Cemlyn and Llanrhwydrus circular walk

Cemlyn, Anglesey

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
The burial ground has some significant graves © National Trust

The burial ground has some significant graves

You can just see the Henborth drumlin at the far end of the beach © National Trust

You can just see the Henborth drumlin at the far end of the beach

Swans on Cemlyn Lagoon © National Trust

Swans on Cemlyn Lagoon

Route overview

A truly atmospheric three-mile walk. If you time it right you'll see the sun setting into the Irish Sea. There's ancient pre-history here plus memories of more recent human achievement and memorials of loss.

Route details

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

Map showing route of a circular walk round the coast from Cemlyn on Angelsey
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Bryn Aber car park, grid ref: SH329935

  1. From the car park, walk out past the monument towards the headland.

  2. Turn left through the kissing gate and either follow the coastal path or walk along the beach. You might see grey seals hauled up on Craig yr Iwrch, the rocky island on your right.

  3. Enjoy the wonderful sea views as you walk along the coast. If you have time, it's well worth making a short detour to Llanrhwydrus Church. This lovely little building is one of Anglesey's oldest spiritual sites and one of very few pre-reformation churches on the island.

    Show/HideSt Rhwydrus church

    The burial ground contains two significant graves. Here lies Second World War air gunner Vivian Parry from nearby Plas Cemlyn who won the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). Nearby is the grave of a Norwegian, Christen Osuldsen. He was master of the 'Thomas Humphreys' which hit the Skerries rocks in a gale while sailing from Liverpool to New York in 1867.

    The burial ground has some significant graves © National Trust
  4. When you reach the little bay of Henborth be sure to look for the Henborth drumlin - a rock formation that looks like a beached whale. Turn left through the kissing gate.

    Show/HideHenborth drumlin

    Drumlins are glacial deposits that expose the geological make-up of their surroundings going back hundreds of millions of years. They are rare things in Britain and this is a particularly fine example.

    You can just see the Henborth drumlin at the far end of the beach © National Trust
  5. Walk on through the kissing gate towards Hen Felin (Old Mill) and cross the bridge. Turn left onto the lane and walk back towards Cemlyn Bay and the National Nature Reserve sheltered by the shingle ridge.

  6. After you pass Fronddu, turn left up the lane. This takes you past the Cemlyn lagoon, established in the 1930s by Captain Vivian Hewitt of Bryn Aber.

    Show/HideCaptain Vivian Hewitt

    Captain Vivian Hewitt was known as 'the modest millionaire'. His interest in birds led him to build the first dam and weir at Cemlyn, replacing tidal saltmarsh with a large and permanent lagoon which he intended as a refuge for wildfowl.

    Swans on Cemlyn Lagoon © National Trust
  7. Follow the lane over the causeway and back to the car park. Look out across the lagoon: in summer over 1,000 terns nest on the islands in the lagoon, while in winter it provides a sheltered haven for many varieties of water fowl.

End: Bryn Aber car park, grid ref: SH329936

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 3 miles (4.8km)
  • Time: 2 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 114
  • Terrain:

    Undulating, kissing gates, beach or coastal path. Return on country lane. 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: Station at 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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