Author Topic: Anglesey Coast path trip report  (Read 1682 times)

chappers

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Anglesey Coast path trip report
« on: 19:12:17, 11/07/11 »
As some of you may be aware my wife and dog, lola have just completed the Anglesey Coast Path, we took 13 days and 12 nights with a mixture of camping and B and B.
 
Firstly I would reccomend the ACP to anyone it is well waymarked and i would say probably 80% off road, with only the odd bit on roads with any traffic and that was mostly due to our modifications to find accomodation that would take the dog.
 
Generally Anglesey is very rural and whilst that may seem a disadvantage with regards to supplies , it turned out to be quite the opposite, with most villages having a half decent village shop or two (spar etc).
One thing to be aware of is that many places stop serving food at about 8.30 to 9pm
The scerery is fantastic for virtually the whole route with some fantastic views over to Snowdonia and the Lleyn peninsula.
 
Day 1 Holyhead to Trearddur Bay 10.5 miles
 
I would like to say that day 1 dawned bright and sunny but unfortunately we left LLanfair Bach campsite in a mist that was almost bordering on drizzle and a pretty strong breeze hit uss as soon as we hit the coast.
We marched on into Holyhead both commenting on how easy we felt with the loads we were carrying and a spring in our step. A trip to the top of Holyhead Mountain in a howling gale did little to dampen our spirits and a quick stop at the top for a quick smoke and water stop and we were down the other side heading for South Stack lighthouse here we huddled  behind a small wall out of the wind and ate our lunch trying to stop Lola going mad and barking at the seagulls hovering over the cliff edge.
The afternoons walking gave us some respite from the wind and some fantastic veiws over to our ever nearing destination about 2 miles out from Trearddur we started to really feel the weight of our packs and the last mile or so along the road really was a hard slog to the b and b we stayed in for the night.
For a first day I think we did OK covering the 10.5 miles in about 6 hours including a stop for lunch and over 3000ft of ascent
 
Our arrival at Morranedd soon turned to chaos when the owners husband George tried to sort out our accomodation, after having to phone his wife he told us we were in room 4 so I told him we would pop out for a fag and then come in and fill in our booking card, in the mean time an Australian couple turned up and he thought that the husband was me and so got them to fill out a card for room 4 and sent them up .My wife , me and the dog then bundled up into room 4 to find the the Austarlian guy laid out on the bed.
 I popped back down stairs to explain this to George who by this point was confused beyond belief and admitted he usually left everything to his wife.
George however was brilliant and made our stay at Morranedd a hoot he was like a character out of a 1930s music hall and kept bursting into song and asking us pointed questions always with the add on "we need to know these things you, know".
Breakfast was great with george asking us what we thought and how we had slept, with the now customary "we need to know these things, you know".
 
Day 2 Treaddur to Valley 11 miles
 
Day 2 did dawn bright and sunny and this is how it stayed for virtually the whole two weeks
We set off and after a couple of hours it became apparent Luci was struggling as she was lagging behind all the time and she complained of have a cricked neck, it took us nearly 3 hours to cover 3 miles at which point I had to take her pack off of her for the next 3 miles until lunch.
Once again the scenery was fantastic on high cliffs and our descent down to our lunch spot on a small sandy beach was  particularly scenic despite the roaring jets over head from RAF Valley.
 
Luckily lunch perked Luci up (I think she was dehydrated and needed the fuel that lunch provided) and we made the final 3 miles to 4 mile bridge in about an hour.
I must admit the final couple of miles along the road into Valley really were a struggle in the heat and we had to make quite a few stops as the dog was also struggling( I think she was still feeling the effects of a bout of kennel cough she had had the previous few weeks)
soon the welcome site of the Valley Hotel , came into veiw and it was straight to the bar for a well deserved couple of pints before even heading up to our room, where all three of us flopped down on the bed exhausted.
 
 
Day 3 Valley to Rhosneiger 6.5 miles
 
Day 3 again dawned a scorcher and as we didn't have far to go we had a leisurely breakfast and a bit of a late start. Owing to the heat that was probably a mistake and it wasn't long before Luci's neck worsened again and I was carring both packs again and pretty soon the dog was lagging too. It was a real shame as we didn't really appreciate the lovely veiws over the expanses of sand, I had started to develop blisters from carrying both packs and I think we were all wondering what we had got ourselves into, Still we struggled on and reached our camp at Bodfan Farm and soon polished off the 6 cold cans of beer we had bought in the village on the way up.
 
Day 4  Rhosneigr to Maltraeth 10.5 miles
 
As all three of us had struggled so much the day before we decided that we were going to cut the day down to a a short 4 mile walk to Aberffraw where we would catch the bus , missing out Maltaeth our intended stop for the night and go sttraight on to Newborough where we could stop for two nights and take a rest day.
Knowing we only had a short day we really enjoyed this part of the walk taking frequent stops and taking in the scenery before stopping for lunch on the fantastic beach af Aberffraw we then waited for the bus with a cold can and arrived in Newborough at about 3pm.
 
