in the 4 large stone Lions guarding both entrances to the bridge no longer being visible from the road.

One of the ‘Lost’ Lions at the Pont Britannia

After passing through a small plantation, the path made an inland diversion due to the National Trust property of Vaynol Park. The path emerged on the main A487 road for a short section. At the roundabout the path follows the road through Y Felinheli. As we arrived in Y Felenheli, the heavens opened, so we took shelter in a covered bus stop until the shower passed.

Looking east up the Menai Strait
The main square in Caernarfon

After re-joining the A487, we walked along an adjacent cycle-way all the way into Caerfarfon. We walked around the Castle, which is wonderfully preserved and well worth a visit. We then sought out the Wetherspoon pub, The Tabarn an Porth, where we had sunday lunch and a pint of Doom Bar. We then caught the #5c bus back towards Bangor. However, the bus did not go near the Menai Bridge so we got off at the hospital and walked about a mile down the hill to the bridge. The Antelope pub sits just by the entrance to the bridge, so we popped in there also for a quick half.

We covered the 9 miles in 2.75.


Distance today = 9 miles
Total distance =   1083 miles

71. Newborough to Menai Bridge

This was to be my final leg on Anglesey and I was looking forward to an easy stroll in this late sunny autumn day.

Stepping stones over the Afon Braint

I arrived early in Menai Bridge town to find the long-stay car park closed.  I tried another car park, this one is also closed also– it was full of fair ground equipment! Anyway, I find a quiet street and save myself £3. I catch the #42 bus and get dropped off right on the path at the roundabout at Pen Lon.

I know the feeling!

Its quite a chilly start but I am soon warming up and heading towards the Menai Stait coastline. I am confronted by a set of huge stepping stones that enable the Afon Braint to be crossed. The sun begins to rise and it gets quite warm as  I walk along a small a tarmac road. I can make out the town of Caernarfon across the Menai Strait, knowing I should be there in two more trips..

Nelson’s statue looking west along the Menai Strait
The double-decker Pont Britannia bridge

Unfortunately, I am not on the coastline long before a big detour inland to avoid the NT property of Plas Newydd and another big property. Not much time spent on the coast in this section! I follow the main A4080 to the outskirts of Llanfair Pwllgwyngll where the path skirts down to the waters edge. I passed Nelsons monument on the tidal part of the strait and climbed up a small hill to a church which has a memorial to the people who died in the building both the old bridge and new Pont Britannia  bridge. The path passes under the Pont Britannia, which is very impressive when viewed from below. The path hugs the coast for a while before climbing back up onto the road, before skirting back down again to the coast as I entered Menai Bridge. Not a very satisfying walk with persistent diversions and detours. I covered the 14 miles in 4.5 hrs.

Distance today = 14 miles
Total distance =   1074 miles

70. Rhosneigr to Newborough

This section involved two walks, a long one and a short one, puncuated by a bus ride! I drove to and parked at the Llanddym Island parking spot in the Newborough Forest. I arrived at 8:30 but  no-one was at the toll booth to take the £4 parking charge. There were many other cars parked, mainly joggers and dog walkers. I asked a lady when I’d parked my car  and she said there was no machine, so at that time you did’nt pay. I did see  when I returned to the car park at about 16:00 a lady locking the toll booth up and leaving.

Rhosneigr in the distance

To get to Rhosneigr I walked towards Newborough along the WCP, when I reached  the A4080, at the Pen Lon roundabout I caught the #42 bus to Aberffarw; where I changed buses and caught the #25 for a short hop to Rhosneigr.

When I arrived in Rhosneigr the first thing I could hear was the noise of engines from the Angelesy Racing circuit some 3 miles away!

Barclodiad y Gawres tomb

The first couple of miles was easy beach and cliff-top walking before I came to my first port of call, the Barclodiad y Gawres, the largest Neolithic tomb in Wales. A metal gate blocks further investigation, but it is sometimes opended for guided tours.

The church of St. Cwyfan on Cribinau

The noise from the motor racing circuit increases as I get closer and the path makes an inland detour to get around the circuit. I see many marshalls, but cannot see any of the action until I emerge at a small bay called Porth China. I can see that motor bikes are being raced, as part of the circuit is now visible. I also noticed the small tidal island of Cribinau, with the 13th century church of St. Cwfan. As the tide was out, I visited the small church. Apparently, the church was once connected to the mainland, but erosion of the boulder clay made it an island. The remaining portion of the island and graves has been protected from further erosion by a stone wall around its perimeter. Unfortunately, the church was locked when I visited. It was kind of strange having motor racing a few hundred meters away, while I was sitting on this lovely tranquil island.

Snowdonia and the Lleyn from Ro Bach beach

I round a small headland and followed the Afon Ffraw into  Aberffraw, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Gwynedd. The Afon Ffraw was tidal, but today I could have simply taken my boots off and walked the 6 steps across. I opted to stay until the bridge and walk back alongside the opposite bank.

After the small beach of Aberffraw Sands the WCP sweeps inland for a large detour around the Bodorgan Estate, which is notable for having very few public footpaths on its Estate. The large detour takes the path directly into another small village, Malltraeth. It was here that attempts were made in the 19th century to reclaim land lost to the sea by building a large wall, The Cob, along which I walked. My next section was Newborough Forest, which is huge , although Forest tracks hold no great appeal to me. After 3 miles of forest walking I emerge onto the beach at Ro Bach. I could walk out to the attractive island of Llanddwyn, but it has been a long day and I am tired. The beach is very busy and crowds are enjoying the late autumn sunshine.

