Anglesey Coastal Path to Beaumaris

Ewe with her two lambs at Coed y Berclas

Yesterday lunchtime, the rain stopped, the sun shone and the sky became a clear blue. It was time for a walk. We’d do the Anglesey Coastal Path to Beaumaris. Our land is bordered by the coast path. We set off up the drive, listening to birdsong and enjoying the fresh greens and lovely late spring flowers .Our woodland is still full of bluebells and pale pink Clematis Montana winds around an old fence. In our top field, the sheep and lambs stopped to watch us pass. Some of the lambs are still very young.

Clematis Montana at Coed y Berclas
Our lane on the Anglesey Coast pathWe strode out along the lovely winding lane, enjoying the beautiful day. Bird song was all around us and pheasants called from fields close by. In the hedgerows, flowers were blooming. We saw bluebells, cow parsley, vetch, May blossom, herb robert, red campion and many others whose names I don’t know. The trees were nearly all in full leaf and everywhere was busy with life. Lilac blossom filled the air with its delicate fragrance.

image of wallflowers in the lane

At the crossroads we turned right, still on the coast path, to begin our decent towards Beaumaris – one of Anglesey’s jewels. There is a private lake, which was once a reservoir. It can be glimpsed through the trees and over stone walls as you walk past. The sunlight glinted on its surface.

cattle in the lake munching water weed

Nearby a lady stood in the middle of the road looking towards us. It turned out she was watching a brood of tiny ducklings crossing the lane to join their mother who called to them from the other side. We saw the last two make the crossing safely. They were so tiny and very vulnerable, but far too quick for Daf to catch them on camera!

image of Wysteria

Further down the hill is Baron Hill Golf Course which welcomes everyone. We could see some of the players and hear their quiet voices, and the click of golf club hitting ball. All the time we were surrounded by busy nature and a sense of excitement and renewal.

Imaqge of Golfers at barron Hill Golf Club

Down the lane an old stone and brick bridge crosses over the road. It was one of two bridges which carried the drive to Baron Hill, one of the biggest houses in the area. Unfortunately the house was damaged by fire, and for many years remained a ruin. In August 2008, plans were submitted to restore the house, and turn it into luxury apartments. We don’t know whether this work has been undertaken.

Image of Beaumaris from the top of Red Hill

Downhill from the bridge we saw the town of Beaumaris spread out before us. From this point, the coast path re-joins the shore into the town. Beaumaris is a small, pretty town steeped in history.

As we reached the bottom of the hill, the waters of the Menai Strait twinkled in sunlight and the boats bobbed on their moorings. We walked along the shore, still on the Anglesey Coastal path, into the centre where the prettily coloured buildings seemed to welcome us.

It was time for refreshment. There are many places in Beaumaris to eat and drink. We decided to try a new cafe/restaurant – an addition to Red Boat ice cream parlour. We enjoyed a gluten-free Dutch pancake.

Beaumaris Pier

Before heading back home we wandered round Beaumaris. There’s a lot to see. A guest once described the town as being like Edinburgh rock, because of the colours of so many of the buildings. The pier is always fun, especially when families are there ‘crabbing’. The lifeboat station is at the root of the pier and we often watch the lifeboat, from Coed y Berclas, as it zips along the Menai Strait.

Image of boats on their moorings with Snowdonia in background

The town is in the perfect position between land and sea to guard the Menai Strait and keep a look out for danger. It was once the site of one of the courts of the Welsh princes. This is also why Beaumaris Castle was built for King Edward I. It was begun in 1295 as one of a series of castles built along the North Wales Coast to subdue the Welsh. However, it was never completed. The town grew up around the castle, so many of its buildings are very old. Now, it attracts visitors from all over the world, along with its sister castles at Caernarfon, Conwy, Fflint, Rhuddlan and Harlech.

Image of Beaumaris Castle

We love living at Coed y Berclas. Being able to walk straight onto the Anglesey Coastal Path from our top gate is one of the joys. The lane is delightful and the wildlife abundant.

23th May 2016

Image of the shoreline at Beaumaris with yachts on moorings

Hello 2013!

