The church in the sea - Anglesey

The church in the sea - Anglesey

3 minutes to read

Wales, and particularly the more northern areas, are full of wilderness, savage landscapes and rough seas. The small island of Anglesey, off the northern coast of Wales, is entirely typical of that previous description. That shouldn't put you off at all though, as this is one of the most hauntingly beautiful areas of the UK, where a complete lack of tourism and development has meant that you rarely have to share these places with anyone else. The small island of Rhosneigr is very close to the Snowdonia mountains, and you can see more about walking in the Snowdonia mountains in the link. For me this is one of the most underrated areas in the UK, and I wish more people knew about it (or maybe I don't, as I love the quiet and calm that hasn't changed in the 27 years I've been visiting here).

Wild coastline - Picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe
Wild coastline - Picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe

Lonely and small in the rough sea...

The Church of St Cwyfan is a complete oddity - I really don't know how else to describe it. It's unadorned, in the middle of nowhere and seems like the strangest place to put a church. You can only access the little island (when I say little I mean about 20 metres across) during low-tide when the water is out, but the island is only 100 metres away from the mainland. I suppose it offered some form of protection against Viking invaders and angry locals when it was built in the 13th Century. I think it sort of sums up much of the loveliness of northern Wales. It's unassuming, pretty, isolated and not well-known, very much like the area. Some theories say that the island is only an island due to coastal erosion and was in fact attached to the mainland when it was constructed, but it's not at all clear...

Picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe
Picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe
Church of St Cwyfan - Anglesey
Church of St Cwyfan - Anglesey

Walking the coastal path...

Although the church is cute and rather odd, people normally see it during a walk on the coastal pathways that run all around the island of Rhosneigr. My grandparents live on the sleepy island, and so I've spent a large part of my childhood walking these rough and ready paths in the bleak and cold weather. 

Picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe
Picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe

Whilst the weather may not be shiny and perfect, I think the heavy dark clouds and cold winds actually add to the atmosphere on the coast of Wales. This is not somewhere you come to sunbathe and have a cocktail in the shade - instead it's a place to find nature and disconnect from our busy lives. You can connect here with the Anglesey Coastal Path which runs the entire 200 km circumference of the island of Anglesey. You can even spot seals here, and because this area has quite a decent number of walkers visiting, they are relatively confident and will stay bobbing around and even come closer sometimes. This is an ideal area for dog walking, and my family dogs are swimmers, as you can see in the photo below. Even though a labrador might get in the sea, I don't know if you will be brave enough. Icy winds, no sign of the sun and the cold blue/green waters will probably put you off...

My dog checking out a seal - Picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe
My dog checking out a seal - Picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe
Anglesey Coastal Path
Anglesey Coastal Path
Anglesey Coastal Path, Amlwch LL68 9DU, UK

Cover picture © Credits to Joe Thorpe

The author

Joe Thorpe

Joe Thorpe

I am Joe. I grew up in the UK, have lived in Africa and Paris, and now reside in Spain. An outdoor enthusiast, I like nothing more than to find a deserted beach, build a campfire and enjoy the view.

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