Friday, 20 April 2018
Thursday 19 April 2018 - The Anglesey Coast Path - Stage 4 - Newborough to Beaumaris
Actual for Sue, Paul and Jeanette - 25 km, 400 metres ascent, around 9 hours.
Martin did about 18 km of bimbling.
A start under high cloud with a cool breeze developed into a warm, sunny day. Perfect for walking.
We all have 'performance' issues. Paul has two very sore toes and will be wearing trainers tomorrow. Sue has her usual Achilles pains. Jeanette has back and foot problems to name just two. I am awaiting a straightforward hernia operation and given the discomfort I've suffered over the previous three days I've reluctantly decided to moderate my daily mileage. How come I can run a marathon without discomfort but I can't walk 10 km....?
So whilst Janeen pedalled off into the sunshine and the three remaining Coast Path veterans set off on that path, Richard kindly drove me to Holyhead to collect Polly.
I then parked by a place called West Lodge, at kilometre 14 along today's route. It was a really lovely day, with fine views across the Menai Straights to Snowdonia. Strolling along the coast path to meet the others at Llanidan, I managed to negotiate a tidal section. Hoping it would still be clear, I led the others back that way, but we missed the chance to follow the coast by about ten minutes and had to retreat to an inland alternative.
The coasters had almost foundered at the stepping stones across Afon Braint, where after a first refusal from Jeanette, she had to be coaxed over the slippery stones in order to avoid a long diversion. She had recovered her composure by the time they reached me, albeit they were bemoaning missed tea shop opportunities.
Back at West Lodge, and faced with 2 km of boring tarmac, as the Coast Path headed inland to get around the private domain of Plas Newydd, our reluctant heroes jumped into Polly with unexpected glee. Soon they were enjoying lunch on a stone bench 2 km further on at Pont y Crug.
After that I walked with them to the ancient burial chamber at Bryn Celli Ddu, an impressive artifact, before leaving them to continue on their teashopless route to the splendid Pont Britannia and the Menai Suspension Bridge that link Anglesey with the Welsh mainland. I believe it was an excellent afternoon stroll, with consistently fine views.
Meanwhile, a visit to Plas Newydd seemed appropriate for me. Coffee and cake were the objective, duly achieved after a quick look around the house. This place merits a fuller visit, though it's a shame the National Trust can't accommodate a route for the Coast Path through its extensive grounds. There's a magnificent mural by a man called Rex Whistler whose life was sadly cut short in WW2, and military prowess in the family that owns the estate seems to have been inspired by the achievements of the 1st Marquis, Henry 'One Leg', if not earlier.
On then to Menai, where I enjoyed another short walk to meet the others under the Menai Suspension Bridge. After leaving the town and passing a few browsing Shelduck, we reached Polly by the Caeau Pen y Clip Nature Reserve. It was well after 5 pm, with a good 6 km to go, mostly on quiet tarmaced roads above the Menai Straights. As mentioned above, all our remaining 'coasters' had performance issues. Saving themselves for another day, they eagerly sought refuge in Polly for the rest of today's journey.
It was well worth arriving early at Victoria Cottage B&B, where Carole and Jeff were most welcoming. A great spot, as was the Midland Tapas and Wine Bar, where we later indulged ourselves.