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5 Wonderful Wildlife Walks in Anglesey

cliff top Wildlife Walk in Anglesey

5 Wonderful Wildlife Walks in Anglesey

Wherever you go, you’re sure to rediscover the joys of our natural world, but if time is of the essence, here are some of the best Anglesey wildlife walks to prioritise during your visit.

Nestled off the north-west coast of Wales, Anglesey is a popular tourist destination celebrated for its preservation of Welsh culture, history and language. However, it’s not just the customs which remain untouched by outside influence. The island’s watery location, cut off from the mainland, has also created a haven where animal and plant life thrive.

The undisturbed 125-mile coastline, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), provides nesting sites for vast numbers of noble puffins, razorbills and peregrine. Out to sea, grey seals, dolphins and porpoises surf the waves, providing endless fun for avid wildlife watchers. Further inland, life is similarly abundant, with Pentraeth and Newborough housing two of the UK’s few remaining colonies of red squirrels.

1.  Red Wharf Bay to Pentraeth Forest

Red Wharf Bay sits on the east coast of Anglesey, between the villages of Pentraeth and Benllech, with sandy beaches stretching to Pentraeth Forest on the bay’s eastern edge.

The bay is a designated nature reserve, attracting birdlife not seen elsewhere in the UK. Waders and waterfowl are plentiful, with birdwatchers reporting regular sightings of purple sandpipers, shelduck and long-billed curlew. The bordering salt marshes and dunes also boast several rare plant species, most notably the purple pyramidal orchid which favours rocky, coarse terrain.

On arrival at Pentraeth Forest, visitors are often on the lookout for one, secretive creature – the bushy-tailed red squirrel. The undisturbed wilderness of Pentraeth is one of the last refuges for this species, with conservationists fiercely protecting the habitat in a bid to increase the dwindling population.

Rhoscolyn Headland Walk

2.  Rhoscolyn Headland Walk

Rhoscolyn lies in the southwestern corner of Holy Island, overlooking the Irish Sea towards the Lleyn Peninsula. A dramatic coastline marks the landscape, complete with hidden coves and offshore islands, including Ynysoedd Gwylanod which features the Rhoscolyn Beacon – a tall navigational marker constructed to warn ships of the nearby jagged outcrops.

The coastline is much-loved and well-trodden, stretching towards Cymyran Strait in one direction and Trearddur Bay in the other. Between Rhoscolyn Head and Silver Bay lies Rhoscolyn’s famous beach, which is lively with peregrine falcon, raven and kestrel. From above, the clifftop walk loops around the headland and provides the perfect vantage point on your Anglesey wildlife walk to spot families of plump grey seals lounging on the sand beneath. 

3.  Porth Dafarch to South Stack

Starting at Porth Dafarch, located on the coastal path between Trearddur Bay and South Stack, and finishing at the South Stack Cliffs on Holy Island, this walk highlights some of Anglesey’s most iconic scenery and wildlife.

The beach at Porth Dafarch is a popular tourist destination, especially amongst snorkelers and scuba divers looking to uncover the 1886 wreck of the steamer Missouri. However, soon you’ll escape the business by traversing the peaceful coastal path towards the South Stack Cliffs. Depending on the season, a kaleidoscopic array of heather frames the route and budding botanists can pick wild thyme, yarrow and wood sage.

The South Stack Cliffs, a reserve made from heathland, farmland, cliffs, coast and ocean, are the peak of this walk. Over 9,000 seabirds, one of the largest colonies in the UK, call this place home and guillemots, razorbills, kittiwake and fulmars frequent the mountain’s tops. 

Holyhead Mountain Circular Walk

4.  Holyhead Mountain Circular Walk

The Holyhead Mountain Circular Walk is an 8.4-kilometre loop bursting with rugged terrain, breath taking views (you can see Ireland from the summit on a clear day) and an unusual array of wildlife. For the best experience, start this Anglesey wildlife walk from Breakwater Country Park, situated a few miles from Holyhead town centre.

The park is a must-see for nature lovers and a particularly good spot to observe migrating birds. In summer, the skies come alive with swifts and swallows and, if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the regal peregrine falcon near the old quarries. Birds aside, the heathlands support a vast range of biodiversity – silver-studded blue butterflies, ruby tiger moths, and buff tips help fertilise the soil during the warmer months.

On approaching the mountains, where the paths grow more rugged, lizards and snakes hide in the cracked earth, while the higher coastal paths offer chances to see plenty of marine wildlife, including basking sharks.

5.  Cors Bodeilio National Nature Reserve Trails

Anglesey boasts three fens which hold international importance, one of which is Cors Bodeilio, a designated National Nature Reserve. In contrast to the coastal walks and woodlands suggested so far, Cors Bodeilio offers a hugely different landscape – it’s a mire, without forest cover, governed by peat-forming plants.

At first glance, this stretch of swampy ground may seem lifeless. However, on closer inspection, the terrain teems with precious plant, insect and amphibious life. Amongst the common reeds and black bog rush lies orchids, carnivorous plants, giant algae and stoneworts. Watch out for the fly orchid in particular. Dangerously beautiful and exceedingly rare, it has formed over millennia to entice bees, dragonflies and beetles with an insect-shaped mouth.