Daf and I celebrated the change-over from 2012 to 2013 watching the Beaumaris fireworks from the mainland. It may seem strange to drive along the coast road when we live only two miles from Beaumaris, but Daf wanted to take photos of the fireworks reflected in the waters of the Menai Strait.

New Year fireworks at Beaumaris taken from the Llandygai shore

The weather was calm, the sky was clear and, most importantly, the tide was high, giving good reflections.

We had a walk along the lane on the morning of the 1st January and were delighted to see our first lambs of the year. I hope they have lovely thick wooly coats in case the weather turns cold – so far it’s damp but mild. Why is it always so lovely to see young lambs? Is it all about new life, or the promise of spring and the return of warm sunny days.

Sheep with new lambs along our lane

It’s hard to believe it’s already 2013 – let’s hope this year brings a better financial situation around the globe – I’d love to wish for an end to the greed which brought the econimic downturn, but I’ll try to stay realistic!!

Now Christmas is ‘done and dusted’ it’s time to book a ‘recovery break’ at Coed y Berclas – well, I had to get a plug in somewhere!

Happy New Year


Beaumaris Festival 2012

Beaumaris Festival happens every Spring Bank Holiday week, and this year, as always, it was a great success. The Festival Society members should be congratulated on another varied agenda of events – something for everyone. Daf and I went to one of the concerts – ‘Expresion Cubana’ – an energy filled performance by a Cuban salsa band – and, yes, there really was dancing in the aisles! I suspect that other performances were also well attended – next year we must get to more of them.

View of wheel at Beaumaris 2012

On Monday 4th, Bank Holiday Monday, four of us popped into Beaumaris for a last chance to look round the Craft Tent and a couple of exhibitions. It was a stunningly sunny day and I have never seen so many people on the pier – lots of crabs were being line-fed by serious dads, with groups of excited net-waving children watching captive crustacea scuttling round the bottom of crabbing buckets. I’m sure the crabs must be trained by now to swap a little boredom for a good meal.

The wheel, standing on The Green, towered over the town, turning in a stately fashion and giving visitors and locals a brand new view of Beaumaris – the castle looked stunning from such an elevated position.

There were even some families, with little children, sunning themselves on the small, but sheltered beach by the root of Beaumaris pier.

View of wheel at Beaumaris 2012

The family staying in the cottage had a brilliant time at Beaumaris Castle on the evening the beacon was lit there. They were entertained by bands and the evening finished with a superb firework display – a very special Diamond Jubilee evening.

Dorothy Russell
16th June 2012

Olympic Torch Beaumaris Menai Bridge 29th May 2012

Flotilla of RAF rescue helicopter and boats accompany the Olympic torch down the Menai Strait

Early this morning, we walked down our lane to the shore of the Menai Strait and waited on the jetty by The Gazelle to see the Olympic Flame carried, on the Beaumaris RNLI Lifeboat, from the town of Beaumaris to Menai Bridge.

Its journey began at Beaumaris Castle; it was escorted through the town to the lifeboat station, by the root of Beaumaris Pier, where it was handed to the Lifeboat boat crew and taken aboard the station’s Atlantic 85 RIB, the Annette Mary Liddington.

The Inshore Lifeboat carrying the Olympic Torch then left bound for Menai Bridge, escorted by a flotilla of small boats, mainly RIBs, with the magnificent Sea King Air Sea Rescue helicopter from RAF Valley flying overhead like a guardian angel.

the armada powered toward us

It was very moving as this mini armada powered toward us, coming from the east as the sun rose higher into a bright sky, and most exciting as it passed between where we stood on the Anglesey shore and the end of Bangor Pier, where more well-wishers stood to wave it on its way.

Flotilla forges on to Menai Bridge

On arrival at Menai Bridge, the flame was carried through the town and across the beautiful Telford Suspension Bridge back to the Welsh mainland, continuing its journey to the mountains of Snowdonia where it was carried to the summit of Snowdon by the climber, Sir Chris Bonington, who travelled, for the first time, on the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Sunshine, blue skies and birdsong all day long – wonderful!

