Reaching back to its conception in 1988, Holyhead Breakwater Country Park must have overwhelmed Anglesey Borough Council with its success.
The Breakwater Park is a popular attraction for local people and the millions of visitors who have spent time in this Award Winning green space.
If you're visiting Anglesey, then this is a Must Visit Site
Bounded by the Old Quarry, the Brickworks, Holyhead Mountain and Rocky Coast, this once unofficial home of old sofas, wrecked cars and exhausted washing machines has been transformed into a fascination and most enjoyable green space to visit.
Most of Anglesey’s coastline has been designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, punctuated with a number of SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest).
Is it any wonder that Holyhead Breakwater Country Park also shares this wonderful acknowledgment of its gloriousness?
Enjoy gentle walks to your heart’s content through the park and along the Rocky Coat Path keeping a keen eye out for the greedy gray seals - Fishing Persons Beware!.
Or maybe just sit in idle reflection by the man-made lake and breathe in the refreshing and rejuvenating sea air.
Explore the remains of the rich heritage of the Old Brickwork and Felin Newydd (New Mill).
Exercise your imagination and relive the once explosive and noisy quarry works which supplied the stone required to build Holyhead Breakwater - still one of the longest in the world at one and 3/4 miles.
I understand it can be seen from the International Space Station!
It’s a lovely trot to the lighthouse at the end and back.
Feeling a bit more vigorous? Why not trot up the ridge footpath in the direction of Holyhead Mountain? Drop downwards after about a half mile to visit the old Fog Signal Station at North Stack. Follow the power lines above you when they drop down to your right.
Carry on along the high path to arrive at one of the most outstanding views imaginable. Look down at South Stack Lighthouse and RSPB Visitor Centre. Visit the lighthouse island.
(MORE ON BOTH STACKS BELOW)
Access - Most of the paths around Holyhead Breakwater Country Park are okay to move around on, whether concrete or crushed slate, they are generally flat so that you can enjoy the sights that reveal themselves to you around each corner.
Paths about the lake are accessible to wheelchair users.
Anglesey County Council have decided to place a car park ticket machine in the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park.
Cost for placing and maintaining it is £2,600 per year. Locals have calculated that because of the size of the car park that it will make less than £2,600. Go Figure that one.
Can you imagine a big pile of 7,000,000 tonnes of rock? Just how big a pile would it be?
It’d fill in the whole of the ground area of the country park and reconstitute that side of Holyhead Mountain (720ft - and aspiring). A better example would be the Holyhead Breakwater itself – and not just the part you can see.
The Holyhead Breakwater you can see is metaphorically the tip of the iceberg. Visit the Felin Newydd structure in the middle of the carpark for details of how the breakwater was constructed.
The simplicity and scale of the construction phase is fascinating and marvellous.
The Breakwater was completed in 1875 and has been bashed about a bit by monster seas in the intervening years. There was gaping hole in the breakwater in 1976, which, I am ashamed to say, I don’t remember.
Incidentally, the breakwater rock contract was cancelled in 1976, because it was cheaper to bring it in from elsewhere. So the disused sofa park was created.
The information panels in the open building are an excellent guide. So this is the first place you should head when you arrive.
I’ll present more detailed information about the Holyhead Breakwater on another page in a short while.
As stated above Anglesey County Council got to work on finding a new way to use this local tip in 1988.
In 1990 it was decided that what was to be called Holyhead Breakwater Country Park would be created here and work began on the project.
The attached cost was in the millions of pounds; however, its contribution to the Tourist Economy of Anglesey has in all likelihood paid back the initial outlay by a good factor and a bit.
The Anglesey Tourist Economy is worth over £240million a year.
Credit to the County Council for its lightness of touch in the Country Park’s creation.
The parking, cafe, information centre and man-made lake are extremely well-designed, but it’s their hands-off management of the natural component that has allowed wildlife, foliage and flowers to proliferate. It is Nature that adds the magic to this wonderful green space.
