When my parents visit, we tend to do a lot of walks in the Conwy valley. The walks (besides being gorgeous and interesting) are relatively nearby and usually easy to access with public transport. However, we often talk about possible walks on Anglesey and really wanted to fit one in during their trip this spring.
I headed to Mud and Routes (the source of last year’s Criccieth walk) to see what options I could find, and I quickly became interested in their walk to Ynys Llanddwyn. I had heard of this tidal island before — it’s linked to St. Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, whose feast day is now somewhat similar to Valentine’s Day. It’s definitely the sort of place that you struggle to reach without a car, so we decided to head there on a weekend when my husband (the only UK driver among us) could come as well.
One thing we definitely did not expect was the incredible wind that met us there. Ynys Llanddwyn is on the west side of Anglesey and the wind comes through quite forcefully, whipping up the sand and generally making it hard to enjoy a stroll along the beach. Instead, we followed the inland path recommended by another Ynys Llanddwyn walk and the trees protected us most of the way from the parking lot to the island.
The island is quite small, but there are numerous paths around and through it. A path down the center of the island is wide and well protected from the wind, while two narrower paths on the sides follow the ridges and offer lovely views of the water and rocks below.
About two-thirds of the way across the island you’ll encounter the ruins of St. Dwynwen’s Church. Looking carefully through the window you might notice a Celtic cross (one of two crosses you’ll find on the island):
At the end of the island are two impressive lighthouses overlooking the beginning of the Menai Strait. The larger of the two is Tŵr Mawr, which sits on top of a hill:
On a slightly less blustery day, I could imagine coming here for a full day of playing on the beach, meandering on the island, and then wandering through the forest trails. From the photos I’ve seen, it also seems like the views of Snowdonia might be truly impressive on a clear day. But even on a windy, somewhat overcast day like we had, it was a lovely walk and I hope to be back another time. Until then, I’ll remember sitting and watching the waves roll in …