The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 2 May 2014

Day 7 – Malltraeth to before Menai Bridge (completing the circuit)

Friday 2 May (0710-1420)

Distance: 20.75 miles (Tot: 133.25)

Weather: Overcast

There was no lack of enthusiasm this morning. I bounced out of bed and strode out of the campsite before most people were out of bed, ready to complete what I’d started last weekend.

This was the first morning on which I didn’t have an alternative route to get back onto the coast path, and thus half a mile or more of back-tracking was required before I reached the shared walk and cycle way heading towards Newborough Forest. Views over the Snowdonia hills were clear to see from that cycle way:


Had this been an ‘A to B’ type of a walk, there was a much shorter way to have crossed Newborough Forest, but as the coast has been my objective, I duly followed the forest’s edge, sometimes from within the trees:


Sometimes by walking along the huge beach:


By 9am, it was feeling like time for a banana break, and a handy picnic bench provided me with a seat (actually, it would have been handier if I hadn’t had to clamber up from the beach and over the railing!):


The walk along the beach had been fine, on firm sand, but then the coast path took me along this soft sandy affair:


I’m not a fan of ankle-shaping soft sand!

It was just at the end of that path that I came across a band of 12 women, who I quickly surmised was the same group who had set off just after me when I finished elevenses yesterday. They didn’t half walk quickly for such a large group and I spotted them behind me quite a few times as the day went on, although they didn’t quite catch me.

Even these huge stepping stones didn’t seem to affect their pace:


The lane walking was minimal, and those I did walk were perfectly pleasant. This one had a hedgerow one side and a bank the other, and that bank was home to a very pretty bluebell community:


So close to the end of my walk, I nearly came a cropper. Someone had ‘kindly’ stood the broken lower step of this stile upright so that it looked in good repair. It fell as I committed my full weight to it and I thanked my lucky stars that I hadn’t done myself a mischief. I removed the step completely so no-one else suffers a worse fate than a bit of a stumble:


The next lane ran along the sea wall of the Menai Strait, and there was evidence of a high tide:


I thought the name of the boat (Uphill Struggle) was particularly appropriate for its position.

Second only to my dislike of walking on soft sand is my dislike of walking on shifting pebble beaches. However, I still opted for the beach route when I had the option of beach or lane:


Then the route deviates significantly away from the coast. Plas Newydd, a National Trust property, lies in the way and no route (permissive nor RoW) runs through it. I was half tempted to see if it was possible to trespass through, but I couldn’t face the possible back-track, so I duly walked up the lane as the waymarks and map indicated.

I didn’t follow the coast path in its entirety. For less distance along the lane, there’s another public footpath, which ends up in the same place as the official route. The reason it’s not the official route is clear: it goes through someone’s front garden, past their front door, through their side gate and into their back yard, before going out through their back gate. I’ve noticed that planners of long distance routes tend to avoid sending hoards through people’s gardens. I took the route all the same, and the first part of it was quite pleasant:


By the time I got back to the coast I was tiring (having kept up quite a pace for some many hours), and upon seeing the final bullet point on this sign I decided that if the tide was obscuring the path (and I knew that the tide was approaching its height) then I would just wade if I safely could, because I was so close to the end now that I didn’t want to be faffing around finding an alternative (which would likely be the main road):


My feet didn’t get wet; there was plenty of beach to spare … even if it was shingle again!


The canoeists in the Strait were having fun too! I’ve seen quite a few canoeists/sea-kayakers this week.


Finding myself in between the Britannia and the Menai bridges, all that remained for me to do was to pass by the graffitied split-faced lion and find a way up to the road.


As it happened, the path took me up to the road of its own accord and about fifty paces later I was crossing the point where I had started last Saturday lunchtime and climbing into the awaiting Colin.

And so my journey around Anglesey was over. I shall post some concluding thoughts separately. There will be just one more short walk tomorrow before we head home to prepare for our return to Scotland.


  1. Well done, Gayle. Business as usual next week, then. Hope Mick has made a full recovery. If not, let me know if you need a substitute!

    1. Whilst Mick's recovery isn't yet complete, he's confident that he can tackle our TGOC route without me modifying it. I've just sorted out our travel arrangements to get us there.

  2. I've enjoyed that Gayle, hope you have too. I really hope Mick is feeling fit and well, David's looking forward to seeing you both soon!

    1. I certainly did enjoy it. Looking forward to seeing David soon, and you a few days later :-)

  3. Excellent Gayle. Enjoyed that. You put me to shame with your organising. See you both next week.

    1. Somehow I managed to go against my obsession with organisation this last week and set out without any plan. Not a single spreadsheet was created in relation to this walk!

      Usual organisational obsession will return for the next walk.

      See you on Thursday.

  4. Good luck on your return to Scotland.
    I leave in the morning.

    1. Are you planning an really long, slow journey?

      That said, we're leaving on Tuesday to get to Torridon by Friday!