Aberffraw and St Cwyfan’s Church

A circular walk of 8 miles including 830 feet of elevation overall. Start Point: Cable Bay car park, Porth Trecastell, Anglesey. LL63 5TE

Map References: SH 3307065 or Lat: 53.207852  Lon: -4.496570

adult-blur-boots-1452784An undemanding, low-level walk along a section of the Anglesey coastal path. Much of the coastline here is reminiscent of Cornwall with rugged clifftops and hidden coves. A variety of sea birds provide a constant, chattering presence and grey seals have been known to put in an appearance close to shore. Because of the effects of erosion, some parts of the coastal path have been lost to the pounding waves of the Irish Sea; therefore it’s not advisable to begin walking this route during or around an expected high tide.

St Cwyfan’s church – the church in the sea – sits on a island called Cribinau – accessible during low tide via a causeway of rough stone and founded in the seventh century by an Irish saint, although the current building is dated closer to the 12th century. Old maps show the church was actually built inland, but gradual sea erosion has now made it a central feature of Porth Cwyfan. At high tide the church is completely surrounded by the sea. Services are still held on the first Sunday in June and August

 

The route

  1. Facing Cable Bay, take the footpath to the far left of the car park and follow the blue coastal path markers across the headland for .8 of a mile. Bear left up a slight incline towards another coastal marker. Go through the gate into pasture land.
  2. Keep to the lefthand fence-line. Panoramic views of Snowdonia in the distance and all the way down to the Llyn Peninsular. At the end of this field, with the farm buildings well ahead, turn right to locate a gate by a footpath sign. Pass through this gate onto the road, crossing after a few yards to take a gravelled path on the left.
  3. Follow the path as it meanders round the perimeter of Anglesey Race Track, farmland to the left. At the end of this track you’ll arrive at St Cwyfan’s church.
  4. The coastal path continues around the perimeter of the bay but due to erosion it’s far easier to walk across the beach. Worth exploring church island before picking up the route at the far end of the beach and passing through a wooden gate back onto the grassy headland.
  5. Continue to follow the blue coastal path markers as the track winds along the edge of the coast. The path has broken down in some parts, making it necessary to walk across the beach or skirt around the rocks. An easy enough proposition when the tide is low.
  6. Eventually the route heads along the estuary towards the village of Aberffraw. Ignore the route up through the houses and if the tide allows, continue along the beach – eventually passing several cottages on the left – to reach an old stone bridge. At the bridge, turn left and head up into the village.
  7. Turn left at the T junction, with Aberffraw church on your left, and keep left to exit the village, continuing along the single-track road. Where the road bears left, locate a wooden kissing-gate on the right and enter the pasture land. The land here is flat and although this section of the route – the Heritage Way – may seem indistinct due to changing crops or grazing animals, it’s easy enough to spot the next gate or stile.
  8. Follow the right-hand fence-line initially, then cross diagonally to the left to locate the next gate set into the boundary which crosses a small stream via a wooden bridge. Cross the next field, bearing left again towards a wooden stile. This brings you onto a farm track. Go straight ahead here and follow the fence-line through farmland. Views to the left of St Cwyfan’s church can look spectacular here due to the elevation. Continue through the gate then bear right to take a diagonal track towards the next stile – farm buildings ahead.
  9. Continue over the next stile then head towards the houses – rooftops just visible. Cross this final field to locate a kissing-gate to the left of a farm gate, which returns you to the same gravelled path at point 3 of this route – alongside a large property called Llangwyfan-isaf. Retrace your steps to the car park.

 

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