By the time the cliffs reach Church Bay Beach they’ve risen a hundred feet above a small rocky and sandy bay.
The beach is about 300 metres across and is reached by following a very steep but good path from a look-out by the Wavecrest Café.
Church Bay is definitely a character beach.
If you really want to make your stay really memorable why not save up your pennies.
Put on a smart shirt and book a table at the renowned Lobster Pot Restaurant.
Its reputation has spread far and wide.
The lobsters were locally caught by local fishermen and the owner who used to row out to his own pots. No engine. He rowed.
Many regular visitors make a meal here an important part of their holiday and are planning it months ahead in their dreams.
Plenty of beach to rest, sunbathe and have an evening barbecue.
If you’re brave enough you may come here to do a bit of SURFING.
For those you interested in place names of villages, you might have worked it out that this tiny hamlet is named after the Church of St Rhuddlad, which stands proud and dominant over the bay.
However, this is a name probably attributed to the bay by sailors who traversed the coastline.
After all, the most dominant feature from the sea off this entire coastline has to be this large church with its imposing spire.
As I write above, it is probably a name attributed to the hamlet by others.
Those who lived in this hamlet just a mile or so from Rhydwyn, have always called the place PORTH SWTAN.
‘SWTAN’ means Whiting – the fish. So 'Bay of Whiting' would be the correct English translation, not ‘Porth yr Eglwys’, which is the Welsh translation of Church Bay.
Hope I haven’t confused you.
I understand that a small bay or cove was normally called after whatever fish was brought ashore at that point. In this case, whiting.
I’ll repeat the information that you can find on the notice board outside the church. It’s concise and says it all, really.
“The Church of St Rhuddlad, a daughter of the king of Leinster (Ireland), was consecrated in 570 A.D. Her feast day is 4th September. The present church with its stone spire, a feature not commonly seen on Anglesey, was built in 1858.”
Remember to tarry a while at the look-out above the beach because it offers a glorious view of the sea and The Skerries Lighthouse in the near distance.
Even better, watch and embrace the wonderful sunsets from here.
Allow these glorious, yet fleeting, moments to captivate you and reach into a part of your soul you keep forgetting about.
Treasured and magical memories are born of such moments.
The beach is varied because below the cliffs it is pebbly and shingly. The centre is lovely sand, though mostly tide-compacted.
The rocks on either side are ferocious looking and you really have to watch out when there’s a swell rolling in.
Below the cliffs is great for pebble picking. Find a suitable stone or boulder to sit down on for a while.
Just sit and quietly reflect on the simple fact that you are here and not somewhere else in a state of ever-stressful anticipation.
Much of the beach disappears at high-tide, so take care in case you have to make your way back to the path over wet and slimy rocks.
The cliffs above are loose and not even the dimmest of sheep go near the edge.
Though, you’ll notice that the bunny warren holes face out directly over the cliff edge.
CRAZY BUNNIES or what?
The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path really is one of Anglesey’s treasures and is very clearly signposted.
Church Bay beach and the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path above are great places to just sit and watch the seagulls’ aerobatics and soaring along the cliffs. I kid you not.
Just as for the other beaches on the Island the Anglesey Coastal Footpath quite naturally skirts the cliffs above.
I encourage you to make time to go for a little walk, especially to the north in early evening. The place is full of lovely bunnies.
Take Care, though, because it's a big drop down to the beach.
This image is of SWTAN COTTAGE, where you can visit and step back in time to the 1900s. For More Click Here ...
First of all, you have the brilliantly located Wavecrest Cafe right over the beach.
The café is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays as Penny and the gang go hide and rest behind the sofa. However, Penny's daughter Zoe has stepped in to fill the gap with Zoe's Cake Cabin on those days.
Then, you have the renowned Lobster Pot Restaurant with its freshly caught lobsters running on idle in a tank at the back.
In a sense, the facilities are pretty limited in the immediate locality.
Quite a few years back you might have been able to do most of your shopping in Rhydwyn but, sadly, not these days. All is gone.
Most of the goodies you'll need for an excellent beach day are close at hand.
However, everything else you'll need is only a few miles away.
• No major prohibition on dogs, but please keep them on a leash - Unlike Crazy Fido here.
• Though not here at Church Bay, there are Seasonal Prohibitions on dogs on certain 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.
If you’re brave enough then you may come here to surf. Essentially it’s a rocky beach sheltered from the best natural sea conditions.
Head-on westerlies provide large waves that can be dangerous for novices.
It’s well worth having a good old inspection of the beach before surfing here.
It’s not a surfing beach for beginners.
These beaches are far safer in comparison.
It’s always better to ‘Chew Beach’ than ‘Chew Geology’.
Mind you, you’ll need to be good at dodging the rocks to catch the 6 o’clock waves.
“SIX O’CLOCK WAVES?!” What on Earth is he on about?
Well, Gentle Reader, though the ships entering Holyhead Port seem far away they used to generate surf-able waves.
These would reach as far as Church Bay when the captain and his merry crew had not been paying attention.