Dorothy Russell

12th May 2012

Beaumaris Festival 31st May – 7th June 2012

Beaumaris Festival Brochure cover 2012

Don’t the years go by quickly!

It’s very nearly time for Beaumaris festival again – and there is a lot on offer this year. I looked at the concerts and talks and decided I would like to go to everything! Unfortunately time and budget constraints make this tricky so I will be forced to choose.

As well as the formal timetable, there is a Crafts Fair on The Green, an Art Exhibition at the Canolfan and the Woodturners will, once again, be in the Town Hall.

All the information you need to enjoy the Festival can be found on the website.

Daf and I got back to Anglesey today, from a very rainy Lancashire, to discover that our guests had been walking in glorious sunshine and had been working on their tans! We really enjoyed our stay in Lancashire, but it reminded us why we love living on Anglesey!

The Giant Wheel will be on The Green in Beaumaris.

Beaumaris is gearing itself up to offer Anglesey residents and visitors to the Island a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the world from a different perspective with the “Beaumaris Eye” which comes to town from Saturday 26 May to Saturday 9 June. These dates coincide with the annual Beaumaris Festival.

Giant wheel at the 2012 Beaumaris Festival

The Giant Wheel, which at 35 metres high and with 24 gondolas each taking six passengers, will open up everyone’s eyes with views across the Island, down the Menai Strait, over to Caernarfon and Llandudno as well as the Snowdonia Mountain Range.

Dorothy Russell

12th May 2012

Wholecloth Quilting at Coed y Berclas – Accompanied by Fireworks

Wholecloth Quilting at Coed y Berclas

Wholecloth Quilting at Coed y Berclas

Over Beaumaris Bonfire weekend I enjoyed the company of four lovely quilters from Gloucestershire.

It was Dilys’s ‘significant’ birthday (and I’m not saying which one!) and her husband, Dave, gave her a quilting weekend at Coed y Berclas, with three friends, as a suprise present. They managed to keep the secret so well that Dilys had no idea where she was going or what she was doing until her train was arriving at Bangor – brilliant!

Take note all you husbands out there who are looking for a special present!

Their two day workshop was ‘Wholecloth’ and covered both designing and quilting. Sandy and Dot chose to do cushion covers while Dilys and Moira worked on cot sized quilts: in fact Moira will be making two (twins) – that’ll keep her out of mischief for a while! They did the design work on the first day and transfered it to fabric ready to begin quilting on the second. This involved a lot of work but they made it – and I got a reputation as a slave driver!

I can’t be too much of a slave driver though as they managed to pop down to the pub at the bottom of the hill for a meal and to watch the bonfire night fireworks. This year the Beaumaris Firework Display was cancelled (they’re extending the pier) but we had a splendid view of Bangor Fireworks which take place near the root of Bangor Pier and we didn’t even need to leave the house to watch them! Very impressive.

Sunday was spent hand quilting: this is always a little like magic as stitches give a three dimensional quality to the work and images drawn onto fabric come to life. Dilys, Sandy, Moira, Dot – your designs are all totally individual and they’re beautiful.

I really enjoyed the weekend – you were all great company and very hard workers!

Wholecloth Quilting at Coed y Berclas

Wholecloth Quilting at Coed y Berclas

Have you finished the quilts yet?

Dave, you get masses of ‘brownie points’.

Dorothy Russell

20th Nov 2011

Beaumaris fireworks 2010

Fireworks at Beaumaris 2010

Cottage at Coed y Berclas has been nominated by several of our guests for the Anglesey Tourism Association Award for Best Self Catering Establishment again this year so Daf and I have been busy putting together a document in support of our entry. As we won last year, the pressure was on to live up to our award and improve both the service we offer and this year’s entry. The deadline was Monday 8th November and two documents were handed over on Saturday 6th. Why two documents? Because this year I was also nominated for the Best Arts and Crafts Award. Thank you to everyone who nominated us.

And how did we celebrate handing over our entries – by going to watch the Beaumaris Fireworks Display, of course!


Beaumaris Court

Beaumaris Court house performance

Court scenes at Beaumaris

This afternoon Daf and I were invited to a special performance at Beaumaris Courthouse, a lovely old building which has seen the balance of justice swing to and fro since 1614.