Distance today = 20 miles
Total distance =   1060 miles

69. Trearddur Bay to Rhosneigr

I parked at the free car park at the library in Rhosneigr. I caught the early #25 bus to Caergeiliog. After getting off the bus I had all of 30 seconds before the #4 to Trearddur Bay arrived. It’s not that this is a really frequent service, I was just lucky because my first bus was late.

Looking towards Anglesey Airport at Traeth Llydan

The weather had begun to clear from raining most of the night, to blue clear skies by midday. The walking was very easy along the coast, which was quite flat. I passed close to Rhoscolyn keeping half an eye open for the third of Anthony Garrartt outdoor paintings.

Four Mile Bridge

I arrived at Traeth Llydan and could easily see Anglesey Airport across a tiny water course. However, I was still on Holy Island  and I now had to make a large detour north towards Four Mile Bridge. The route was predominantly on roads and had little of interest to offer. Four Mile Bridge is the name of the village that sits alongside a bridge that connects Holy Island with Anglesey.

Exposed breached old causeway

I cross the bridge and pass a couple of farms. My luck is in at Penrhyn-hwlad where a low tide has exposed an old breached causeway. The causeway was easy to negotiate and saved me about a kilometre of walking around the inlet. I pass under and around the landing beacons and lights and finally around the airfield perimter before walking last couple of miles along beach. Took 4.75hrs to cover the 16 miles.

Looking ahead to Rhosneigr







Distance today = 16 miles
Total distance =   1040 miles

68. Valley to Trearddur Bay

Today’s walk would be interesting in that I would be passing through Holyhead, a place I had visited twice before, the first to get the ferry to Ireland and the second to climb Holyhead Mountain. I would be almost climbing Holyhead mountain today, but not quite. I am not sure why they call it a mountain, at 220m its not even 1000ft high.

Sunrise over Valley

I park at my end destination at Trearddur Bay. I am a bit annoyed at having to park, out of season, when close-by free-parking is not properly signed. Anyway, it is still dark when I catch the 6:13 #4 bus to Valley. Its only a 12 minutes bus ride to Valley and its still dark when I arrive and start walking. I decide to use my head torch, although it is getting light very quickly now. I am treated to a beautiful sunrise.

Ferry terminal at Holyhead

The path winds around the coastal park at Penhros, with the large chimney of the aluminium works ever present. I pass through a residential area of Holyhead before emerging at the entrance to the ferry terminal. I walk towards the train station, passing through and on to an amazing stainless steel and glass bridge which passes over rail tracks and a busy road.

Stainless steel bridge Holyhead

Holyhead or Caergybi is just beginning to wake up as I pass St Cybils churchyard, which is the start/end of the Anglesey Coastal path. I am actually on Holy Island, an island offshore Anglesey, although it has a fixed causeway and bridges. I head towards the rocky area of Holyhead Mountain and begin to climb up a rough track. I pass below the summit of Holyhead Mountain, I can see someone on the summit, I am not inclinded to re-visit the summit. Eventually, I arrive above South Stack lighthouse and look down on the amazing location. I remember coming here as a young undergraduate Geology student at Liverpool University in 1975. I remember watching the sun set over the Wicklow mountains.

The magazine store for explosives at the old quarry

Today I am looking across the sea to a Stena line ferry setting sail for Dublin. After passing South Stack,   the path swings SSW, heading towards lower ground and through fields full of grazing sheep. The final few miles to Trearddur Bay is a combination of road and cliff top walking. The sun is out in full now and it has turned into a lovely day.

South Stack Lighthouse

Made excellent time and did the 16 miles in 4.75 hrs





Distance today = 16 miles
Total distance =   1024 miles

67. Cemlyn Bay to Valley

As I drove to Valley (or Y Fali) I witnessed a beautiful sunrise, with lovely blue skies, although I knew from the forecast it was going to cloud over later on. I parked in a quiet residential street, close to the nearest bus stop on the A5, just before the start of the causeway across to Holyhead.  I caught the #61 8:02 to Tregele.  As with my previous walk I was then faced with a walk of some 1.5 miles down to Cemlyn Bay.

Day-Marks near Carmel Head

On my last trip to Cemlyn Bay I turned right and headed east, today it would be left and west. At the end of Cemlyn Bay is a rather strange house  with huge walls resembling a prison or castle. I later found out these ‘fortifications’ had been built by a Capt. Vivian Hewitt, an aviator, bird watcher and a bit of an eccentric by all accounts.

Ornate wooden kissing-gate at Porth Swtan

I passed two large white ‘Day-marks’ which when aligned warn of an offshore reef. Further navigation aids include the lighthouse on the Skerries, a few miles out. The first objective of the days walk was Carmel Head, which was easily attained, however, on rounding the promontory the geology changed becoming very rocky. Apparently, this is due to Precambrian rocks thrusting over younger Ordovician rocks. The Precambrian gneiss found here is probably the oldest rock in Wales.

Looking across to Holy Mountain and Holyhead

As I rounded the Carmel Head, my whole view changed with views across the bay toward Holy Mountain and Holyhead.  I could see a Stena Line ferry just arriving from Ireland and preparing to berth at Holyhead. It was quite surprising that as I walked along the coast there were frequent warnings of the potential for large bow-waves from the ferries, although I did’nt see any.

Elegant footbridge near Llanfachraeth

Poor signage at Tregafon left me walking on the beach around the headland, which was a nuisance. I made quick progress as it was quite cool as autumn was approaching fast. At Traeth y Gribin, due to a small estuary, I had an inland detour of about a mile. The detour led to an an impressive footbridge which enabled  me to continue on the oppostite banks of the tidal river. As I crossed the bridge I had two rather frisky horses with me for next the mile or so, who thought it was very amusing to come running past me at speed! 16 miles in 5.5 hours.

Distance today = 16 miles
Total distance =   1008 miles