THIS route through the Newborough Forest follows part of the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path and the Wales Coast Path.

An exploration of forest tracks and one of the largest and most spectacular beaches in Wales.

Footpaths and forest tracks are excellent throughout.

Distance: 8¾ miles

Start: There is a small forest car park at the northern edge of the Newborough Forest about 1 mile south of the village of Malltraeth

on the A4080.

Grid ref: 412 671. (Ordnance Survey Explorer 263).

The walk

1. From the car park turn right onto a path which runs parallel to the road (back towards Newborough) and is signed with the coastal footpath logo. In about 250 yards, and opposite the entrance to 'Llyn Parc Mawr' forest car park and picnic area, turn right onto a broad forest road.

Follow the road for about half a mile. At post number 33 (first major forest road on the left) turn left onto another good forest road.

Ignore any minor tracks/paths before this. Pass a small ruined cottage on the left and follow the forest road as it rises and eventually curves right.

About 400 yards further on take the first obvious broad path on the left which runs at right angles to the forest road. This path is very straight and eventually brings you to the edge of the woods with fields ahead.

Turn right with the path and where this forks in 100 yards or so, keep right on a less obvious path.

The Newborough Forest was planted in the 1950s to stabilise a vast area of moving sand dunes formed over the last 700 years by prevailing southwesterly winds.

Today, it is a working forest and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Keep ahead at an obvious crossing track (post 25) and in a further ¾ mile a forestroad joins from the right. Keep straight ahead here and make your way to a small parking area almost on the edge of the forest. Take the obvious track down to the beach and turn right along the sand to Ynys Llanddwyn.

2. A short walk across the sand which separates it from the mainland takes you onto the island. Aim for a large information board and follow the track immediately behind the board down to the Pilots' Cottages near the lighthouse.

Overlooking the bay at the southern tip of the island are a number of relics from the island's maritime past. The row of tiny cottages to the right of the path once housed the Llanddwyn Pilots and their families. The small canon which stands in front of the cottages was used to summon the lifeboat and crew in times of distress.

The smaller white tower down to the left was originally a navigation beacon built in 1819. In 1972, this structure was found to be more

suitable for the modern automatic beacon than the lighthouse which is now disused.

Part of the exhibition tells the story of Saint Dwynwen, who is said to have lived here in the fifth century and gave the island its name. In her younger days, Dwynwen fell in love with a prince by the name of Maelon, who was so infatuated by the young maiden that he could not wait for marriage and tried to seduce her. The resistance she made resulted in Maelon's rejection. The story says that while she mourned her loss, an angel visited her and gave her a healing potion, which cured her of her love and turned Maelon into ice. Dwynwen

then vowed to become a nun. The shrine which she established here attracted pilgrims in great numbers in the years that followed,

particularly from the love sick. She is said to have used the magical powers of a secret well to determine whether or not a loved one

was faithful.

Today, spectacular scenery and miles of secluded beach are the main attraction for the visitor. To the south, the serrated outlines of Snowdonia, followed by the blue silhouettes of Yr Eifl (The Rivals) and the smaller hills of Lleyn form an impressive backdrop to the wide sweep of Caernarfon Bay and the golden sands of Traeth Llanddwyn.

From the old lighthouse, a good footpath leads along the northern edge of the island passing the ruins of Eglwyseg Dwynwen on the right.

Leave the island and turn left along Traeth Penrhos, one of the grandest and most isolated beaches in Anglesey. Follow the sand for

about 1½ miles, before the dunes become lower and curve northeast into the vast expanse of Malltraeth Sands, the tidal estuary of Afon Cefni. Part way along the beach, the remains of a wreck can often be seen breaking the waves at low tide. This is known locally as Y

llong Groeg, meaning 'The Greek Ship'. She was the brig 'Athena', which foundered in December 1852 en-route to Liverpool.

Fourteen crew were saved from the wreck by the Llanddwyn lifeboat.

3. Just before the sand dunes end, bear right onto a path through the dunes to join a sandy track which runs along the edge of the forest.

Turn left along the track and continue, with the trees on your right and the salt marshes on your left, for about a mile. A few hundred yards after entering the woods proper, turn left at an obvious T junction. Follow the broad forestry road back to the road (A4080) and turn left back to the car park.

The nearby village of Newborough came into existence in 1303, to accommodate the villagers evicted from Llanfaes when Edward I began the building of his new garrison town at Beaumaris.

The move created a 'new borough' from which the village gets its name. However, the exposed location soon created problems for the villagers. Over-grazing and the removal of trees on the nearby dunes of Newborough Warren soon damaged the delicate soil cover and

by the time of Elizabeth I, windblown sand had buried much of the village's valuable agricultural land.

The Official Guide to Walking the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path (ISBN 978-1-902512-15-0 £10.99) by Carl Rogers is available from Mara Books. Copies can be bought online at:, or from local book shops.