Explore Anglesey Series | The best beaches on the islandPublished on 27 Jul 2020 by Gwion Llwyd
Anglesey boasts more than 125 miles of stunning coast and bucketfuls of beautiful, award-winning beaches. Here are some of our favourites.
Almost the entire Anglesey coastline has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it’s pretty easy to see why. The coastal landscape takes in rugged cliffs, secret coves, sheltered bays and sweeping, expansive sands. It is as varied as it is beautiful.
You’ll find plenty of shoreline treasure here, from plentiful low tide rock pools to the wild orchids that grow in marram-grass tufted dunes. And lookout for the abundant bird and wildlife that, for much of the year, makes Anglesey its home.
We love our beaches on Anglesey. These are some of our favourites.
Traeth Mawr, Cemaes (Little Beach)
Located on the North Anglesey Heritage Coast, the pretty harbour village of Cemaes is the most northerly village in Wales. There are two great beaches, Traeth Mawr (Big Beach) and Traeth Bach (Small Beach), each with golden sands and plenty of rock pooling opportunities. There is a slipway down to the sands, so access is pretty easy. The Anglesey Coast path runs through Cemaes, so there are plenty of good walking opportunities here too. Pack a picnic and head west for some of the most remote landscapes on the island, including the National Trust owned Nature Reserve at Cemlyn. Go east and follow the footpath for rocky cliff tops with spectacular views out to the Irish Sea.
Porth Padrig (White Lady Bay)
This secluded pebbled cove near the village of Llanbadrig is awash with Celtic legends. Park at the free car park near St Patrick’s church in Llanbadrig and follow the footpath down to the beach. You will find a beautiful crescent bay of sand and rocks framed by dramatic cliffs. There is a huge white quartzite stack in the middle of the bay. You might want to tell the kids that this “White Lady” is named after Ladi Wen, a Welsh folk legend ghost who allegedly haunts badly behaved children. The beach itself is named after St. Patrick, who is said to have crawled ashore here after being shipwrecked on Middle Mouse Island. A stone stile leads down to St Patrick’s cave at the rear of the church in Llanbadrig, and you can see Middle Mouse Island around a mile offshore.
You’ll find this beautiful Blue Flag beach at the eastern end of Red Wharf Bay on Anglesey’s east coast. Its shallow water makes it a great beach for swimming and paddling, but look out for the sand banks and channels which mean the tide can come in deceptively fast. Brilliant for beachcombing and bird watching, and great sea fishing too. Llanddona is on the Anglesey Coastal Path and there are some lovely walks close by, including one to Penmon Priory and Holy Well which lie to the east. There is parking, with a beach café and shop nearby as well as public loos. There are seasonal dog restrictions.
Traeth Lligwy (Lligwy Beach)
You’ll find this lovely sandy beach between Moelfre and Dulas Bay on Anglesey’s east coast. Its clean golden sands make it ideal for family fun and it is popular with surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers. Another significant draw is the lovely beach café which sells ice cream made with milk from local farms as well as delicious burgers, sandwiches and paninis. There is a good surf shop here too. There are no dog restrictions for responsible owners and ‘doggie bags’ are available from the beach café. There’s a charge for the car park, the village of Moelfre is around a 30 minute walk along the coastal path.
Red Wharf Bay
With its huge expanse of golden sand, Red Wharf Bay on Anglesey’s east coast is an ideal spot for paddling, swimming, walking and birdwatching. The beach is flanked on its eastern edge by the forests of Pentraeth – home to a sizeable red squirrel population and an Iron Age hillfort which is well worth an explore. The bay is brilliant for beachcombing, but watch out for a fast-flowing incoming tide – the sand banks and channels can be misleading. You can sip something cool or enjoy a good meal whilst soaking up the views at the excellent Ship Inn, which serves up great food and local ales.
Traeth Fedw Fawr (White Beach)
Just a few miles north of Beaumaris and close to Penmon, White Beach really is a bit of a hidden gem. It is also slightly awkward to get to, which means that it is very rarely (hmm, dare we say never?) very busy. Park at the National Trust’s Fedw Fawr site but you should bear in mind this is a very small parking area at the bottom of a very narrow lane with little room for manoeuvre. If you’d rather not take the risk of getting stuck, head for the slightly larger parking area at Glan-yr-afon, about ¾ mile away. The steps down to the beach are rather steep so take care. The wild ponies which graze the headland use these steps too, so look out for their hoofprints as you go. At the bottom of the steps you’ll find the most perfect pebbled cove which is pretty sheltered unless there is an easterly wind. The ideal spot for a romantic picnic. The water is crystal clear, but be wary of swimming as the currents can be very strong.
