The Britannia or Menai Bridge links Anglesey and the mainland, and was the necessary starting point for our of our visit. This imposing and impressive Victorian structure is something to see! It has really strong lines, and the massive stone work give a sense of security that more modern structures sometime fail provide. This really is a wonderful piece of engineering.
Once in the island we headed to Holyhead and the Holy Island. We found the Holyhead docks are much like ports everywhere, with the ferry port doing steady business, and the marina area rather disappointing. So we headed down the West Coast towards South Stack. The South Stack area more than made up for the everyday views of Holyhead.
We started with the circle huts. The ancient stone circle remains of the huts are impressive. They overlook the sea, and really give a feel of the past. This is a fairly big complex, but the lower huts are easy to access. There is parking at a small car park directly opposite them, and after crossing the small road, the closest hut circle is only about 50 paces from a farm gate. The next is a similar distance further up the path. I found the stone rings, and what I assume to be hearth stones great reminders of our heritage.
The RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Reserve is a short distance further up the mountain from the huts. The reserve offers some wonderful views of the sea and surrounding natural beauty. There is parking in three places that we could find. One low on the mountain across from the circle hut ruins (this also gives access to a Ellin’s Tower path. The second is at the visitor centre/cafe. The third is at the top of the rise where the road comes to an end. Hikers and watchers also climbed the rocky areas above. The visitor centre views are excellent and the RSPB has done a good job of making the area as accessible as possible, without spoiling the nature.
There is outdoor seating as well, which we braved for a few minutes, and great views of the sea, Ellin’s Tower, and the light house. The cafe/visitor centre also has a disabled toilet. The tea was well brewed, and we had chocolate and lemon cakes which were rich, moist, and satisfying. Really glad we found this place, to chill and take in the views.
The South Stack Lighthouse is a wonderful part of the overall scenery. Owing to mobility issues we knew the hike itself was too much, but there are several places above the complex, and along the trails to view this sight. It was well worth seeing, even if for a few minutes just for the glory of the surroundings, and the majesty of the building itself.
Similarly, Ellin’s Tower was difficult for us to access. Therefore, we only looked at the building from the outside, but it makes a a wonderful photo op when used as a backdrop to the surrounding nature. Its while walls also make a striking contrast to the sea below. It is well worth seeing, and I have been told for those able to make the short hike to it, even more impressive up close.
Leaving South Stack we followed the coastal road Lon Isallt to the Trearddur Bay taking in the views and visiting a couple of beaches. Then it was off to Aberffraw and St Cwyfan’s Church which I have previously posted on. The rugged coastline, and defiant little church (against nature;s power) are inspirational to see.
On our way off Anglesey we followed more coastal road until we had to head inland to make our way back to the Menai Bridge. Our island adventure had been a real treat, and the views alone made it worth taking, but yummy cake, and a glimpses of history made it a truly outstanding day.