If you can’t take a time off on Valentine’s Day and spend a few sunny hours on the beautiful Anglesey coast – when can you? Cards and little gifts opened, breakfast done and we’re off to the beach.
TIME FOR A TRIP
We grabbed our walking boots, packed a picnic, filled a flask with coffee and headed 40 minutes down the coast to Newborough Forest.
Anglesey is always a good idea especially with an early spring burst of sunshine. There are more beautiful beaches than you could shake a stick at. Dogs and flying sticks are welcome October – March on most of the beaches. We loved meeting a whole bunch of lovely dogs living their best life on the beach.
Newborough Warren (as it’s known) is found on the western coast of Anglesey. It’s a national nature reserve consisting of a large managed forest, and a wide dune area leading to a long sandy beach right on the edge of the Menai Straits. The beach leads to Ynys Llanddwyn or Llanddwyn Island. It’s not really an island but does get cut off at the highest tides.
TIME FOR A BIT OF HISTORY
Llanddwyn means “the Church of St Dwynwen” and she – St Dwynwen – is the Welsh patron saint of lovers. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day adventure. The ruined remains of her church are a stunning sight as you walk across the island as well as the huge stone cross that casts a thoughtful shadow over the island.
Right at the tip of the island, the farthest point you can walk, is Twr Mawr lighthouse which marks the western entrance to the famous Menai Straits.
TIME FOR A PICNIC
The thing about Llanddwyn is that it feels secluded even though there’s quite a few people milling around. There are so many quiet corners and hidden coves that it’s easy to find a cosy spot for a picnic. We headed for a little piece of sand with the most perfect, crystal clear view of Mt Snowdon and the Llyn Peninsular.
We’d packed a simple picnic of homemade butternut squash soup in our brand new Thermos flask with crusty bread and some fruit. It’s good to not overload the carbs when walking otherwise you suddenly feel the need for a nap, and the home run is a real drag.
TIME TO SPOT THE WILD HORSES
We knew they were here, but were keeping themselves well hidden. Then suddenly, as we were about to step off the island, they came dashing towards us. They’re used to people so you can get close. What an amazing place to live. If you’re a horse.
TIME TO SLOW DOWN
It’s impossible to come to one of Wales’ best beaches without breathing in the tranquility. Places like this make you slow down and breathe deep even if you don’t want to. The sound of the sea, the crunch of the shell footpaths, the swish of the Marram Grass in the gentle breeze. It’s all mesmerising. You’ll hear Ringed Plovers pecking at the water’s edge and see Cormorants drying their wings on the rocks. You might even spot grey seals in the bay. We didn’t but we’ll look again next time.
TIME TO FORGET TIME
The one thing you won’t do is look at your watch. Time stands still at Llanddwyn. It’s one of those places that has the power to hold you in the moment and not let you go until it’s done with you. I wore my favourite Morris York watch with it’s interchangeable pink strap that makes me very happy. But honestly I only looked at it once – to check it was lunchtime. Stupid really. I knew it was lunchtime. I was hungry!
TIME TO MAKE A PLAN
A day at Newborough Beach and Llanddwyn will cost you £5 entrance for the whole day. You’ll need to bring a picnic, and plenty of drinks. The island is completely wild so make use of the car park toilets – there are no others.
If you’ve never visited this wonderful place – I’ve told you now, so there’s no excuse. If you’re an occasional or regular visitor – you know exactly what I’m talking about. And now you want to go again.
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