MENAI STRAITS WALK
Menai Straits and the Menai Suspension Bridge to the Britannia Bridge circular walk
Approximately 2.5 hr. Approx. 4.5 miles. Rating : Easy
What’s the attraction? : Beautiful views of the Menai Suspension Bridge, the Britannia Bridge, St Tysilio’s Church Island and the Menai Strait.
Facilities : Several Pubs and Cafes in Menai Bridge including the Liverpool Arms close to the start and finish point.
From our parking point, the road bends to the right becoming Stryd y Paced with the Menai Bridge bowling Green on the left hand side. Its worth popping into the Bowling Green and View Point for a panoramic view of the eastern Menai Straits looking toward Llandudno and the Great Orme. On leaving the Bowling Green we continue along Lon Cei Bont past the old harbour workshops to the waterfront.
The massive stone arches of the Menai Suspension Bridge come into view. If you have not seen the bridge close up before then it is worth doing this walk for this view alone. Pause a while and marvel at the engineering work involved in building such a beautiful structure, surely one of the “wonders of Wales”. There is an information board at the water’s edge giving details of the history of the bridge and the method of construction.
The lane continues on beneath one of the giant stone arches before bearing right up hill for a few yards. We leave the lane at this point and follow the waymarkers into the small park at the water’s edge for even better views of the bridge. If the tide is high you get a close up view of the strong currents rushing through the arches. Sometimes we are lucky enough to see a seal or two enjoying themselves in the blue waters of the Menai Strait.
Leaving the park by the gate at the north west corner and return to Lon Cei Bont as far as the bend in the road. Bearing left down the lane to the waters edge we continue on what is known as the Belgian Promenade, named after the Belgian Refugees who built the promenade after the first World War.
There is a grand view of the Strait and the Britannia Bridge to the west, and in the foreground is the church of St Tysilio on it’s small island. Following the promenade around the bend, we cross the causeway to the island. A sign on the gate invites respectful visitors to take the tour of the island.
First view of the magnificent old Yew tree we take the winding path to the old church of St Tysilio’s. Founded in the 7th Century it is a delightful old church and still celebrates the Christian religion. The path leads round the circumference of the island but take time to climb the steps to the splendid granite war memorial that stands proudly atop the center of the island.
On leaving the island and crossing the causeway we following the path along the water’s edge up to the road before dropping back down to the fields. From here the trail skirts the shoreline sometimes cutting through the woodlands. There are good views looking back down the Strait to the Menai Bridge and across the swirling waters to Fish Trap Island, Ynys Gorad Goch, where weirs were used to trap the fish on the eddying tide. The final part of the outward walk brings you out of the trees to the base of the towering Britannia Bridge.
From the base of the bridge we take the track up hill until the ground levels out, still below the bridge structure, and back into woodland. From here we follow the trail back to our starting location where there are many outlets for refreshments near to hand including several cafes and pubs.