After a fabulous day spent walking and lazing on a sandy beach, we had an early start the next day , highly excited that we were off to to see a lighthouse. Now for this excursion we booked a cab as that’s the only way to get there of you do not drive, or you could take bus no 22 from Summer Hill in Holyhead town to the RSPB South Stack Cliffs bird reserve housed inside the delightful Elin’s Tower.
An interesting memory from the day at beach before I tell you all about South stack – The previous evening (Day 2 – 28th July’13 -Sun) we went looking for a place to get some dinner and chanced upon a cute little Italian place on the tiny high street called Graces Bistro which is now closed, I’d imagine it would have had issues surviving because even when we went there, they were out of many things early in the evening and the wine was overpriced. I must admit though that the food was delicious – an Indian – Bangladeshi place called Saffron is now open in it’s place .
We also had an interesting time at a place called the The Edinburgh Castle – The EddieBar, – which is just opposite the ferry line and was packed on Day 2 – Sunday – 28th July’13 – we had a very satisfying lunch of Spaghetti Bolognese and Burger and chips, the way the locals were there in great numbers and enjoying the roast I’d say we missed some brilliant Sunday Carvery…
Which also reminds me that the day we reached Holyhead (Day 1 – 27th July’13 – Sat) we found only one pub open close to LIDL near the railway station – The Boston Arms, very welcoming, we were served hot food and decent beer even late in the afternoon, nothing makes me happier than good fish-n-chips after a long train journey – wouldn’t you agree?
Day 3: Major Sightseeing – South Stack Lighthouse – A 19th century gem
There is a 400 step stone stairway that leads to a suspension bridge over a dead drop that leads to the lighthouse. A mixture of fear and awe filled me while walking this stairway – fear of being on a bridge that is the only support – a sturdy one – not to worry – that leads to this stunning 28 m structure across a chasm and awe for the aluminium bridge that was re-built and opened to people in 1997. In the early days an aerial hempen cable ropeway to bridge the deep chasm between the rock on which the lighthouse stand and the mainland – a hempen cable which was 21 metres above sea level (!!!) was used along which a sliding basket was drawn which carried a passenger or stores- brrrr (shudder – shudder!) finally replaced by a sturdier iron suspension bridge in 1828 – this was replaced in 1983 but replaced by the new aluminium one for safety reasons.
Built in 1808 to facilitate better navigation in the area of the surrounding waters.The lighthouse is now automated and remotely controlled and monitored from the Trinity House Operational Control Centre in Harwich, Essex.
(In the photograph above, notice the white aluminium bridge like a closed cage)
We took a guided tour of the lighthouse, where we were given a peek into the history and fascinating facts were shared. We also climbed up a very narrow stairwell as far as visitors are allowed to go and I was the last to go down this one – praying hard – while giggling kids stood downstairs wondering why I was making such a fuss 😉
After a relaxed walk down 400 steps we strolled to Elin’s Tower which now doubles up as an RSPB information centre and an awesome place for bird watching – for several breeding seabirds, including puffins – we even spotted one – bobbing about on the water, what a treat it was spotting it with the help of the staff and their binoculars- loved it! And a great spot for amazing views of the lighthouse.It also has a cute tourist shop and cafe where we sat outside and ate some food- much needed sustenance I’d say – if you sit outside watch your food like a hawk or one of the many naughty birds is going to steal it before you can say the word hello!
Its good to know that: Ellin’s Tower and the Visitor Centre are open all year, with viewpoint, are wheelchair and pushchair accessible and a network of footpaths provides access to the whole reserve.
( In the top left hand side of this collage – check out the wings of the sea gull as it is flying away after robbing someone’s lunch – naughty bird!)
Hubster and me were really feeling adventurous so after the cab dropped us back at Holyhead we boarded bus no 61 to Cemaes Bay. I was really not sure if it was wise doing this considering the buses back are not very frequent after 6pm and we were really cutting it very close.
But again we have done this thing before, not the journey I mean literally but yes hopping onto a bus going pretty much anywhere, it’s mad thrilling especially if it’s late evening – sometimes in various places we just wait for the bus to turn back and drop us off into town close to our place of stay for the night. But we have ALWAYS met very chatty and fun locals, including the bus drivers, have seen the most amazing spots like when we took a bus into the villagey part at Brighton, it was mad fun, we saw rolling hills and the setting sun and that part of Brighton which is away from the madness of peak touristy places – it is always fun and totally worth it! 🙂
The bus dropped us close to a lovely beach at Bull Bay, Amlwch Port, we walked along the quiet beach and drank in the stunning views…..few families swimming, walking along the fabulous beach and admiring the pretty little harbour in the distance.
A long dreamy walk along the Anglesey Coastal Path later, as we made our way to the bus stop,located on a quite street, all shops shut for the day, very quiet and no sign of any one about we chanced upon a fabulous cafe – Coffee Cups- at the Cemaes Heritage Centre, run by a very friendly couple, who happened to have lived in Surrey at some pint, what fun, and while they made us a really quick cream tea, I went crazy with my camera taking pictures of the lovely cafe and well-maintained back garden. Both husband – wife duo -Carole and Roy Kearey – knew the area well and shared many tips with us, even offered us a ride back into Holyhead if the bus didn’t show up, that was so kind of them. But mostly importantly they saved me from a rather persistent BEE that insisted on joining in our little tea party – humpfh… we took cover indoors and managed to finish our Welsh tea, locally made cones, fresh jam and clotted cream with yummy strawverries – in peace.
Did I mention I fell in love with the china they used too? 🙂
Safely back in Holyhead by the trusty bus service that arrived right on time, we spent the evening strolling around the Maritime Museum, watching the sunset and listening to the noisy sea gulls…amazingly in that quite setting their screams were part of the calm…
Of course dinner was fish and chips – fresh and delicious – most fun I had was saving my meal from the sea gulls…
Stay with me as I take you the beautiful Llanberis, home to the tallest peak in England and Wales – the majestic Snowdon.
**All hyperlinks in the post lead to information websites – check out bus routes before planning a journey. All information is correct to my knowledge but would advise anyone using this post as a guideline to please check for updated information.