When it comes to a perfect outdoor trifecta: mountains, a forest and the sea are my idea of the ultimate combination for a setting. Surely a place that gives you all this doesn’t exist? Well, in this post, I’ll share with you one of my favourite places on earth.
Newborough Beach lies on the West Coast of Anglesey and a mere 30 minute drive from Menai Bridge. The latter part of the journey takes you through Newborough Forest along a winding road through Corsican pine trees. The forest was planted in 1947 to ‘protect the village of Newborough from wind-blown sand and to stabilise the shifting sand dunes’.
At the entrance to the forest, a toll of £5 is payable per vehicle and this covers your parking for your entire stay. Up until recently, this was an automated and coin operated toll gate which caught out so many visitors who either had to scramble about for change or park in the village up the road. I’m pleased to say that that the toll point now accepts cards and Apple Pay.
The forest is a warren of family friendly bike trails of various lengths and they can be found here
In addition to cycling trails, there are also numerous walks to suit all fitness levels and time scales, ranging from the ‘Animal Puzzle Trails’ to the 3hr ‘Saint, Sand and Sea Trail’.
Facilities at the carpark are excellent with a toilet block with full disabled access, baby changing facilities and outdoor shower to blast the sand from your passengers before they climb back into your cars. There is usually an ice cream van and a food/drink truck. In addition to this, there is a dedicated bbq and picnic area should you want to bring or cook your own food.
A short path takes you through the sand dunes and on to the three mile strip of Newborough Beach, flanked by the forest on one side and the mountains beyond the Menai Straits on the other.
On sunny days, especially school holidays, the beach is extremely popular but given its size, you can still find a quiet spot even at the busiest of times.
The beach itself is largely sandy and, dare I say it, fairly buggy friendly which is ideal if you have young children with you and want to make the trek over to the Llanddwyn Island. When the tide is out, the beach makes for a brilliant playground for children and adults alike, be it for running, swimming, kayaking or flying kites.
On some days you may even see Microlights flying over the beach as seen here
Around a mile up the beach lies the magical Llanddwyn Island with its lighthouses, cottages, secret coves and wild ponies grazing on the dunes. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been here now but every visit still provides the same awe as the first.
The four house terrace is home to a small maritime museum while the two lighthouses provide breathtaking views back along the beach or across to the mountains of Snowdonia.
I’ve been here at all times of day, year and different weathers and every occasion provides a different yet equally memorable visit.
There is a buggy and bike friendly circular route around the island but there is so much more beyond these trails. On both sides of the island are quiet coves that are perfect for exploring rock pools, sitting with a book or, for the brave, a sea swim.
A visit to Newborough Beach and Llanddwyn Island is a truly unique experience and one I’d thoughly recommend at any time of year. Just make sure you check the tide times!
Please have look at our other recommended walks here