Newborough Warren

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  • Location: Newborough to St Dwynwen's Island.
  • A description of this walk: A classic coastal walk that will take you through Wales' biggest sand dune system, a national nature reserve and a beautiful beach. It's also officially the most romantic place in Wales.

Most visitors to Newborough head straight to the car park for a day on the beach, but this walk will take you off the beaten track for an alternative look at this area of Anglesey.

The walk is a round trip through Newborough warren, across Llanddwyn Bay to Llanddwyn Island and then back again.

On this walk Derek's guide was Will Sanderson - regional reserve manager for the Countryside Council for Wales, who was warden at Newborough for 15 years, so he knows the route better than most!

Marram grass

Starting off in a car park never seems like the most exciting way to kick off a walk, but this one has some interesting features including three huge yellow, metal sculptures representing marram grass sheaths and the marram grass industry once found here.

The grass was used to make a whole range of items including lobster pots, baskets and netting and it became a prized commodity in Elizabethan times.

Head away from the car park, across the sand dune system and towards the Menai Strait and salt marshes. There are some great views from here and you might spot Welsh Mountain ponies, which often graze the warren and common.

Salt marshes

When you reach the salt marshes you'll see an altogether different environment to the sand dunes. Twice a day the plants here are covered by the tide, so the marshes have their own specific varieties of flora and fauna.

Beyond the marshes are the sand and mud flats, and these are very important for the thousands of birds that come to feed here. If, like Will, you're interested in plant life, then this area is a fantastic place to visit.

In May and June this area is awash with pink and purple orchids, but there are plenty of other interesting flowers and plants to see. Just don't pick any as they're protected by law.

Llanddywn Beach

The next stop on this walk is Llanddywn Beach. As well as being a fantastic stretch of unbroken sand that runs for miles - it also offers some breathtaking views.

From here you can see the Yr Eifl mountains in the middle of the Llŷn Peninsula and also Bardsey Island at the tip. If you head further north, you'll eventually see Snowdon.

This area is one of Wales' busiest national nature reserves with approximately 250,000 visitors a year. The beach is around three miles long so you'll have plenty of time to take in the sea air, en route.

Llanddwyn Island

The route then takes you towards Llanddwyn Island. It's accessible via a causeway which is covered twice a day by the tide, so make sure you check the tide times before you go to avoid being cut off by the sea!

Llanddwyn Island is strongly linked to the legend of St Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers.

Llanddwyn Lighthouse

Llanddwyn Lighthouse is the final stop on this walk. It appeared in the 2006 Hollywood film Half Light, starring Demi Moore and its design is based on traditional Anglesey windmills.

From this point on the walk there is a fantastic view of Snowdon - weather permitting. Once you get off the island, there is a nice walk back through Newborough forest to the car park.

Article written by Weatherman Walking Series Producer - Julian Carey.

This walk was first shown on BBC One Wales as part of Weatherman Walking, Series 2 in July 2008.

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