A couple of weeks ago we ventured to Anglesey for our annual start of May bank holiday break. Every year it seems to take ages to get to the start of May but it certainly feels great once you realise the time is here.
We took even more gear than usual as this year we had a couple of mountain bikes with us. We managed to get them in the car but only because this is a relatively short break, for anything any longer we’re going to have to ‘carry’ them outside.
After a fast, event free journey down to Anglesey, stopping at the A55 Diner for a brew and to pick up bait from the attached tackle shop we arrived at Cerrig Y Barcud, a selection of about half a dozen cottages 5 minutes walk from the Menai Straights. We were staying in ‘Crib Goch’ cottage which could sleep 4 but as normal we’d need an extra room to stash all the gear we’d brought. After unpacking and a quick mug of tea ventured to Tesco’s in Bangor for supplies then had a relatively early night as we were going for a long run tomorrow.
On Sunday we were up at 6:30 to make porridge for a long run as I’m training for a trail running marathon. We set off at 8:45 but the original coastal path route went through a field of cows with calfs so after a quick re-plan we ran along the road to the Dolphin Inn, along the beach a bit toward the stables then cut inland to eventually cross some large stepping stones and followed the track towards the main road.
We continued through the western most car park then followed the coastal path to Newborough forest car park and beyond where at 14k Wendy turned back and I continued onto Llanddwyn island then round Newborough for a distance of 42k.
It was a great run except for my navigation going a bit wrong in the forest. Llanddwyn and Newborough Forest are both beautiful and it was good to get out and just run in the beautiful Welsh countryside with the warmth of the sun and a light sea breeze to keep cool.
After lunch we ventured to Foel Farm for cake as it is just 5 minutes from where we are staying and after running so far we needed fuel… cake is fuel… honest
Monday dawned a bit cloudy with a strong breeze and with the tides still a bit iffy for fishing the straits And the fact we had a bit of a lie in after the previous days running we went for a gently bike across the island through Llangaffa, Bethel and Aberffraw to a viewpoint overlooking church in the bay where we had our lunch.
We returned back through Maltraeth then to Newborough forest using the cycle path I should have used on my long run yesterday then back to the cottage along the main road.
The weather turned a bit later on but we’d done all our ’outside’ stuff for the day and after a quick trip into Menai Bridge for some supplies and a pint (beer is fuel as well) we got our things ready for our first sea fishing session of the break.
We were greeted with an early blue sky and sunshine morning, early because I miss-timed the tide a little and we got up early, which is a first. We fished the straits opposite the stables, low water up for a couple of hours, using crab on a standard running ledger. It was very windy but warm and sunny and seemed ideal for the first bass of the year but the baits were coming back untouched.
We last fished here in dark a few years ago but did see someone fishing on Sunday so thought it would be OK. Maybe it was too silty due to the wind, maybe the crabs weren’t quiet up to scratch or maybe we were just unlucky…
After lunch we went for a short walk from the Priory / Dovecote to Penmon for cake as our legs were still tired from the long run and cycle so we took it easy.
Wednesday was another day of rest, we were on holiday after all and the weather was far too windy to go sea fishing anywhere. In the evening we went into Menai Bridge and had a fantastic dinner at Dylan’s Restaurant which sits on the Menai Straits along side the Thomas Telford bridge. The setting, meal and service were all excellent and we’ll definitely be going back during our next Anglesey visit.
An early start to Thursday started with a 1 1/2 hour drive to Coed-y-Brenin for an exploratory run before the half and full trail marathons in June. After grabbing some change for the pay and display (5 pound coins for all day) from the visitors centre and a map of the trail running routes we set off on the Goldrush 8.5 mile route.
The route started with a long climb but quickly became a fantastic run on a few forest roads, through the woods on loamy bouncy single track, over bridges spanning fast flowing streams, descending down switchbacks… the route had everything and it was great, we even had a little bit of sun towards the end.
We made fairly good time and after a stretch and a change into some dry clothing we had lunch of a Dragons Back Burger (lamb) and wedges at the café followed by a quick look at the Beics Brenin (the bike shop) which was well stocked. After picking up some mountain bike trail leaflets for future visits we took a quick trip into Dolgellau to check out the hotel for Junes marathon then an easy journey back to Anglesey finishing the day off with a quick walk along the straits and a bottle of Rosé Rioja.
Friday was our last day on Anglesey for this visit and after an aborted bike ride (our legs were just too tired after Thursdays run) we went for a gentle stroll around Newborough forest and beach. The weather was beautiful and sunny but very windy which made ideal conditions for some fairly impressive kite surfing where some of the surfers were doing somersaults.
And then, far too soon, Saturday arrived and it was time to come home after another great break on Anglesey. The cottage at Cerrig-Y-Barcud was perfect and we’re looking forward to going back for a couple of weeks in July.