Of course when you are running you do not always have time to take in the views you are passing but moving at a sedate jog or fast walk I was able to take in enough to form an opinion so here goes:-
The most praise I can give it is that I now plan to walk Dorina around it, hopefully this year, it is more than worth a more leisurely look. I had been told of it’s gorgeous bays, undulating nature & historic sites & these it has in abundance. In parts it reminded me of Cornwall, Devon & Pembrokeshire, not bad for a ‘small’ island which I have neglected for far too long.
To be more precise my first surprise was how quickly I left the urban environment of Holyhead to find small rocky coves lapped by soft waves & this was before I’d even left Holyhead Island, it’s resident dog walkers are lucky indeed.
There are too many places to extol their virtue in one review but if you are not going to walk the whole path (remember it is nearly 138 miles & not 130) I’ll list a few of my favourite ‘must see again highlights’:-
Section 1 – Penrhos, Church Bay.
Section 2 – Cerrig Brith, Wylfa Head & Caemas Bay.
Section 3 – All of Caemas Bay to Bull Bay, Craig Dhu.
Section 4 – All of Amloch to Porth Helygen, Traeth Dhu Estuary, Traeth yr Ora Bay.
Section 5 – Traeth Bychan & Benlech Sands (surprisingly not Red Wharf Bay).
Section 6 – Penmon Point, & the beach between Lleiniog & Tal-ty’n-lon.
Section 7 – Views from Llandegfan of Snowdonia, Menai Bridge to Britannia Bridge.
Section 8 – Surprisingly nothing, not to say that some parts weren’t worth seeing but too much of this section is distant from the coast, maybe on a full breakfast next time I might see things in a different light but I have a feeling I won’t.
Section 9 – Maltreath & Aberffraw Sands.
Section 10 – Braich Lwyd Headland (stunning & remote on an early morning high tide), most of Traeth Cymyran beach to Four Mile Bridge (inlets & rolling fields, even the RAF Valley noise pollution failed to spoil this section.
Section 11 – Everything apart from the two road sections (remote & beautiful coastline).
Section 12 – All of the Penrhyn Headland, South Stack to Porth Namarch, even familiarity with these sections failed to dampen my enjoyment of running this final Section.
Is there a right way to do it, clockwise (as me) or anti-clockwise, where to start & finish, when (early to mid-Spring & early to mid-Autumn seem to make sense from a weather, reduced crowds & available accommodation point of view), run or walk, in one go or over a longer period, you have choices & all have their merits. I chose the guidebook way at least on a directional basis & will probably do the same when I return with Dorina but don’t let that lead you away from whatever feels right for you, just do it any which way you can.
Finally, if you live & ‘work’ in Snowdonia as I do, or if you are a frequent visitor exploring her wonderfully diverse mountains, valleys & rivers what has Anglesey’s relatively flat lands have to offer to you. Well in short, more than you can possibly imagine, a change, at times sublime beauty, a chance for peaceful reflection but un-like me on my first deep foray into it’s outer self, take your time, sit & relax in it’s abundant coves, dig deeper into it’s historical industrial relics, you won’t be disappointed I assure you. Thank you Anglesey for 4 enlightening days in the middle of May 2019, it was better late than never, I am still basking in your glory!