Day 5  rest day in Newborough
 
We stayed at White Lodge caravan Park 15 minutes walk from Newborough and right on the coast parth route and what a find that was.
The caravan Park had a cafe/bistro on it that opened early in the morning and served the most amazing home cooked food using local ingredients. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner there, with Ellis the chef even delivering our fish and chips , cold beers and a bottle of red wine to our tent . Ellis, his brother and parents who ran the campsite were the most freindly and helpful people you could ever meet and we thoroughly enjoyed our day lazing around the tent in the sun , with the most amazing views over to Snowdonia, after a quick walk on the beach with the dog we turned in early refreshed and ready for whatever the next day could throw at us.
 
Day 6 Newborough to Llanfairpwll 11 miles
 
Once again another scorcher and we set off accros farmland crossing a river using the stepping stones which was fun and at first confused the dog the route then headed down to the menai straits with fantastic veiws of Snowdonia and after a stop for lunch on the beach outside the sea zoo, where all three of us had an ice cream( it turns out our dog is a bit of an ice cream snob and wont eat cheap ice cream such as Mr Whippy).
Although wewere all feeling the effects of the heat we soon made the 7 miles to Moel y don where theer is a break in the coast path and we had to make the decision as to whether we waited 2 hours for the bus or walked the 4 miles along the road into Llanfair P.G.
We decided to walk and after about a mile we realised we had made the wrong  decision as the road was really busy and  my blisters were now hurting again and the dog was really flagging we finally struggled into LPG luckily ahead of the bus and a quick pint in the pub across from the
"Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch" station we headed off for our b and b for the night.
the next hour went something like this.
 
Gareth -come on folks this way
Luci- How much further
G-not far the next on the left
G- sorry must have been the one before
Luci- are you sure
G- yes I looked it up on google street
L- the dog is lying down
G- its not much further
G- come on Lola not much further
G- sorry folks it must have been the last turn on the right
L - oh for [censored]** sake just phone the [censored]**** woman and find out where we are
L- the dog is limping and refusing to walk
G- ok but I'm sure it is just round the corner, wait here and I will go and see
G- sorry were lost I suppose i could phone the woman
G- (on the phone) Hello is that deg eto we are staying with you tonight, my names Gareth chapman
Voice on phone- sorry mate never heard of you, where are you looking for
G- Deg Eto
V-o-P- sorry must be the wrong number I'm in kent
G- sorry folks must have got the wrong number
L- for [censored]** sake didn't you print the directions.
G - no but I have her home number in my rucksack (rumages for cue cards in pack)
L- I [censored]**** knew this would happen
Finally spoke to the woman at Deg Eto who kindly came and picked us up when she heard the dog wouldn't walk any further (turned out she had sore paws from too many miles on the road- the dog not the lady)
 
We finally arrived at the b and B to find out we had been 50 yards from the house half an hour before.
After showering we headed out for some food only to find the dog wouldn't move, luckily the woman and Lola both took ashine to each other and so we left her curled up in the living room while we went out for some food.
 
Day 7 Lanfair P.G - Beaumaris 9 miles
 
Set out on the hottest day so far and after about a mile the dog is lying down in the shade at every oppertunity, Luci is fiddling to try and get her rucksack comfortable and I am limping as I now have blisters on blisters and am losing a toenail.
At this point we realise we aren't going to make todays trip especially as it is probaly 85-90% on the road. so we all limp the 2 miles to Menai Bridge where we have to pick up the second weeks dog food we have statshed at a friends(oh joy the extra 3 kilos weight again, why does our dog have to have a special diet) and decide to cut the day short and get the bus to Beaumaris, where we catch a second bus onto Llangoed, again we struggle the mile uphill to Kingsbridge campsite to find a notice on the gate saying advanced bookings only. Did you book says Luci, no I reply , oh [censored]* says Luci , what are we going to do now.
We go in anyway and luckily find out that the notice was just left from the weekend when they were full.
we have a brilliant pitch surrounded by woods and get the tent up and procede to massage foot cream into the dogs paws after a few hours rest we all seem abit more perky and decide to take a walk down to the local where we sit in the sun downing a few more pints than we should, chatting to the locals with Lola playing with their dogs, we hobble back up to the campsite with Lola seeming much better and bounding about as if nothing was wrong.
 
Day 8 Beaumaris- Pentraeth 14 miles
 
Woke up with trepidation wondering how we were all going to fair but dog seemed perky and we both felt pretty good but a bit worried about our longest day so far.
Phoned the lady at our next B and B and oh joy she offers to come down and pick up our gear so we can walk unhindered so we hurriedly pack lucis gear into a bin bag and just pack our lunch and water into her rucksack, even taking a chance and leaving the waterproofs behind.
we set off happily unburdened and make good progress along stunning cliff top scenery until we stop for lunch at pen -mon priory.
We set off with only 7 miles to go and pretty soon it is obvious the dog is again struggling and we find ourselves stopping every 15 minutes to try to get the dog to drink( why is it you carry more water for the dog than for yourselves and they just refuse to drink)after about an hour we find we have to stop for asecond lunch break to give the dog a rest, we load the dog up with Bara brith and all lay down for a snooze overlooking the beautiful Red wharf Bay, finally the dog starts taking water and drinks about three quarters of a litre in the next 20 minutes, so we set off down to the beach , the dog goes mental and you wouldn't believe that an hour before she was lolling along behind us with her tongue virtually dragging the floor.
We finally make it to Parc yr Odyn after a 10 hour day and the luxury of our accomodation is most welcome, once again a few cold cans and then dinner cooked in a proper oven , what a relief from the trangier.
 
