An Anglesey Adventure: The Moelfre to Benllech coastal walk

10 May 2022

Part One: The holiday that never happened

Rainfall on the roof and being tucked safely into bed is my happiest childhood memory of Anglesey. But three wet days cooped up in a tiny caravan in a farmer’s soggy field pushed my parents’ patience to the limit. Then while Mum was preparing a farm-fresh leg of lamb for the oven, a three-legged lamb hobbled across the field and eye-balled her. Stressed and spooked, she went into meltdown. That was the last straw and the holiday was aborted. We never made it to the beach and I cried a lot. Everything's a big deal when you're a kid isn't it?

That crushing disappointment evolved into a strange sort of grief for the memories that were never made, the stories that could never be shared and the photos that would never be taken. Aren't those things part of the reason we leave our comfort zones and visit new places? The holiday that never happened led to a deep and secret longing to return to Anglesey one day, to make peace with my parent's decision to leave, and to finally experience the places I had missed the first time around. And so began my second Anglesey adventure.

In light of the saying 'there's no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing' we packed our waterproofs in preparation for the famous 'liquid sunshine' of Wales. Some rain was probably inevitable but for three reasons we weren't too bothered about a bit of drizzle. First, it's only water. Second, we're not soluble. Third, we're from Manchester.

To my great delight, Anglesey welcomed me back with open arms, brilliant blue skies, radiant sunshine and not a single drop of rain for six whole days. Following a long and dark winter, including several spells of isolation, this was a gloriously sunny Anglesey I could not have imagined.

The island was a photographer's dream with its fluid and luminescent light. Rich contrasting scenery was stacked with rolling layers of land, the shimmering sea and brooding blue mountains. Somewhat drunk on sunshine and seaweed fumes I was giddy with delight to walk through these stunning scenes. I was very pleased with some of the photos I took, but to be fair, Anglesey is so gorgeous that even a two-year-old with a tablet could get good shots!

Anglesey is an island of pleasing contrasts. There were many moments looking out over the vast waters of the ocean, without a soul in sight, enveloped by an overwhelming sense of the remote, raw wildness of the ancient natural world. Looking inland from the rugged coastline we saw a lot of rural farmland with grazing sheep, cows and horses. In contrast to the Ye-Olde-Worlde feel the historic seaside town of Beaumaris that boasts its most modern attraction; the giant observation wheel. A ride on the strategically placed 'Beaumaris Eye', which rises 35 metres above the town, offers views over the Menai Strait and the mountains of mainland Wales. Not bad for six quid per adult.

In between those wild, adventurous moments I was impressed by the good road networks and clear signage. Well-placed benches were dotted around at intervals too, these thoughtful things galvanised the reality of the Welsh welcome, 'cos sometimes you just need to pause and enjoy a brew and a view.

Things to do in Anglesey and near Anglesey!

Part Two: The Wales Coastal Path from Moelfre to Benllech via Penrhyn Point

Moelfre is a pleasant coastal village located on the north coast of Anglesey. Long views stretch out from the rocky beach to Benllech and beyond. We found ample parking and well-kept public toilets.

Setting off from Moelfre, the coastal path was temporarily diverted through a smart residential area. Then we headed off along some farm tracks and fields before descending to sea level. The path is slightly disjointed in places, but the clear way-markers are frequent and reassuring. As the tide was out we were able to take a short cut across a wide sandy beach before ascending through a field, then a private caravan park, up to Penrhyn Point.

Firm Under Foot

The coastal path along the next section felt much wilder somehow. Even though there was a sense of remoteness, it was well-maintained. It was a dry day with temperatures around 12°C, the cracked earth was firm under foot, light mocca brown in colour with patches of gravel, occasional protruding rocks and tree roots. Robust footwear is advisable since many of its sections are narrow, about 30cm-wide, allowing room for single-file walking only, but the path does widen out from time to time. Where the ground rises or falls steeply and sturdy steps have been constructed. There were post and rail fences where the land dropped away suddenly. The elevated position of the cliff-side path delivered just enough moments of mild treachery to get the heart rate up and give a very real sense of adventure!

Panoramic views out to sea and across the bay appeared quite suddenly, stopping us in our tracks. We paused often to drink them in and marvel at the calm turquoise sea. On that gloriously sunny day we could have believed the water was warm enough for a dip, but the chilly breeze rising from the ocean told a different story. Occasionally we passed through a sheltered spot and were embraced by a warming microclimate.


By design or default the edges of the path were sprinkled with many shades of blue, purple, yellow and white blooms. We saw Campion, Cellandine, Wood Anenomies and English Blue Bells. Bees, butterflies and bird life were in abundance. From time to time the thrilling call of swooping sea birds would resound in the air. Perhaps it's the reverberating effects of the sea and the cliffs, but somehow the notes rung out much longer than that of land-locked counterparts. There was a soaring freedom in this natural bird song which grounded us, and for a little while we shared in that sense of freedom.

Benllech Beach

Eventually the winding path descended gently until it reached a section of large uneven rocks along the base of a cliff at the far end of Benllech Beach. The rocks were very slippery and negotiating them was not an ideal option. However, we could find no alternative route, so undeterred we teetered awkwardly across them. Very soon, we reached a firm footing and continued along the way-marked roadside path onto the broad sandy stretch of Benllech Beach which is sheltered by tall cliffs.

We had a pleasant time relaxing in the sunshine, with everything we could need right to hand. Next to the beach there were public toilets, car parking, benches, a coffee shop and a beach shop. Later we enjoyed a lovely fish and chip supper from the Jolly Fryer just a short walk away on the main street of Benllech Village.

Things to do in Anglesey and near Anglesey!