WARNING!! Watch out for the very large ferries in particular.
They push an enormous amount of sea before itself that continues on its merry way when the ferries have reduced speed. Instructions have been given to the captains of the Holyhead ferries to slow down in advance of Holy Island.
You’ll find plenty of Stena Ferry warning signs on beaches to the south about these dangerous waves.
Come six o’clock on some evenings you may well find a group of surfers and bodyboarders.
They wait. That's what they do.
Patiently waiting for the waves that can last up to fifteen minutes as they recede.
No history of windsurfers or kite surfers. It’s much too messy for that.
If you’re surfing then keep a wary out for the ugly yellow tooth on the middle right of the beach as you look out.
Such rocks inevitably act like magnets for boards and unwary human flesh.
You won't even find the death-defying cliff-top bunnies surfing here.
This stands glowering down over Church Bay like Norman Bates’ home on the hill.
Nonetheless, it's a welcoming place and great place to be on a stormy evening with a pint and a pickled egg for company.
Sadly this pub misses a wonderful opportunity to serves food in Summer.
‘No Food Served’ is the sad sign on the door.
Shame that. Loss of a wonderful opportunity to enhance the experience of visitors to this lovely part of Anglesey. And make money.
About twenty-five years ago my friends and I used to keep the BABBs Guide for pub toilets – Bad and Basic Bogs.
We had a star rating ranging from a single star up to four stars. A toilet could only be validated if three accredited members were in attendance.
We looked for character, distinctive odour, dampness, filth and squalor and an excess of pointless fresher cubes.
I think the only Four Star toilet that the BABBs guide recognised was the King’s Arms pub in Bangor.
Despite hundreds of toilet freshers in the trough the smell of urine was overpowering.
That toilet alone justified our existence and inspections. The pub has now been ‘TRANSFORMED to an Irish theme-pub.
Everything in the Church Bay Inn is fine these days. BETTER THAN FINE.
However, there was a time ... Bad and Basic Bogs Guide
You can't launch your yacht or power boat from Church Bay. No-one in his or her right mind would engage in such a daft enterprise.
WRONG! I just found out that it is possible. People do launch their boats from here. The Beach Warden tells me that it's an adventure to behold.
Vicious black rocks and a heavy swell will guarantee being an item on local television and a haranguing from the Coastguard.
However, as for other of Anglesey beaches, the County Council requires you to register powerboats over a certain horse power and also lists the required qualifications.
The routes to Church Bay are really quite simple.
There are two routes. One being prettier than the other. I'll leave you to decide.
• Cross Anglesey on the A55 Expressway or Holyhead. Come off at Junction 3 for Valley/Trearddur Bay.
• At the traffic lights TURN RIGHT.
• Continue on this road for about seven miles to LLANFAETHLU. You'll pass through the villages of Llanynghenedl and Llanfachraeth on your way.
You'll see the village on a hill from a distance away.
• Pass by Llanfaethlu and half a mile onwards you’ll come across a turning on your left indicating Church Bay and the Lobster Pot.
• Follow this road to the bay through the small village of Rhydwyn.
You can imagine Rhydwyn as having been a busy rural village with garage, shop and post office. Sadly, cars have rendered these once vital community assets obsolete.
• Follow the clear set of signs to the bay, passing lovely cottages on your way.
I believe that this is the prettier of the two routes to Church Bay.
• First of all, follow the same route as above from Valley to Llanfaethlu.
• Turn into the village past the post office/shop/café/chip shop (The Coffee House). Drive up and straight through this little village.
• About one mile down this road you will travel through the farmyard of Borthwen. Keep to the right around the outhouses.
This farm is gradually being converted into holiday cottages.
• Follow this road for Church Bay Beach past Porth Trwyn Beach, which is behind the Borthwen outhouses and indicated by a large Blue information board.
Follow the road for a mile.
• You will see a tall church steeple ahead on your right.
Before you get to the church there is a left turning down to Church Bay Beach.
• Follow this down to car park and begin to unwind and relax before you get down to the beach.
Do You Have A Great Story to Share About Your Visit To Church Bay?
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Church Bay - Another Year, Bessie Mate and Marvellous Giant Scones
Dear Friends A year on and another wonderful giant cream scone at the Wavecrest Café at Church Bay. Reporting for Anglesey-Hidden-Gem.com readers, …
Farm house Church Bay summer 1957
Hi Wil I spent two weeks in a farm cottage in Church Bay. The owner was Tom Williams he ran the farm with his sister. He had an old Fordson tractor …
GROWING UP AT CHURCH BAY
Hi Wil As a child I have a lot of happy memories of growing up at Church Bay . Many Summers spent on the beach. When older I used to walk the …
Holidays in Church Bay
Hello We had all our summer holidays in Church Bay between 1957 and about 1968 in Plas Madyn, which was left to a friend of Mum and Dad's by her aunt. …
Church Bay - Best Mate, Best Cake and Best Beach Not rated yet
If you're going to have a mate, have a best mate. If you're going to have a cake, have the best cake - or at least the biggest. If you're going down to …