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The Church Bay to Ynys Y Fydlyn stretch of the Anglesey Coastal Path is one of the most underrated parts of Angelsey’s coastline. You’ll walk right along jagged cliffs and a view of the Skerries and Holy Island across the sea. You can even make out the Marquess of Anglesey Column on a clear day.
Plus, you’ll get to experience Ynys y Fydlyn beach, a place that offers two completely different experienced depending upon whether you visit at high tide or low tide. I would recommend visiting at low tide if possible as you’ll have more to do at Ynys Y Fydlyn.
Where to Park?
Parking for this walk is near Church Bay beach. As you approach the beach by road, there is lots of free parking along the roadside.
When the roadside is full, there is also a pay and display car park opposite The Lobster Pot. You’ll need 4 hours which costs £6 for a car. The machine only accepts cash (despite having a contactless reader), however, you can also pay via an app.
This car park is not shown on Google Maps but the public toilets in the car park is marked here.
As this is a circular route, you could feasibly park anywhere on the trail. Another option is the car park for Ynys Y Fydlyn beach, located 15 minutes from the beach itself. This is totally free. It’s not marked on a map, but you can find the car park here. If you park here, start at no. 6 in my step-by-step instructions below.
How Long Does it Take?
The circular route took me a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach Ynys y Fydlyn beach and another 1 hour and 15 minutes to return to Church Bay via the road route. The countryside route may be slightly shorter (see no.6 in step-by-step instructions for more on the return routes)
Is the Walk Suitable for Dogs?
Yes, dogs are allowed along the coastal path as it’s a public right of way and Ynys y Fydlyn beach is very dog-friendly. However, keep in mind that dogs are not allowed on parts of church bay beach during high season – check the signage to be sure.
Circular Walk From Church Bay to Ynys Y Fydlyn
Here are my step-by-step instructions for completing the Church Bay coastal walk to Ynys Y Fydlyn with two return routes through the countryside or via the road (see no. 6 for the options).
1. Head Towards Church Bay Beach but Veer Right to Join the Coastal Path
Starting from the car park mentioned earlier, head down towards Wavercrest Café towards Church Bay beach. Just before heading down the slope to the beach itself, there’s a gate on the right with the Wales Coastal Path sign on, take this path.
But there’s no reason why you can’t stop off at the beach anyway. It’s the best place to go swimming on this route as most places along the path are hard to reach or have very jagged rocks along the seabed.
2. Follow the Coastal Path to Ynys Y Fydlyn
Once on the coastal path, you’re just going to follow the path all the way to Ynys y Fydlyn. There are several points on the path where it looks like the path splits into two, however, in most cases, the paths rejoin one another a few minutes later so don’t worry.
The only part that’s not straightforward is fairly near Ynys Y Fydlyn when you’ll briefly join a larger track that looks suitable for 4x4s. You should only be on this track for 10 metres or so before you veer off it and follow the path along the coast. You may need to use the handle (shown below) to open and close the fence in order to pass.
Use this handle to get through:
3. Spend Some Time Exploring the Rockpools and Caves
The path will take you directly to Ynys Y Fydlyn beach. You’ll want to spend some time exploring here. You’ll have a very different experience depending upon what time of day you visit.
At low tide, you’ll find lots of rockpools which are great for crabbing, a large cave, and two small tidal islands which you can walk on.
However, if you visit at high tide, the rockpools will have disappeared and the cave is no longer accessible. Both the tidal islands will now be surrounded by water, although you can still reach the first one as the water is very shallow.
4. To Return, Follow the Green Arrow Towards the Forest
Once you’re ready to make the return journey, head back towards the path you came down, but just before heading up, there’s a green arrow pointing left towards the woodland area, follow this.
Shortly after leaving the beach in the direction of the green arrow, there’s a fork in the path, bear right to follow this trail. When you reach a crossroads, continue straight towards the Ynys Y Fydlyn car park.
5. When You Reach the Main Road, Turn Right
Exit the car park onto the main road and turn right.
6. Choose Whether to Return Through the Countryside or Along the Road
There are two ways you can return, via the countryside (as recommended by the Anglesey Walking Network), or along the road which is the route I recommend.
6a. The Countryside Route
Returning via the countryside route will take you across farmland, using stiles and gates to cross between the fields. You’ll get sweeping views of the coastline and it’s very peaceful as not many hikers take this route.
To walk back along the countryside route, you should continue along the road for about 1km until you reach Orsedd Coch farm. The farm is hard to find as it seems like they removed the signs but you can see it in the below image. It’s the farm just after Rhos Cryman Fawr/Bach which is well signposted.
Head slightly past Orsedd Coch farm and then cut back down to the right where you’ll find the path. At first, it doesn’t look like a public trail, but you’ll eventually see the right of access signs as you head further into the trail.
6b. The Road Route
The second option is to continue following the road route back to Church Bay, this is what I did. You’ll be rewarded with the stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia mountains on one side which aren’t visible via the countryside trail, and the coastal view on the other side.
There is just one right turn to get back to Chuch Bay from the road, look for the signpost below.
7. Admire the Church Which Gave the Bay Its Name
Regardless of which path you took, the two converge at St Rhuddland Church, the church which gave the bay its name because its large steeple is visible from the beach.
If you came from the road, the church will be on your right, or from the countryside on your left. In any case, you want to be heading down the hill back towards Church Bay.
8. Follow the Path Through Gadlys Cottages to Return to Church Bay.
As you get closer to the coast, you can take a sneaky shortcut through Gadlys cottages as indicated by the walking trail logo. This completes the Church Bay to Ynys Y Fydlyn circular trail.
Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.