A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick
Having very much enjoyed two coastal routes, circuits of Guernsey and Jersey, my Philadelphia in-laws were keen to continue with a similar type of walking experience and therefore I proposed a multi-staged adventure in northwest Wales – the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path. I thought it would take three trips to complete the entire project – in fact, it took four – and so we began in 2014 and concluded this walk in 2017. The passing scene, we soon discovered, was full of interest and often quite beautiful. Moreover we received a warm welcome from all of our hosts and hostesses as we made our way, in a counter-clockwise direction, around the island.
The Anglesey Coastal Path has many wonderful features and I am happy to recommend it to other walkers. It is hard to offer a comprehensive assertion on its degree of difficulty. It is true that after an initial struggle up the flanks of Mount Holyhead the route adopts much more humane gradients, often dropping down to the shore itself – as it makes its way along the southern and eastern coasts of the island. But after Moelfre, on the northern coast, steep up and down inclines demand far greater energies – with relief coming only when the route works its way down the west coast.
It also has to be noted that some of the stages are lengthy – at least they seemed so to geriatric walkers like ourselves – and there wasn’t always accommodation at the end of each stage. This required use of some pre-arranged taxi pickups, though, in our case, the arrangements were made by Celtic Trails, who booked all of our accommodation and arranged for the movement of our baggage from site to site. It is possible, I suppose, to do your own booking. If you need help in this process you can see suggestions on how to get started in my book A Walker’s Alphabet – Adventures on the Long-distance Footpaths of Great Britain (available directly from the publisher, AuthorHouse, or from Amazon and the other online booksellers). If you are entirely new to the walking experience you will find useful hints on what to bring with you in this volume as well.
The “official” guidebook for this route is Walking the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path (Mara Books) by Carl Rogers. We found this guide to be very useful but there were problems with distances (often underestimated) and with the publisher’s habit of printing text on brightly-colored pages – which made them very hard to read. I also carried with me the two-and-a half-inch-to-the-mile Explorer maps published by the Ordnance Survey for Anglesey (No. 262 – West and No. 263 – East).
Our own progress on the route was not straightforward – I walked with injuries during the first expedition and during the third we had a major disruption due to poor weather. This meant that there were gaps that had to be filled on a number of occasions – and so we did. In the lineup below I have provided a list that follows the route as normally encountered. Links at the end of each section give you a choice between such normal progress and the walk as we actually completed it. The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path is listed as 128 miles in length. Our total was closer to 146; the figures that follow, therefore, are those we registered on phone apps and Fit-Bits and not the “official” ones. You can always let me know how you got on by leaving a message on the Contact Page.
Day 1: Holyhead to Trearddu Bay – 12 miles
Day 2: Trearddu Bay to Four-Mile Bridge – 10 miles
Day 6: Four-Mile Bridge to Rhosneigr – 8.5 miles
Day 3: Rhosneigr to Aberffraw – 5 miles
Day 4: Aberffraw to Lynn-Rhos-Ddu – 12 miles
Day 7: Llyn-Rhos-Ddu to Llanfairpwll – 13.5 miles
Day 5: Llanfairpwll to Beaumaris – 7 miles
Day 8: Beaumaris to Penmon Priory – 6.5 miles
Day 9: Penmon Priory to Pentraeth Beach – 9 miles
Day 10: Pentraeth Beach to Moelfre – 7.5 miles
Day 11: Moelfre to Llaneilian – 13.5 miles
Day 12: Llaneilian to Bull Bay – 5 miles
Day 13: Bull Bay to Cemaes – 6 miles
Day 14: Llanfachraeth to Holyhead – 10.5 miles
Day 15: Cemaes to Church Bay – 11 miles
Day 16: Church Bay to Llanfachraeth – 9 miles