The path below the quarried cliff is an absolute delight. The Rocky Coast part of the Anglesey Coastal Path is open and obvious as it meanders along the rocky land above the shore.
Holyhead Breakwater Country Park really is a serendipitous manifestation of Anglesey's coastal beauty and Victorian Industrial Heritage.
Many people from the town enjoy a daily constitutional at the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park, taking their dogs with them to ensure a purpose.
On sunny guys friends gather here at the little cafe for a cup of tea after walking the Rocky Coast path and up toward Holyhead Mountain.
I imagine that you could blindfold many people and they could still manage their usual routes, so frequent do they visit the park. Others are only able to enjoy a single visit and they make the most of it and enjoy the Orienteering Course.
The good news is that you won’t need your tracksuit and trainers. Whether you choose to sprint around or pootle at a conversational pace, you start, get confused, get enthusiastic, get lost and have a great deal of fun.
And all within the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park. To download the course details the following link will take you to the County Council website - ORIENTEERING COURSE
The course is not all that difficult really but it allows you to concentrate on specific areas of the park that that you may have become casual about. Anglesey County Council (Bless ‘em all) have designed a course for which the details can be downloaded in advance.
I haven’t checked with Wil Stewart in the Visitors Centre, though I wouldn’t be surprised if can’t supply you with information sheets and the orienteering course challenge notes.
Anglesey County Council has worked hard to ensure that you enjoy your visit to Holyhead Breakwater Country Park and have created an Audio Tour for you.
You can download the audio tour to your MP3 player or listen now online. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
There’s an obvious path rising up the ridge up from Holyhead Breakwater Country Park. It’s a bit steep but manageable if you take your time.
There’s a simple trick to climbing up reasonably steep paths and that’s to stop now and then to take the odd photo and search the sea for gray seals.
What you could also do is look sad and forlorn and hope that the resident of North Stack will drive up the same path and give you a lift. Not likely, I know. That’s what the tyre tracks are.
At the top follow the path and the overhead power cables for about a half mile. You’ll eventually notice an appalling road dropping down to the right. Follow this all the way down to the Fog Station.
Instead of turning down for North Stack carry on along the Anglesey Coastal Path toward South Stack.
It is impossible not to stop frequently to take in the massive panoramic view revealed to you.
Behind is Holyhead, the Skerries Lighthouse with the coast leading north all the way to Carmel Head. It is with warmest enthusiasm I guide you to a the golden chain of Golden Beaches that stretch from Penrhyn Bay all the way up to Church Bay and Cemaes Bay just around the corner to the east. Click here for information on WESTERN ANGLESEY BEACHES.
Before you wander off, enjoy the view that begins to reveal itself to the south. Again use the same link above to learn about this equally beautiful coastline.
However, you are on a walk to South Stack. The path will gently fall away from its highest point and you will stand at a point overlooking the South Stack Lighthouse.
Check out the Webcam.
Coming off the A55 Expressway, travel straight across the roundabout and straight through the traffic lights.
No need to worry about any turnings. The Lands End road will sweep you up to your left and up onto Newry Beach.
Follow this road for about half a mile to nearly its end. Just past the right turning for the Holyhead Sailing Club & Marina you’ll see a little road that forks to your left. Take this.
Beyond a long building after a half mile you can park and find your way onto the Holyhead Breakwater.
Carry on along the road ahead and it’ll bring you into the heart of the Breakwater Country Park.
Check out the Google Map below
The Brown Tourist Signs will also guide you from Holyhead Town Centre. A bit of a walk, though.
View HOLYHEAD BREAKWATER PARK in a larger map
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Aug 14, 18 07:06 AM
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Jul 30, 18 04:09 PM
Hi Wil I came to Cemaes Bay a few years ago and enjoyed a boat trip and a fishing trip. I was wondering how to book a sea trip again - maybe 2 hours.
Jul 20, 18 01:22 PM
The Anglesey Journal is a series of on the spot reports and reflections on my Anglesey Island Home. Beaches, villages, winding country roads and discoveries.