Alongside rare plants are rare insects, such as the medicinal leech – the only British leech that can bite through human skin. For something less macabre, a flurry of damselfly arrives in spring, including the unique variable damselfly with a brilliantly blue body and netted wings.

Cycling On The Anglesey Coastal Path

Exploring the Magnificent Wales Coast Path in Anglesey

The Wales Coast Path in Anglesey is a treasure trove of natural beauty and breath taking vistas. Stretching across approximately 130 miles, it’s a haven for both nature enthusiasts and avid walkers. This remarkable path weaves its way through diverse landscapes, from serene coastal stretches to rugged cliffs and tranquil woodlands.

Best Anglesey Walks

Throughout your journey on the Wales Coast Path, you’ll discover some of the best walks in Anglesey. Each step brings you closer to unique experiences and unforgettable moments. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Anglesey has the perfect path for you.

The Wales Coast Path Adventure Begins

Your Wales Coast Path adventure commences at the picturesque Red Wharf Bay, where sandy beaches greet the horizon. As you set forth, be prepared to encounter the wonders of nature and immerse yourself in the pristine surroundings that await.

Stunning Seascapes and Coastal Wonders

The Anglesey Coast section of the path provides an opportunity to witness stunning seascapes and coastal wonders. From the shimmering blue waters to the dramatic cliffs, this stretch is a visual feast for the senses. Keep an eye out for the abundant birdlife that graces these shores, including the elusive purple sandpipers and graceful shelduck. Birdwatchers often spot long-billed curlew, a true testament to the region’s biodiversity.

Ynys Llanddwyn along the Anglesey Coastal Path

Embracing the Tranquillity of Church Bay

As you continue your journey, Church Bay beckons with its tranquillity and charm. This idyllic location is a haven for those seeking solace amidst nature’s splendour. The coastal path here is your guide to peaceful walks and a deeper connection with the natural world.

Hidden Gems Along the Anglesey Coastal Path

The coastal path, adorned with coastal flora and fauna, will lead you to hidden gems such as the iconic South Stack Lighthouse. Nestled on dramatic cliffs, this beacon stands as a guardian of the seas, providing safe passage for mariners. Witness the breath taking views from this vantage point and revel in the power of the ocean.

Into the Heart of Nature (Cemlyn Bay)

The path leads you further into the heart of nature as you arrive at Cemlyn Bay. This coastal gem is home to a wide variety of bird species, making it a prime location for birdwatching. Take in the serene beauty of the bay while marvelling at the diversity of birdlife that calls it home.

The Enigmatic Llanddwyn Island

Llanddwyn Island, often referred to as the “Island of Lovers,” is a mystical and enigmatic place. As you wander through its landscapes, you’ll encounter a unique blend of history, nature, and spirituality. The island’s captivating beauty and legends make it a must-visit destination along the path.

Connecting with the Wild (Llyn Peninsula)

Venturing further, you’ll reach the enchanting Llyn Peninsula, where the path unfolds amidst untamed beauty. This rugged terrain offers a glimpse into a wilder Anglesey, with dramatic cliffs and coastal landscapes that beckon you to connect with the raw power of nature.

The Natural Wonder of Cors Bodeilio

Your path eventually leads to the Cors Bodeilio National Nature Reserve, a unique ecosystem that stands in stark contrast to the coastal walks and woodlands. Here, you’ll encounter a mesmerizing mire landscape dominated by peat-forming plants.

Upon closer inspection, the seemingly lifeless swampy ground reveals a world teeming with precious plant, insect, and amphibious life. 

Stormy Sky at Penmon Point, Anglesey

Completing the Anglesey Coastal Path Journey

As you complete your journey along the Wales Coast Path in Anglesey, you’ll carry with you a deep appreciation for the island’s natural beauty, history, and biodiversity. From the rugged cliffs to serene woodlands, from historical sites to mystical islands, Anglesey’s coast path offers an immersive experience like no other.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most scenic part of the Anglesey Coastal Path?

The Anglesey Coastal Path offers breath taking vistas throughout its course, but one of the most scenic sections is the stretch near Red Wharf Bay. Here, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the coastline, sandy beaches, and the iconic South Stack Lighthouse in the distance. The dramatic cliffs along this part of the path make it a photographer’s dream.

How long does it take to walk the Anglesey Coastal Path?

Walking the entire Anglesey Coastal Path is a fantastic adventure, covering approximately 130 miles in total. On average, hikers typically take around 12 to 14 days to complete the entire path. However, the duration can vary depending on your pace and whether you choose to explore side attractions along the way.

Is Anglesey good for walking?

Absolutely, Anglesey is a haven for walkers and hikers. With its diverse landscapes, including coastal cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming villages, Anglesey offers a wide range of walking opportunities to suit all levels of hikers. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, Anglesey has it all.

Which is the best part of Anglesey Coastal Path?

Selecting the “best” part of the Anglesey Coastal Path is subjective, as each section has its unique charm. However, many walkers find the Trearddur Bay area particularly delightful. It boasts stunning island views, sandy beaches, and a beautiful coastal path. The views of the sea from this stretch are simply stunning.

How long does it take to walk the coast of Anglesey?

Walking the entire coast of Anglesey, encompassing the Anglesey Coastal Path, is a remarkable adventure that spans approximately 130 miles. Depending on your walking pace and the time you dedicate to exploring the sights and attractions along the way, completing this epic journey can take anywhere from 12 to 14 days.