A day trip to take: An­gle­sey

Motorcycle Monthly - - Ride This In A Day - Words: Andy Ni­chol­son

Pen­mon Point, An­gle­sey, was de­serted that Bank Hol­i­day Mon­day evening. The beach looked firm, and in my mind’s eye it was straight­for­ward – down the slope, along the peb­bles, swing left over the high tide mark, into a de­pres­sion, up onto the road and home. In the real world the rear wheel of my BMW R1200GS had dug it­self into a deep hole...

Bank Hol­i­days present op­tions, and mine was to cir­cum­nav­i­gate An­gle­sey. Not the two hours of big roads with a tea stop in Aml­wch but the quiet un­clas­si­fied roads that go nowhere.

Llan­fair­p­wll­gwyn­gyll­gogerych­wyrn­drob­wl­l­l­lan­tysil­i­o­gogogoch, the lit­tle vil­lage with a big name, is just over the Bri­tan­nia Bridge and was where I stopped to look at the map. A num­ber of coastal dead-ends were cir­cled in blue ink, link­ing my fluid no­tion of trav­el­ling all the way round the is­land with find­ing places I’d never been be­fore. Half a kilo­me­tre along Bryn­sien­cyn Road led to the Me­nai Straits and Car­loe Ran­dall’s stu­dio where she pro­duces two-di­men­sional in­ter­pre­ta­tions burnt into metal plate. She also seemed to be ex­pect­ing me, which was spooky.

From New­bor­ough I took the A4080 through Her­mon then the un­clas­si­fied road across the dunes into Aberf­fraw vil­lage, crossed the bridge and headed for The Church in the Sea at the end of Pen­rhyn Road. It’s not quite in the sea, but gets cut off twice a day.

Back on the A4080 to Cri­gyll Beach and then 16.3 miles of lanes to South Stack light­house. The lit­tle road on the left out of Rhos­neigr boasts the of­fi­cial High­way Code road sign with the tilt­ing car in the red tri­an­gle; al­ways good to fol­low on an ad­ven­ture bike. Avoid­ing grass and mud in the mid­dle of the lane, I crossed Four Mile Bridge onto Holy Is­land, lin­gered in Treard­dur Bay and rested at South Stack. The light­house is a tourist mag­net and a vi­tal first marker along the treach­er­ous ship­ping lanes of the Dublin-Holy­head sea route.

Head­ing north, I found the A5025 at Val­ley cross­roads to fol­low the north coast with its bea­cons keep­ing ships safe on their way to Liver­pool. You can see them all from the main road but the dead end at Tre­fadog held prom­ise of a sealed track to Church Bay. Per­haps in 1988 there was Tar­mac but now it had de­te­ri­o­rated to mud. I turned back.

The small roads de­light from Church Bay to Llan­fairyn­ghornwy be­low the Mon­u­ment on Mynydd y Garn, erected in 1897 to com­mem­o­rate Sir Wil­liam Thomas, the High Sher­iff of An­gle­sey who phi­lan­throp­i­cally pumped prof­its from his Mersey­side busi­nesses into the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

For the next point of in­ter­est, keep the land­mark on your right as grass ap­pears up the mid­dle, turn right and then left in the vil­lage. Cem­lyn Bay Na­ture Re­serve was de­serted but has the added ex­cite­ment of a car park, which floods at high tide.

The tide was well out as the un­kempt Tar­mac turned to sand down on Du­las Beach. Par­al­lel stone mark­ers im­per­son­ated a road­way along the north bank of the Afon Goch (Red River) es­tu­ary ex­tend­ing the im­pres­sion of Tar­mac into the wilder­ness.

The fore­shore beck­oned with Ynys Du­las (Seal Is­land) just vis­i­ble out to sea. I fol­lowed it un­til the stones ran out.

The peb­bles sprayed like shrap­nel, we slowed, un­til the drive shaft rested on the stony beach. I dis­mounted, and the bike re­mained up­right with­out my sup­port, en­sconced in its own trench. No tourists ap­peared this time, so I’d have to dead­lift 230kg of Ger­man tech­nol­ogy out of the hole.

I smiled. Andy, I thought, you are such a plonker.

An­gle­sey had given me a day to write home about. The weather had been for­giv­ing, the views stun­ning, the map read­ing in­volv­ing and the roads re­ward­ing. Snow­do­nia glis­tened with snow as I headed back over Me­nai Bridge, the A55 was quiet, Col­wyn Bay ser­vices had petrol and I was home in time for din­ner.

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