Road Trip around North Wales – Where did I go?
Work had taken me to Whitchurch near the border with Wales for the first week of October 2019. As always, I saw an opportunity for a little exploring! Consequently, I left the following Monday-Thursday clear to give me 6 full days for a mini Road Trip around North Wales in Gadget2, the Self-build Motorhome. Once you have finished reading, don’t forget to read about my other travels too!
My work finished on Friday evening and so I intended to rest Saturday morning before starting my next adventure early Saturday afternoon. I planned to drive through Snowdonia and stay overnight in Anglesey. Whilst Snowdonia is beautiful, I had already been several times and was keen to see somewhere new.
Road Trip around North Wales – Day 1
After a slow start, I finally departed Whitchurch at 14:00 on Saturday afternoon and made my way to the A5. My road trip around North Wales had begun! Unfortunately the weather started to deteriorate with lots of heavy downpours. However, I made good progress and arrived in Snowdonia after about an hours driving. Once in the national Park, I left the A5 and detoured along local roads, stopping regularly to admire the view. Sadly the rain persisted and so long walks were not really possible.
Around 4pm, the rain eased. Luckily, I found a beautiful lake where I sat quietly for some time to admire the spectacular views. It was peaceful with no mobile phone signal and little passing traffic. When the light started to fade, it was time to leave Snowdonia. I needed some food and fuel and so headed to Caernarfon as this was a major town on route to Anglesey.
Caernarfon was nice to wonder around. There were lots of shops as well as a very impressive castle. After an hour, I finally crossed the Menai Strait and arrived in Anglesey. I found a beautiful spot on the Menai Strait looking across to Caernarfon. Here I sat watching the sunset before settling down for the night. Beautiful, Peaceful and Quiet.
Road Trip around North Wales – Day 2
I slept extremely well and woke at around 7am. My stop was completely silent with only the sound of the water lapping against the rocks. Furthermore, the weather was dry, despite the forecast! I soon got up and sat on the beach for a few minutes admiring the view. It was a beautiful spot and so I spent some time taking photographs.
Over breakfast and coffee, I planned the days route. I decided to slowly make my way to Holyhead, stopping at interesting places along the way. My aunt suggested I visit Ynys Llanddwyn (Island of the Blessed) and so this would be my first stop.
I set the sat-nav to Ynys Llanddwyn and when I arrived, I had to drive 3 miles through private land to get to the car park. There were lots of routes from the car park and so I first walked for about an hour through the pine forest before heading to the beach. The views across to Ynys Llanddwyn were lovely! Next I walked along the beach and along the path to the end of Ynys Llanddwyn. The walk was worth it as at the end were some picturesque cottages and a lighthouse with far reaching views.
Barclodiad – y – Gawres
Once back at the van, I stopped for a leisurely lunch before continuing along the coast. I stopped at a couple of bays. One point of interest was Barclodiad – y – Gawres, a 2500BC burial chamber!
South Stack Lighthouse
I then continued driving along the coastal road, stopping at a few villages before making my way up to South Stack Lighthouse near Holyhead. By the time I arrived, the lighthouse was closed, however the views out to sea were spectacular.
My next stop was Holyhead Breakwater Country Park where I visited some ruins. Finally I made my way into Holyhead and walked along the harbour wall. As light began to fade, I decided to head back up to South Stack to watch the sunset. Cloud cover prevented me seeing the sunset, however it was still a lovely place to sit and watch as the light faded completely.
Once it was completely dark, I headed back into Holyhead where I settled down for the night.
Road Trip around North Wales – Day 3
After breakfast, I was keen to continue with my Road Trip around North Wales and so headed to Amlwch. This is a small coastal town with a nice harbour, shops and a museum. I first headed up to a ruined windmill at the top of a hill overlooking the town before walking the short distance down to the harbour.
After about an hour in Amlwch before moving on to Parys Mountain Windmill.
Parys Mountain Windmill is set among an abandoned copper mine. It is amazing to think that this desolate, silent place was once a thriving industrial centre. As someone who loves industrial history, I really enjoyed wondering around whilst imagining what it would have been like when the mine was active. After an hours walk, I returned to the van for lunch.
Plas Newydd House
My next stop was Plas Newydd House, which is maintained by the National Trust. At the time of my visit, the house was having a full rewire and the plumbing replaced. Consequently, most was closed. However, it was the only National Trust place I have ever been to with a (temporary) gin bar! After walking through a number of rooms which were all in various stated of refurbishment, I entered one final room containing a large mural. This was spectacular. Furthermore, the National Trust had setup a large number of speakers playing loud atmospheric music. Well done to the National Trust! After leaving the house, I walked around the gardens overlooking the Menai Strait. Absolutely Beautiful.
My final destination on Anglesey was Menai Bridge town. A busy place to walk around with great views of the bridge. I was able to walk across the Bridge where I could appreciate the magnificent engineering that had taken place back in 1826!
As it was getting late, decided to find somewhere to spend the night. I planned to visit Llŷn Peninsula the next day and so found an overnight stop near Llithfaen. The drive from Menai Bridge to Llithfaen was lovely, passing through some spectacular landscapes. Finally I arrived at Yr Eifl Car Park at dusk. I walked down the road towards Nant Gwrtheyrn and enjoyed the views out to sea at sunset before returning to the van for some rest.
Road Trip around North Wales – Day 4
I slept well once again! When I woke, it was total silence as I was very remote. Consequently, I decided to just sit and admire the view for 30 minutes. After breakfast, I climbed the hill adjacent to Yr Eifl Car Park which gave me spectacular views across the Llŷn Peninsula and across to Anglesey.
My plan for the day was to drive anticlockwise around the coast and stop at interesting looking places along the way! The first stop was Nefyn Watch Tower. This is worth a visit as the views from the top are great on a clear day! Whilst in the town, I took the opportunity to restock the van with food.
My next stop was Porthdinllaen National Trust Site. This was a beautiful secluded bay with a sandy beach. The footpath led along the cliffs above the beach before descending onto the sands below. Absolutely Beautiful place.
Throughout my trip, I found the mobile phone app ‘Park4Night‘ very useful. Using the app, I found a small car park near Tudweiliog that looked worthy of a visit. After setting my sat nav, I drove along an uneven gravel track to the public car park. This was a beautiful spot consisting of an old fishing port, Porth Y Cychod and several ruins. I was also able to climb down the rocks to the waters edge at Porth Ysgaden.
Back in the van, I headed to another National Trust Site. ‘Porthor’. This was a large secluded bay. Again, I walked along the cliffs and back along the beach. A narrow road past a cafe took me back home to the van where I sat and had lunch.
My next stop was a National Trust former Coast Guard Lookout at Mynydd Mawr. The drive up was extremely narrow and steep, however the view from the top was breath taking. A 360 degree view was worth the drive. I walked down the rocks and around the hill to take some more photographs before heading to my next stop!
I arrived in the nearby village of Aberdaron late in the afternoon. This was a small village with lots of cafes and a nice beach. I had hoped to buy some ice cream and sit on the beach, however by the time I arrived, everywhere was closed. Instead, I went for a walk around the pretty village and on a loop along the beach!
It was now getting late and so I headed for my final stop of the day, Porth Neigwl – also known as Hell’s Mouth! The beach is over 3 miles long, however by the time I had arrived, it had started to rain. I walked a short distance along the beach before the rain got much heavier. Consequently, I returned to the van and settled in for the night.
If you are planning your own Road Trip, read this handy guide!
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