Every year a friend and I have a week-long backpacking holiday. This year we decided to do the Anglesey Coastal Path which is, depending on which source you believe, either 120 miles or 123 or 125 miles in length.
I travelled up to Nottingham to meet my friend and we caught the train to Bangor as we had planned to stay there overnight before starting the hike for real. Over the years we’ve learnt to be flexible so, after learning that we were in easy bus ride reach of Llanfair PG we thought we’d divert just to say that we’d been in the longest place name in the British Isles. Here’s a picture of the train station.
After taking a few photos and having a coffee at a cafe we set off for the coastal path. Almost immediately it started raining hard and didn’t let up all day. We had planned to camp at Malltreath but, after covering around 15 miles, we were soaked and the campsite resembled a mini lake. Being resourceful and flexible we thought “Bugger it, let’s find a B&B and dry out” only Malltreath had none to offer us. We decided to press on to Rhosneigr which was some 12 miles away and the only place of a size large enough to have a B&B. Luckily, we caught the last bus which took us about six miles. The rest of the distance was made up of yomping in the deluge and hitchhiking.
Luckily, there was room at the inn in Rhosneigr so we booked in, started drying out our kit and went for a beer and food. Sometime during the evening we became embroiled with members of a christening party and had a great evening with a crowd of extremely drunken Welsh people. Lord knows, how they managed to get to work in the morning!
We had our own conumdrum to solve as we were now effectively a day ahead of our planned itinerary. A quick look at the map showed there were no places to wild camp between Rhosneigr and Holyhead and we knew there were no campsites either. We had planned to B&B in Holyhead after camping for two nights but that had gone out the window. After a bit of discussion we decided to B&B for two nights in Holyhead and vary our route in; the next day to be spent doing another part of the coastal path but without our backpacks.
As we wandered up the coastal path to Holyhead the sun came out with a vengeance. Absolutely perfect conditions for enjoying the sights and an incredible change from the previous day as the pictures show.
After a tedious walk over the Four Mile bridge we arrived in Holyhead and found the B&B, dumped off the packs and went out to explore. It has to be said that the town isn’t especially pretty as its a functioning port. It is also a desert if you like real ale.
After breakfast the following morning we set out to explore the North and South Stacks. Again, the day was superb. I ended up with a bit of sunburn on my neck but the views were worth it. Apparently Holyhead has the largest breakwater in the world apart from one in San Dieago and its huge!
The next day we left Holyhead to follow the coastal path to Caemas; this time equipped with much needed suntan cream. It was a beautiful walk to do but it made quite a long day. Our campsite was about a mile out of Caemas and it was very, very quiet. We share our pitch with a trio of very tame, friendly ducks. The night skies looked spectacular as the sky was clear but my phone camera couldn’t do them justice.
The following day we should have followed the coastal path to Moelfre but we’d heard of an old copper mine that was worth seeing so we modified our route to take it in. The copper mine was basically an excavated mountain. It was sad to see the damage done to the land but it was a magnificent sight in a way. Here’s some photos of the copper mine and the view from the campsite at Moelfre.
Moelfre is a pretty, small town and we had a pleasant night there. The morning sun reflecting from the sea woke me in the morning but it soon became overcast and our final day was a mixture of hot sun and drizzle. Our plan was to walk the coastal path as far as we could then catch a bus to Bangor for our final night. That is pretty much what we did! Here’s a view of the sea from Bangor and some shots taken on the way to it.
So, ok we didn’t do all the path due to bad weather and wanting to see other things we’d heard about. We only camped twice instead of four times. But we really enjoyed the trip and that, not sticking slavishly to a route, is the important thing. We’d been drenched, sunburnt, scratched by thorns, ate too much, drank too much, had lots of laughs and added an extra bond to our lifelong friendship. I’ll take that!