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When you think of Wales your first thought might not be of golden beaches and refreshing swims. Yet, packed with coves, sand dunes, beaches and beautiful stretches of coastline, walks around Anglesey can involve exactly that.
At 260 square miles (673 km2), the island of Anglesey has plenty of land to explore. You can ramble over rolling hills, enjoy outstanding views of Snowdonia’s peaks and run through wildflower meadows doing your best ‘Sound of Music’ impression.
Anglesey’s hikes extend to its miniature neighbour, Holy Island. Here you’ll find endless tiny coves and empty beaches with craggy rocks and crashing waves. The islands have their fair share of low-lying hills, making it easy to get 360° views that stretch for miles.
Quiet, rugged and littered with ancient burial sites, an Anglesey adventure is worth its weight in Welsh cakes.
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Much of Anglesey’s coastline falls within the Anglesey Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This designation helps protect the extraordinary coastal areas that provide ideal habitats for the island’s diverse wildlife.
Some of the best hiking trails in Anglesey lie within the AONB, where paths take you along cliff tops and over coastal hills with views of the pretty coves below. Hike across sheer limestone cliffs and take a break on a hot summer’s day on the beaches you’ll find hidden around twists in the path.
It’s hard to believe the diversity of landscapes on this modest island but a day’s walk along any stretch of coastline will reveal multiple landscapes. You can stick to day walks or plan longer hikes and cover as much of the island as you fancy.
Walks in Anglesey go hand-in-hand with wildlife spotting as there’s a true abundance of it here. The birdlife on the island alone is enough to draw thousands of walkers each year. Along the coastline and in the estuaries and salt marshes you can see razorbills, kittiwakes and guillemots. At South Stack in spring, you can see puffins nesting in their burrows and bobbing about on the sea below.
You may also be lucky enough to spot rarer visitors to Britain’s shores on one of Anglesey’s coastal hikes. Keep your eyes peeled for bottlenose and common dolphins who can sometimes be seen playing in the waters whilst harbour porpoises are common sights from headlands. Whales often stop by too so you never know what you’ll see when you roam around this glorious island.
The best time of year to go hiking around Anglesey is spring to early autumn. In spring, the hills are awash with wildflowers and the cliffs are full of nesting seabirds. Walking on the island is peaceful at this time of year although temperatures can be on the cooler side of the national average.
Summer brings many more visitors to the island and the beaches can get busy but with so many trails, the walking is always fantastic. September can be both sunny and much quieter than August, when the first signs of autumn arrive but before the cold sets in.