Newborough Warren and Llanddwyn Island
Ahh, Newborough. This is a truly enchanting place on the south western tip of Anglesey. Pine trees roll down to big sandy dunes and a fabulous golden beach with a stunning mountain backdrop. You can walk out to the tiny Llanddwyn Island, at the west end of the beach, at low tide. Legend has it that Llanddwyn was the 5th century home of Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. Now it is home to a beautiful Celtic cross, a lighthouse, wild ponies and the most spectacular mountain views. Newborough Warren has plenty of family-friendly trails to explore on foot or by bike. Look out for its native red squirrels when you visit. There is a charge to access the car park at the warren, which does have public loos. Newborough is a Blue Flag beach which means it has seasonal dog restrictions.
Traeth Mawr (Aberffraw)
With a backdrop of some of the country’s finest sand dunes, this sheltered sandy beach is flanked by two headlands. Park in Aberffraw village and walk around half a mile along the sandy banks of the River Ffraw to get there. This is a beautiful rural spot with magnificent scenery and a distinct lack of crowds. At low tide you can walk to the far side of the bay, or follow the Anglesey Coastal Path north west to the Church in the Sea at Porth Cwyfan. You can walk out to the 13th century church at low tide.
This family-friendly seaside village on Anglesey’s west coast has it all going on. Take your pick from surfing, bodyboarding, paddleboarding, kite surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, rock pooling, cycling, walking and sandcastling. Or maybe you just fancy sitting back and watching the waves roll in from the big Irish Sea. In any case, you’re unlikely to be bored on a day out here. There are around three miles of golden sands and dunes to explore, with no dog restrictions. Look out for the intriguing rock formations on the beach, and beautiful views of the Llŷn peninsula. Rhosneigr has lots of lovely cafés, restaurants and independent shops.
Porth Trecastell (Cable Bay)
This golden beach is popular with visitors and locals who love it for its relatively safe swimming and sheltered sands. You’ll find it on Anglesey’s west coast between Aberffraw and Rhosneigr. The smallish beach is backed by marram dunes and nestles between two headlands. Ideal for escaping a boisterous breeze. There’s a lovely walk around the headland to Barclodiad y Gawres, one of the UK’s most important Neolithic Burial Chambers. The descent to the beach is fairly steep, so beware if you’re a little unsteady on your feet or taking a pushchair. There’s a small car park where you’ll often find an ice cream van. Seasonal dog restrictions.
Porth Swtan (Church Bay)
You’ll find Church Bay on the peaceful and timeless north-west coast of Anglesey. This Blue Flag award-winner boasts a broad sand and pebble beach backed by high red sandstone cliffs. At the right time of year you’ll see gulls, fulmars and choughs nesting in them. When the tide is out, there are some exciting rock formations that are great fun for rock pooling and for playing hide and seek. This Blue Flag beach has excellent water quality and is popular for swimming, sailing and fishing. There’s a lovely café above the beach which sells the most amazing homemade pies and scones. It is quite a steep walk down to the beach from the car park. No dog restrictions.
Trearddur Bay is on Holy Island, a short drive over the embankment on the north west coast of Anglesey. Expect a low grassy coastline with lots of small rocky outcrops, coves and a lovely sandy bay. Trearddur is a popular place and can be busy in the summertime, but there is plenty of space to keep everyone happy. With its fantastic big-sky views out to the Irish Sea it is a popular place for sailing, surfing, canoeing and kayaking. You’re only walking distance from the town which has some nice cafés and shops. There are plenty of decent ice cream opportunities. Seasonal dog restrictions apply.
A beautiful, gently shelving beach on the southern end of Holy Island. Ideal for swimming, paddling and general sandy fun. Get there early, as there is only a small car park. On the upside, this means the beach never gets too busy. There is a lovely walk up to the old coastguard lookout, with wonderful views across the island and over to the Llŷn Peninsula. There are public loos in the car park and seasonal dog restrictions at the Silver Bay end of the beach, none at Borth Wen end.
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