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Exploring Cemaes to Llanbadrig

Porth Padrig
Porth Padrig | © National Trust images/John Miller Photography

From a tidal bell designed by Marcus Vergette, to the remnants of a lime kiln which hints at Anglesey’s industrial history, this stretch of the Wales Coast Path sits within an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty and has plenty to offer for walkers. As you arrive at Llanbadrig beach, stop to admire the mythical Ladi Wen, or White Lady, a magnificent quartzite stack.

Heron sat on a tree branch in Southern Woods at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire
A perching heron | © National Trust Images/Derek Hatton

Walking in Cemaes

Cemaes is a traditional fishing village on the northern coast of Anglesey with the river Wygr flowing from nearby Parys Mountain into the bay.

As you walk along the Wales Coast path towards Llanbadrig you will be greeted with pleasant views across the Irish sea. On clear days you can see the Isle of Man, the hills of the Lake District and the mountains of Mourne in Ireland in the distance.

En route to Llanbadrig you will notice traditional hay fields which bloom wildflowers in the summer months, porpoises coming up for air and coastal birds such as the heron, kittiwake, fulmar, and guillemot.

Y Ladi Wen

Once you have arrived at Porth Padrig beach, notice the striking rock formation at the far end of the crescent bay. This natural quartzite sea stack is known locally as the ‘Ladi Wen’ which means ‘white lady’ In Welsh. The name is derived from an apparition of a woman dressed in white in Celtic Mythology, who would appear to warn children of bad behaviour. The Ladi Wen is just one of many geological features on Anglesey, which make up part of the Mona Complex- the oldest rock units seen in Wales.

White Lady rock formation
White Lady rock formation at Porth Padrig | © National Trust images/Joe Cornish

Local History

Llanbadrig itself is named after the famous Patron Saint of Ireland. According to legend, Patrick was shipwrecked near the north of Anglesey in 440 AD while travelling back from Scotland. The bishop came ashore from the little island nearby, now called Ynys Badrig (St. Patrick's Island) and took sanctuary in a small cave with a well which are now called Ogof a Ffynnon Badrig. To show his gratitude to God for surviving, Patrick erected a church on the headland above. The church is considered the oldest in Wales.

The interior of the church is most impressive with dramatic contrast between the traditional stone walls and the arabic-style tiles and iconography. This was due to a refurbishment in 1884, when the third Lord Stanley of Alderly donated money to the church to reflect his conversion to the Islam faith.

A young child and her mother bending down to look at flowers in the Sunken Garden in May at Castle Ward, County Down, Northern Ireland

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