Thursday, 28 October 2010

Four Go To Anglesey

I was more than a little surprised a few months ago when an old cycling buddy, Steve Makin, asked me if I wanted to go on a walking trip with him. I've always known he was into walking and went on regular trips, so do I, but we've just always been cycling together. Walking had never really occurred to us. So we were probably due a trip. Initially the tiny little Welsh island of Anglesey didn't sound all that exciting, but given the year I've had - the lack of exercise and the total absence of holidays - plus the fact I've never actually been to Anglesey and the plan to do some pleasant coastal walking, the idea started to grow on me.

Thursday morning started with a lovely scenic train journey with the final leg from Chester to Holyhead meandering along the north Wales coast on a sunny Autumn day. I had a good feeling about the weekend. Steve picked me up from the station and we were off to the beach overlooking Puffin Island for a bit of wildlife spotting. I saw my first seal! And two dolphins! Then a gentle wander around the coastal path (with a few, er, detours), dropped in at a Norman abbey and back to Beaumaris for a real history lesson at the 14th Century Beaumaris Castle, one of many built by Edward I in a ring around North Wales.

The Friday walk was to be the longest, potentially 9 miles from North Stack just outside Holyhead to South Stack via the highest mountain in Anglesey - at a whopping 220 metres! Okay, so not exactly a mountain, but still fairly craggy and steep up to the trig point with views of Holyhead harbour and south down to Snowdonia. The weather had turned slightly now and being right on the coast the wind had picked up.
Dinner was leisurely hour long affair at the cafe near South Stack. Down the road to an iron age settlement just as the rain started and we decided to cut the walk short and head back to the car. Time for a swift pint or two in Red Wharf Bay and then back to Trecastell Hotel for yet more alcohol and dinner, awaiting the arrival of CG, Matt and Fraser the Dog.

Saturday continued the theme of 'leisurely' and was a little more focused on sightseeing and photography, with some amazing photos from Steve and Chris on their flickr pages. The weather laid out the morning plan with an impromptu stop to climb the Marquis of Anglesey column and coffee at Llanfairpwllg-thingymabob-gogogoch (you know the one I mean!) just because it was there and we could and we'd never been.

Saturday afternoon involved a deliciously leisurely lunch at Rhoscolyn and a walk around the cliff tops heading towards Trearddur Bay. An extended camera stop for a couple of perfectly placed rainbows and some menacingly artistic storm clouds meant we didn't quite make it, but we did spot an enormous grey seal basking in between some rocks and spent as much time staring curiously at him as he did at us!

Sunday was a real treat - a trip to an ancient copper mine Parys Mountain. This place has to be seen to be believed and I could sit here all evening trying to explain the atmosphere and the colours, but you might as well you go and visit and see for yourself.

And that was that - coastal walks, seals, storm clouds, ancient monuments, a trip through Welsh history from the Bronze Age, through the Romans, Normans, Edward I, Industrial Revolution to present day island life, all with great friends, great banter, beer, wine and exquisite food. If I only have one holiday a year, this will do.


I'm not really gay said...

glad you enjoyed it :-)

MTB Girl said...

How could I fail to enjoy it!