Where Anglesey's Sahara
Meets the Sea
I think of Aberffraw not only as one of the best of Anglesey’s beaches, but where Anglesey’s Sahara meets the sea.
It was somewhere I always wanted to escape to when I’d done something wrong as a child.
In my mind’s eye it was a desert striding dune after dune toward the sea. It was full of nomad encampments and plenty of wild rabbits to catch and cook over an open fire.
There have been no reports of camels, though.
For me, it's a pretty and pleasant beach ideal for swimming in nice clean water or just for lying on your back and counting seagulls.
There again, if you want to challenge yourself in the surf or catch some fish off the rocks (or not), then it's as good a place as any on Anglesey.
There is nothing wrong in dedicating your holiday to lazing on the beach and making sandcastles with your children.
Hey! Who needs kids around as an excuse to build sandcastles. Not Me.
Then there is Anglesey's Glorious Gift to you: The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path.
Arrive along the coast from Malltraeth to the south or Cable Bay from the north and just rest awhile.
You won't see everything worth seeing on Anglesey in one trip, so make sure you appreciate what you can on each visit.
Sit there nibblng your soggy Sunblest tomato sandwich and plan your next trip.
It’s a half-mile walk to this ideal beach along the sandy river bank from the village and road.
And when you get there, the beach is a big, wide curving sandy bay that rewards you with pleasant sandy beach.
Aberffraw beach is embraced by pleasant grassy headlands and backs onto the sand dunes that have finally arrived at the sea.
Against the dunes he sand is soft and clean and the tide compacted area stretches safely to leave plenty of room for fun.
On the right hand side of the beach the River Ffraw meets the sea in a long lazy curve below the right headland.
Don't ride your friend's bike in the surf, though.
I did once and got a 'good' telling off. Spoil Sport!
Aberffraw means ‘Estuary of the River Ffraw’.
‘Aber’ means Estuary, thought to be derived from the word ‘Berw’ – boiling or turbulent water when it finally meets the sea.
The Welsh name for the beach is Traeth Mawr – ‘Big Beach’.
IS THIS YOUR FAVOURITE BEACH?
Well? Is this your favourite Anglesey beach?
Maybe you've enjoyed bathing, walking or generally been blown about here?
We'd all love to hear from YOU
If you've got stories or thoughts you'd like to share about this or any other Anglesey beach with other visitors, then please CLICK HERE.
FISHING IN THE ABERFFRAW AREA
Like fishing anywhere, it's either 'Feast or Famine'. While the view can be fabulous it wears after a while when you're cold and fish-less.
Most fishing is done off the rocks (like in the photo above) and the best Marks in this area are at Ty Croes.
This is a bit to the North of St Cwyfan's Church and is easiest to approach from the Cable Bay carpark. Head left and you'll find the best ledges just beyond the old Ministry of Defence sign.
The fishing's good. Come the Season come the mackerell in their hordes. In general, a wide variety of fish is caught from the Ty Croes Mark.
This entire coast round the headlad north past the old Army Camp to CABLE BAY and along the coast is excellent for Sea Bass. Plus Dogfish to test your skills.
You will need sharp elbows to keep you pitch when the mackerell are heading north. The ledges on the west coast of Anglesey can get very crowded.
N.B. An accusation frequently made by locals against visiting fishermen is that they leave their old tackle, lines, plastic bags and old news papers everywhere.
Listen! I know that's not you, because I know you take your rubbish to the nearest bin.
Psst! If the masses are along this stretch of coast mixing up lines and pulling each others' ears off you can always try Freshwater Bay below Point Linus Lighthouse for a bit of peace and quiet and some excellent fishing.
This on the very north east corner of Anglesey just off Porth Eilian Beach. Head for Amlwch then Porth Amlwch and keep going, going and going.
You'll end up overlooking Porth Eilian Beach. A road to your right will take you all the way to the lighthouse.
Take Care though the swell demand common sense about safety.
Geology couldn't care less about you. The ledges will always be there next time you come back.
For more information about fishing on Anglesey please CLICK HERE
SAND DUNE SAFETY WARNING!
SUPERVISE YOUR YOUNG CHILDREN AT ALL TIMES NEAR SAND DUNES
ARRIVE UPRIGHT AND LEAVE UPRIGHT
PETS ON THE BEACH
• No major prohibition on dogs, but please keep them on a leash - Unlike Crazy Fido here.
• Though not here at Aberffraw Beach, there are Seasonal Prohibition on dogs on a number of Anglesey beaches.
• Always bring a doggie poo-bag with you because the little dears can't always help themselves.
Imagine specific matter oozing from between your tanning and sandy toes.
Imagine a worse scenario; it’s your child.
• The main concern regarding dogs on Anglesey beaches is a health issue.
Doggie poo can blind for life.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DOG RESTRICTIONS ON ANGLESEY BEACHES PLEASE CLICK HERE.
SURFING AT ABERFFRAW
As I wrote above, it's a half mile hike to this beach, so it's important to check the weather conditions and tide-state in advance. Otherwise, you'll have to lug the whole lot back to the car feeling a right Charlie or Charlotte.
Received wisdom really is a bit dodgy about surfing on this beach. There again, I suppose it comes down to commonsense and experience.
In general, the consensus is that it's a pretty good beach for surfing. You can be presented with nice 4 to 5ft waves when the tide's high. Excellent for longboarding.
N.B.But watch out for the river on the right, as it drag you onto the rocks. Don't get so stoked that you put yourself in danger.
OTHER LOCAL BEACHES
If you look at the Ordnance Survey Map 114 for Anglesey you'll notice that Aberffraw has two other yellow marked beaches around the headland to the north.
