Isle of Anglesey AONB
Explore magical Llanddwyn Island and the sand dunes of Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve on this family walk in Anglesey. The walk will provide opportunities for both young and old to explore the dunes, geology and mythology of the area.
Where to start: Forestry Commission Car Park - Malltraeth
This is grid reference SH 411671 on the OS Explorer Map 263 map.
Start: Take the left hand path out of the Forestry Commission car park then, after 100m, turn right down a forestry track. Follow the path for a mile then take the first track on the Rright Soon after views open out towards the village of Malltraeth (the English translation is Rotting Shore!) and the Bodorgan headland.
- 1mile SH408660 - Follow the path along the rough ground close to the forest edge. After 2 miles the track reaches the edge of the dunes; bear right to the beach and cross the headland of Traeth Penrhos to Llanddwyn Island where the beach meets the island look out for pillow lavas – these were caused when lava erupted under the Lapetus Ocean that covered Wales between 400-600 million years ago.
- 3.5 Miles SH390634 - Llanddwyn Island is part of the Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve and you are advised to stay on the paths at all times. The most spectacular path on the Island follows the coastline with views towards the mountains of Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula. The name of Llanddwyn means the Church of St Dwynwen who is the patron saint of Welsh lovers.
St Dwynwen lived in the fifth century and was one of St Brychan’s 24 daughters. She fell in love with a prince but unfortunately, her farther had arranged for her to marry another. She prayed to be released from the unhappy love and dreamt she was given a potion that turned her lover into ice. She then made three wishes: that her lover be revived, that all true lovers find happiness and that she should never again be married. She then retreated to Llanddwyn to live the life of a hermit. The site of St Dwynwen’s original church was rebuilt in the 16th century and the remains of this church are still standing.
After exploring the island turn right onto Llanddwyn Bay, past the freestanding rocks and enter the forest on the Isle of Anglesey Coastal path. Follow the way markers through the dunes to a path and then a tarmac track and turn left. Follow this track back towards the car park. Keep your eyes peeled for rare plants including a number of Orchid species. If you are quiet you may even be lucky enough to spot red squirrels.
- 7.5 Miles SH404655 - After 2.5 miles cut across to the estuary to the marker post numbered 34. From here follow the path that runs between the the edge of the woodland and the Estuary, and follow it as it winds over boardwalks to a Coastal Path way marker. This will then lead you back to the car park.
- Length: 13.5kms / 8.5 miles
- Time: 5 hours
- Grade: Moderate
- Download walk and map for printing
- Access: See terrain, steps and stiles
- Get here:See bus, train and car directions
- Facilities:See parking, food and toilets
Terrain: Forest paths and tracks and two short sections on the road. The section of path on the dunes is challenging. Some of the forestry tracks can become waterlogged.
Steps: About 15 steps along the path on the island.
Train: Regular Trains to Bangor from Chester.
Bus: The Number 42 bus from Bangor runs through Newborough to Aberffraw and on to Llangefni.
Car: From Bangor take directions to Llanfairpwll then join the A4080 and follow all the way to the Car Park.
Parking: Free parking, but gets very busy
Refreshments: Pub and shop in Newborough or try Hooton’s Home Grown, Gwydryn Hir, Brynsiencyn.
Toilets: In Newborough