Last weekend I made the long journey up to the idyllic coastal region of Anglesey in North Wales, for a homestay weekend away with friends from across the country. It was the perfect excuse to hit the road again a little closer to home, taking time to appreciate the natural beauty of the British Isles. This adventure was certainly more laid back than my typical forays, but in truth that was partly what made it so great, relaxing instead before the wood-stoked fire, glass of prosecco in hand, surrounded by familiar faces, as impromptu laughter echoed through the hollow walls.
Although our explorations were taken at a leisurely pace, I did have the opportunity to take in a few local gems, including a personal highlight at Newborough Beach. The shoreline stretches for 3½ miles from Llanddwyn Island to Abermenai Point and backs onto by dunes before Newborough Forest and Nature Reserve and is a truly idyllic location for a leisurely stroll by the sea.
Due to the high tide, we were unable to visit Llanddwyn Island, which I was very keen to scout out, instead sampling the view from safe distance, giving me an excuse to return in future. The woodland provided welcome shelter from the windswept sands and proved an enchanting source of inspiration, as I skipped across the waymarked trail, beneath the towering evergreen canopy.
Having braced the elements on the coastline, we continued on to the shores adjacent to the historical town of Caernarfon, where we got to sample some flavoured sea salt, milled from the local region. Having tantalised our taste buds, we continued to Hootons Homegrown Farm Shop for a spot of lunch and spent the remainder of the afternoon at our own leisure in the warmth of the house.
Surrounded by lush green fields, with panoramic views across to the shadowed peaks of Snowdonia, there was really no need to stroll far, contented by our statutory location. However, I did wander a along the country lanes, exploring an old church yards as birds joined in a dawn chorus on St David’s Day.
Nibbling on some obligatory Welsh Cakes, I insisted on a brief de-tour to some nearby falls on our journey back through the north and a few of us took a stroll through rural stone cottages, pacing uphill towards the root of the source, allowing for time to appreciate traditional craftmanship against the rugged splendour of the Welsh valleys.
In the end, the route to the falls would take us a little longer than anticipated, but that didn’t stop the enjoyment of a spontaneous walk amongst nature, able to appreciate the rustic tableaux before us. Had the journey home not been so long, perhaps we would have completed the trek, but instead, as with Newborough, it just provided us with further reason to come back for further adventures with friends.