We were in very distinguished company: following brief speeches by representatives of Anglesey Council’s Department of Leisure and Culture and an amusing delivery, given with urbane skill by Alun Ffred Jones, Minister for Heritage (in which Daf was given a mention!), we were treated to a performance by Cwmni’r Frân Wen (an Anglesey based group of professional actors).

Assembled outside the Courthouse by the ‘Town Crier’ we were ushered into the building and settled in various parts of the court to attend the ‘trial’. I found myself climbing an old wooden stairway to become a member of the jury, seated in a box overlooking the body of the courtroom.

Other guests represented members of the press or the public and everyone was closely involved in the performance as the actors delivered two different cases for our entertainment and education.

When asked for our verdict on a man accused of ship wrecking (1742), we, the jury, offered a distinct ‘not guilty’, much to the delight of both the man and his vociferous wife.

  • These performances are offered to the public:
  • 31st May – 6th June 2010
  • 19th July – 30 August 2010
  • 25th -31st October 2010
  • Monday, Thursday and Saturday 11:00/12:00/2:00/3:00

And I can honestly say that it brought the court to life and would be both fun and interesting to all ages. Cwmni’r Frân Wen will also be performing at the Round Houses at Llynnon Mill, Llanddeusant, giving a fascinating insight into Pre-historic life.

  • 31st May – 6th June 2010
  • 19th July – 30 August 2010
  • 25th -31st October 2010
  • Wednesday and Sunday 11:00/12:00/2:00/3:00

I’ve seen the Round Houses and they were bigger than I expected, about 10metres in diameter, and beautifully built according to archeolological information. They are reconstructions of buildings inhabited on Anglesey about 3000 years ago; of timber construction with wattle and daub walls and, in order to be truly authentic, the thatch for the roof was imported from the Continent.

With Llynnon Mill on the same site, built in 1775, and the only working windmill left in Wales, there’s a lot to learn and enjoy. And when you’ve absorbed enough history, there’s also the tearoom!

Dorothy Russell

29th May 2010
pMonday, Thursday and Saturday 11:00/12:00/2:00/3:00

Waitrose at Menai Bridge

New Waitrose at Menai Bridge

If you’re coming to Coed y Berclas for a holiday, you can do your shopping here and save the suspension and the fuel consumption on your car – we now have a wide choice of supermarkets, a farmers market (once a month), Llangefni market (twice a week ) and a selection of independent shops in Menai Bridge and Beaumaris.

There has been a little excitement hereabouts; the Co-op in Menai Bridge has closed and after fairly extensive alterations the building will soon be home to the new Waitrose in Menai Bridge. Hopefully this will reverse the shopping flow across the bridges and the mainlanders will be heading to Anglesey to divest themselves of their hard earned cash. The new store will open on Thursday 25th March 2010.

Today Daf and I went to a Waitrose promotion day which was, of course, well attended. There was lots of information and a few tasty morsels of Welsh produce to try. The new manager was there to meet and greet and we were shown a scan-it-yourself system.

It seems the new staff are being steadily absorbed into the Waitrose way of doing things and I’m assured that to be a front-line, meet the public worker there are stringent rules of engagement.

I must say, I’m looking forward to a leisurely wander through the new store and a relaxed cuppa in the new Waitrose cafe but I think I might just wait until the queues reduce a little.


Beaumaris New Year Fireworks 2010

Beaumaris fireworks over the castle New Year 2010

This Christmas there has been snow on the mountains throughout and we even managed a couple of flurries of hailstones and had ice on the pond here at Coed y Berclas. Daf took some lovely photos of frost patterns which might become inspiration for a quilt at some time in the future.

However the photo which just had to be featured in this blog comes from the New Year’s Eve midnight firework display on the walls of Beaumaris Castle. The night was frosty and sharp with a clear sky and the most astonishing full moon cast silver blue light, creating strong shadows over the landscape. The backdrop of snowy mountains added to the magical feel as the crowd, dressed for the weather, was thrilled by the display. We really enjoy the sense of community this gathering gives.


1st January 2010