Cemlyn Shingle Ridge walk

Cemlyn, Anglesey

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Looking out across Cemlyn lagoon © National Trust

Looking out across Cemlyn lagoon

Sandwich Terns nest in their thousands at Cemlyn © MRP

Sandwich Terns nest in their thousands at Cemlyn

What remains of Bryn Aber walled garden © National Trust

What remains of Bryn Aber walled garden

Route overview

Step out of the car park onto a fantastic shingle ridge, watch a host of water birds on the lagoon and walk back along the lane. On this walk you'll pass the home of the first person to fly from Wales to Ireland, Captain Vivian Hewitt, who also created the lagoon.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Map showing route of a trail along Cemlyn shingle ridge on Angelsey
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Bryn Aber car park, grid ref: SH329935

  1. Go out of the car park and turn left, over the bridge and onto the shingle ridge. The ridge, known as Esgair Gemlyn, was formed by the process of longshore drift.

    Show/HideEsgair Gemlyn

    The profile of the ridge is changing all the time, inching inland every year with the action of tide and weather. Some coastal plants such as Sea Kale, Sea Campion, and Yellow Horned Poppy thrive on the shifting stones.

    Looking out across Cemlyn lagoon © National Trust
  2. Walk along the ridge towards the eastern car park. To your right is the Cemlyn National Nature Reserve, an internationally important seabird colony.

    Show/HideTern colony

    In summer the air is filled with the sound of chattering sea birds which come here to breed. This is one of Britains largest nesting populations of Sandwich terns. There's a tern viewing area on the ridge where you can watch these elegant birds close-up as they chase and dive.

    Sandwich Terns nest in their thousands at Cemlyn © MRP
  3. When you get to the car park at the eastern end of the ridge, turn right and walk down the lane past Tyddyn Sydney farm.

  4. At the road junction, bear right and walk along the lane past the National Trust farm at Plas Cemlyn.

  5. Turn right at the road junction and follow the lane back over the causeway and past Bryn Aber, back to the car park.

    Show/HideBryn Aber

    Captain Vivian Hewitt was a wealthy eccentric with a great interest in birds. He created the lagoon that you've walked past, and he also wanted to encourage smaller birds to a woodland area at Bryn Aber. He began to build the double walls you see here as both a wind break and a bird 'hide' - there are viewing holes in the inner wall.

    What remains of Bryn Aber walled garden © National Trust

End: Bryn Aber car park, grid ref: SH329935

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
  • Time: 1 hour
  • OS Map: Landranger 114
  • Terrain:

    Minor hill, shingle on ridge, tarmac. Kissing gates. Bridge access from car park can be flooded at high tide. Dogs on leads welcome.

  • How to get here:

    By bike: NCN Route 566 goes close by, see Sustrans for details

    By bus: Amlwch to Holyhead route stops at Tregele (45 minute walk), see Traveline-Cymru for details

    By train: Holyhead 12 miles (19km), see Traveline-Cymru for details

    By car: A5025 from Valley, follow sign to Cemlyn NNR in Tregele (opposite Douglas Inn). On approach to Cemlyn NNR take second turning to the right then turn right again, after farm buildings, past Bryn Aber walled garden to the car park. Post code LL67 0DY

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