Penrhos Country Park to South Stack – Wales Coast Path

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A pleasant starting point to our walk, we looked out for red squirrels at the feeding boxes in the park, shortly to be followed by a peak at the Pet Cemetary, not to be confused with anything created by Stephen King. The walk is easy going at this stage, passing the ruins of a naval battery dating from the Nepoleonic wars, along the shoreline, until we turn towards the urban sprawl of Holyhead.

We stop and watch a training rescue exercise out to sea. We look up at the Skinners Monument, but are not tempted to climb up for a closer look. We have a long day ahead!

The path signs through Holyhead are a bit scarce, out comes the guidebook, which points us in the direction of the station, across the Millennium Bridge or the Celtic Gateway Bridge towards the town centre and St Cybi’s church. Holyhead in Welsh is Caer Gybi. The fortress walls surrounding the church date from Roman times, and the original church was built in 520 AD.  My attention strayed to the gravestones, with so many recorded young deaths – the tragedy some families seem to have suffered.

We walk along the shoreline, and stopped to chat to a very knowledgeable old chap on his bike. He told us of the terrible damage done by Storm Emma in March 2018. Indeed , we could still see some traces of boats in the harbour and as we walked onwards passing the Soldiers’ Point House. Reaching the foreshore, where the boats damaged from the storm, have been bought ashore. Millions of pounds worth of damage.

The path tends to get a bit tricky as we head uphill, towards the quarry face. Top marks though to Anglesey Coast Path for the work done on the path surface and the coded numbers on benches etc in the event of an emergency, there is a clear location marker.  From here we scramble up the path towards the North stack fog warning stations. Great views back towards the Holyhead breakwater, the largest in the UK, stretching out like a giant serpent into the sea.

A number of rocky paths present themselves. We don’t go up to the summit of Holy Mountain, but there is a feel of a pilgrimage route to this section, hard rock, through tumbling heather. It can’t have changed much through the centuries.

The final stretch is a very pleasant walk zig zagging our way towards the South Stack Lighthouse, iconic and familiar from a number of tourist publications and images. A further stroll to the RSPB car park.

A varied and satisfying section in early spring sunshine. Perfect!

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