Day 9 Pentraeth to Moelfre 6.75 miles
 
After heraring of our tribulations of the day before and the possibility that we may have to abandon the walk due to the dog, Helen the owner offers to once again transport our gear onwards and if the dog is cool with her would keep the dog and drive her up to us when we arrived. Well luckily the dog took to her and we left her behind and trugged off once again un burdoned, stopping only at the amazingly well stocked Spar to buy a bottle of wine for Helen for being such a great host.
despit a quick shower of rain as we set off , on our own we covered the 6.75 miles along the cliffs and beaches in about 2 hours and phoned Helen to bring our gear and the dog over. We spent the rest of the day lazing in the sun getting drunk  and massaging the dog at Nant Bychan farm on a brilliant headland over looking the sea.
 
Day 10 Moelfre to Amlwch Port 10 miles
 
The next day was overcast and the dog seemed to have recovered well, we reluctantly shouldered our packs again and set off deciding to stop for 15 minutes every hour and take this section really easy, this seemed to work as we all seemd to find it fairly easy going and although we took nearly 8 hours to cover the 10 miles we didn't mind as the whole route was off road and the scenery and beaches, which the dog loved, were fantastic, we camped at Point Lynas again a headland campsite and turned in early with the plan to again start early and take it easy for the dogs sake.
 
Day 11 Amlwch Port to Cemaes  9 miles
 
Again we set off early and took our time and the dog now seemed to be back to her usual self the walking was quite up and down with a total ascent of over 1800ft so with our rest stops it again took us just over 8 hours but again the cliff top scenery and the small coves were fantastic so we didn't mind, Just as we arrived into Cemaes it started to rain so we hastily set up camp and dived into the tent sampling the delights of savoury rice washed down with a bottle of red we had picked up in the village and drifted off to sleep early, only having to brave the rain to let the dog out for  a quick pee.ocaisionly being woken by the rain hammering on the tent.
 
 
Day 12 Cemaes to Church Bay 9 miles
 
Amazingly the rain had cleared and we had another fine day and the route was again a bit up and down so we stuck to our routine of an hour walking followed by a short break and this time made it into Church Bay in just under 5 hours.
On arrival we found out there were no shops in Church Bay so again it was the emergency savoury rice and tinned tuna (we always made sure we had two packs of rice and a tin of tuna at all times0.
Ther was however a cafe and Restaurant, The lobster pot , where we bought a bottle of wine to wash our gourmet meal down with.
The lobster pot has the reputation of being the best restaurant on Anglesey and considering it really is in the middle of nowhere it must be pretty good to have survide for so long.
 
Day 13 Church Bay to Holyhead 9 miles
 
It was a great feeling waking up knowing that this was the last day and that come what may we WERE going to make it.
We set off late after waiting for the cafe to open so we could get breakfast.and soon covered the 7 miles to  llanfachraeth where the path breaks and we had to catch the bus, to be perfectly honest we didn't really dawdle nor take in the scenery as we just now wanted to reach the end.
We intended to take the bus all the way back to holyhead but at Penrhos we both simultaeneously looked at each other and said shall we get off and walk the last 2 miles back to the campsite where we had left the car. We slowly ambled along the cliff tops back to the campsite and I left Luci sorting some gear whilst I nipped off to the shops on the pretext of getting some rizlas and returned from morrisons with a chilled bottle of celebratory champagne , the dog even enjoyed a sip too.
 
To summarise the Anglesey coast Path is brilliant with plenty of varied terrain and scenery and is very well way marked, I think we only genuinely needed the map a dozen times on the whole route.
There were times when I didn't think we were going to make it and  times none of us enjoyed but overall we all had a great time and thankfully excellent weather.
Lola loved her first experiences on the beach.
 We are already talking of doing another long distance walk next year but would do a few things different, we would cut the milage each day so we could have a chance to explore abit more and take more rests and we would make sure we built in a couple of rest days as they really to make all the difference.
Best of all Luci has been converted to the ways of minimalist camping and I would consider it one of the best holidays I have been on, especially with the great sense of achievement at the end.
 
If anyone would like any info about the route we took and places we stayed and pubs/ shops etc along the way then please get in touch as I did take pretty comprhensive notes along the way.
 

samveg

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Re: Anglesey Coast path trip report
« Reply #1 on: 22:01:40, 14/07/11 »
Ive done this - fantastic and quite easy!!

 

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