Coast is partnering with the Ramblers each month to promote coastal walking. In this month’s column, Andria Massey explains how volunteers are keeping our pathways clear, and why they’re dedicated to coastal footpaths.
I truly believe paths are one of our nation’s most precious assets. Whether cresting coastal cliffs or exploring inland, they connect us with so much beauty and wonder. For me, they also bring hard but rewarding work.
While our paths are sometimes taken for granted, a lot of effort is put in by Ramblers volunteers like me to look after them. From clearing obstructions and cutting back overgrowth to installing new bridges, boardwalks and gates, we keep paths open and accessible for all to enjoy.
I got involved with the Ramblers soon after I moved to Anglesey in 2004. I wanted to get outside, meet new people and explore the island. That led me to the Silver Slashers: a group of local volunteers dedicated to keeping our footpaths in fine fettle.
With an average age of over 70, we meet up almost every Friday and set to work. Last year alone, we opened up 33 paths, totalling over 16km, cleared 5,226 obstructions and even installed an entirely new bridge. We work on both the coastal paths and smaller inland tracks, boosting local tourism and ensuring everyone can access the countryside near where they live. It’s hard work, but it’s certainly worth it.
The Anglesey Coast Path, now part of the 870-mile Wales Coast Path, is one of the island’s most celebrated features. It takes you through the full variety of coastal landscapes, from dunes and coves to rock formations and harbours. The path truly has something for everyone.
The stretch between Amlwch and Moelfre in the north east of the island is particularly picturesque. Starting in the port town of Amlwch, which was at one time the centre of a vast global trade in copper ore, the route winds downhill to the town’s harbour. It goes past the museum that tells the tale of the town’s mining heritage and to the Rock Clock, a clock face which shows the development of the Anglesey rocks throughout different geological periods.
Following the coastal path waymarks, the route proceeds gently over the top of the low cliffs, towards the rocky headland of Point Lynas, and to the calm bay of Porth Eilian. Bearing left, the point’s lighthouse will come into view. Built in 1835, and now a private residence, the lighthouse is remarkable for its castellated tower and its walls, which enclose the main house and two adjoining cottages.
Cutting across the headland, the route path heads on uphill. As you climb, the Snowdonia mountains, the dramatic backdrop to much of the walking along Anglesey’s coasts, appear in the distance.
At Porth yr Aber, the path turns inland, traversing fields down towards the sweeping expanse of the Dulas estuary. Following the path around the estuary, you’ll reach a footbridge over the river and head inland towards the Pilot Boat Inn before doubling back to the golden beaches of Traeth yr Ora and Traeth Lligwy. As you approach Moelfre, keep an eye out for the striking rock formations and the monument to the sinking of The Royal Charter.
From estuary to clifftop, this route takes a fine selection of Anglesey’s coastline. It is a fitting testament to the beauty that can be found while following footpaths.
Find out full details of the walk here
Andria Massey is footpath secretary and access officer for the Ynys Mon Ramblers.
THREE MORE TO TRY
Want to try out a route closer to home? Take a look at three similar options which may be nearer to you
St Ives, Cornwall
This exhilarating circuit heads out of the artists’ haven of St Ives, picking up a scenic stretch of the South West Coast Path and following it along the rugged Atlantic shore. The route then heads inland, returning along an old ‘coffin trail’. tinyurl.com/audzza7r
Ravensheugh Sands and Seacliff, East Lothian
A circular walk along Ravensheugh Sands to Seacliff on the gorgeous East Lothian coast. With superb views of Bass Rock, the largest Northern gannet colony in the world, and stretches that pass by dunes and woodland, the varied scenery and wildlife is superb. tinyurl.com/29enubct
Hayling Billy & Langstone Harbour
A gentle linear ramble along the route of the much-mourned Hayling Billy railway line, with the reward of a beach, funfair and miniature railway at the end. With excellent views of Langstone Harbour, the route can be walked in either direction and explores the full length of Hayling Island. tinyurl.com/yc2r5r2z
Want to find the perfect coastal walk? Check out our previous column by Ramblers.
Take a look at our latest tours, here.