These alleged sandy 'bay-lets' are on either side of the 'Church in the Sea', St Cwyfan, (which you must visit).
North is Porth China and south is Porth Cwyfan
Neither of these beaches qualifies as cute and shingly.
They are rocky and messy reef beaches with plenty of sharp basalt rock eager to gnaw voraciously on flesh and bone.
If you fancy letting the dog have a run across these beaches, then fit said dog with tungsten carbide snowshoes, or he’ll do himself an injury.
Same goes for you!
So, it's pointless going there for sun and sand.
Personally, I like to explore and appreciate the incredible variety that Anglesey's geology and ancient coastline reveals.
There again, you can choose to fish off all the low lying cliffs and ledges around of this rocky little bay.
WALKS, SECRET BEACHES AND ROCKY COVES
Most of Anglesey is beautifully soft and undulating countryside that warms you.
However, Mother Nature is ever ready to demonstrate its casual beauty in light and stark contrast.
The Anglesey coast is dotted with many unexpected rocky coves and small secret sandy beaches.
Arrive at Porth Cwyfan and bear left along the beach to gain the Anglesey Coastal Path.
The path is obvious and draws you on to discover little mixed sand/shingle coves and ragged edged ledges worth investigating.
Naturally Taking Plenty of Care.
This path will bring you all the way around the headland south to overlook Aberffraw Beach. This is an absolutely lovely walk, whatever the conditions.
To enjoy a short coastal walk around the headland Please CLICK HERE
BOAT LAUNCHING FEES
The County Council requires you to register powerboats over a certain horse power and also lists the required qualifications.
Please CLICK HERE for all the above information and about launching fees on other Anglesey beaches and slipways.
ST CWYFAN'S CHURCH IN THE SEA
This church used to be part of the mainland; however, over the centuries erosion has left it aloof of the land
There's been a church on this site since the 7th Century; the original being made of wattle and daub.
The one you see today only goes back to the 12th and 13th Centuries. On Anglesey, that's a newcomer.
Stand there in a storm and appreciate the religious dedication of those locals who would cross to the Island on wild winter nights.
For a description of St Cwyfan's Church in the Sea Please Click Here
EATING, CASHPOINTS AND SHOPPING IN THE ABERFFRAW AREA
Don’t feel that you need to bring absolutely everything with you in the car when you come to Anglesey.
Think about your Carbon Footprint. Just bring yourself.
Everything you need for your visit you can buy on Anglesey.
Not only do we have big supermarkets we have plenty of country shops and post offices that will sell you everything, from stamps to snorkels.
The information below is about the immediate Aberffraw village and beach area.
Between the village shops and - hopefully - an ice-cream van you will probably find everything you need for a fabulous beach family fun day.
For bigger Shopping, Restaurants, Bistros and Shops you'll find that RHOSNEIGR will be happy to address your fickle needs PLEASE CLICK HERE.
Travel back north toward the A55 Expressway along the coastal road past Rhosneigr
Drive over the Expressway and turn right at the A5 junction.
The village of Gwalchmai is a mile from here and the garage lies at its farthest end on the right.
NEAREST SHOPS & SNACKS
• The Corner House shop in the village square
• The Plas Coch Stores/Post Office in the village square
• Llys Llywelyn Tea Rooms
• The Crown Pub (Y Goron). A bit ‘locally’
Occasionally you will find an ice-cream van by the bridge outside the village.
Mostly, though, it’s parked in the car park at Cable Bay a mile back toward Rhosneigr
Aberffraw village shops are better bets and you can support our small country shops
NEAREST BANK CASHPOINT
Post Office - Cash Link machine (you pay for the privilege).
Remember, though, many banks have arrangements with all post office counter and you don’t have to pay. Ignore the Cash Link Dalek and ask at the counter.
Bethel Village shop:
• Cash Link Machine - You Pay for the privilege.
• None near the beach. Please employ discretion
• Park in the lay-by by the old bridge in Aberffraw. A half-mile walk to the beach.
GETTING TO ABERFFRAW BEACH
There are two ways you can arrive at the same point:
• The easiest is to travel along the A55 Expressway and turn for Rhosneigr at Junction 5. Follow the road through Llanfaelog.
• Sweep left at the old church and carry on out into the country past the dip tat is Cable Bay beach.
• Drive past the trning for the Anglesey Racing Circuit - Trac Mon
• Aberffraw is a mile ahead. Drive past the village and over the bridge. Parking is on your right.
• Pack you camel and head for the beach. Follow the horses hoof-tracks.
A more rural journey brings you to Aberffraw Beach from Llangefni (the market town). This is a pretty straight forward route.
• Come off at Junction 4 for Llangefni.
• Don't head into Llangefni but at the roundabout you'll see the road lead up hill. Follow this.
• At the very top of this half-mile hill there is another right turning for Llangefni.
You’ll find this by the Tafarn y Rhos Pub.
• 100metres ahead is a turning to your left for Bodorgan before the road descends to Mona. Take this turning.
• After less than ten minutes later you'll arrive in the village of Bodorgan. Drive down and around a ninety-degree right hand bend. 50 metres ahead is a road to your left over the bridge. Take this.
• Follow this road all the way to Llangadwaladr (St Cadwaladr's Church). Major road junction.
• Turn right and drive a quarter mile into the desert to arrive at Aberffraw.
• On this sde of the river you'll notice a parking space below an old keystone bridge. Park here and follow the river (by foot) until you get to the beach.
Visit WESTERN ANGLESEY BEACHES.
Return from Aberffraw Beach to Anglesey Hidden Gem Home Page.