A nice day out (of the Wallace and Gromit variety)




It is so easy to keep your nose far too close to the grindstone. This is a beautiful place but it is full of jobs to do and things to sort out. The house fills with ever increasing lists and half of what we do doesn't even make it to a list but yet takes all day. So on Thursday we had promised ourselves a day out, of the old fashioned variety with a packed lunch and a flask.

Probably about thirty years ago (gulp) Ian had been to a beach on Anglesey called Newborough Warren and had recommended it to younger son Chris and his girlfriend as a place to visit. Chris is not one of life's natural gushers so when he came home and said it was one of the most beautiful beaches he had ever seen, it had to be good. It features from time to time on the nature programmes on BBC Wales which I never knew about until I came here but which are a lovely and gentle way to settle into an early evening. The beach has a colony of wild ravens which live in the pine woods by the dunes and there is a plan to reintroduce red squirrels.

I made ham and chutney and cheese and tomato sandwiches with homemade bread and homemade chutney, local ham and our own tomatoes, made up a flask of coffee and packed bananas and Green and Blacks Chocolate. First we went to Ruthin, one of my favourite places around here, to its fabulous deli and then to a material shop packed like an Aladdin's Cave with rich and glowing fabric. As soon as I have made the cushion covers with my last haul of material I shall allow myself a trip back all by myself to linger and feel and come home armed with folds gold and red.

We drove slowly, through Betws Y Coed and over the high mountains, beautiful but bleaker and harsher than our soft green hills. Crossing the Britannia Bridge into Anglesey - Ynys Mon in Welsh - the landscape changes, is flatter, windswept, feels like an island. Newborough Warren is on the south west side of the island, a huge nature reserve of pine woods, sand dunes and wide sandy beaches. To the south are the mountains of Snowdonia, today barely seen looming darker grey against the dark grey sky. To the west is Ireland. Standing looking west across the sea in Cornwall or Wales or Scotland always gives me a strange tug at the heartstrings. However far west you are there are always more westerly islands just beyond the horizon, either shimmeringly seen or just out of view, towards the sunset, the promised land.

We walked to the lighthouse, the ravens flapping silently past us out to sea, talking and catching up with each other after too much time focussed outwards on other people and other duties. The wind whipped our faces, warm for the first day of November. Out towards the lighthouse stood an ancient celtic cross, inscribed more recently in the last century with a Welsh beyond my infant understanding.

Dark when we got home, the clocks gone back and winter around the corner. Time to light the stove and close the curtains. A good day out.

Comments

  1. not just a good day out; a beautiful day out.

    it has been 15 years since i've been to wales. i ended up in a little town called manorbier where i could easily have just stayed for the rest of my life.

    rugged hills, with celtic-cross cemeteries and a view of the water, narrow roads with hedgerows, and a tiny pub where i played darts every night.

    i loved sharing your day, and your photos.

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  2. Sounds perfect. (You really shouldn't tell too many people though!)Very dramatic photographs really capture the sea's power and the growing gloom of an autumn day. Most enjoyable.

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  3. Beautiful beach, lovely photos and a gorgeous grand day out. I'd heard that people were flocking to the beach - it being November in Britain - and here you are proving it.

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  4. You need to keep a place like that secret. Next time you go it will be full of Cooers, wearing purple.

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  5. What beautiful photos - you live in a wonderful place and I'd agree, that it might be the most beautiful beach in the world. I am more of a wild water and rocks beach person than a white sandy beach person, so I really enjoyed sharing your day!

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  6. Beautiful photos, we used to go to Newborough Warren when I was a child. I have memories of my dad goiong beach casting at night there with the tilly lamp, catching dog fish. We used to camp at a campsite nearby.

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  7. Some of your photos do remind me of Cornwall. It sounds a perfect day, and the picnic sounds a proper thing to do.

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  8. Hallo, love that beach and always better this time of the year no grockles...xx

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  9. That looks like my kind of beach too.

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  10. Wow - that looks truly beautiful. There's a special kind of magic about tucked away beaches where it feels as though you're on the edge of the earth. Reminds me a little of a tiny, barely accessible beach in the north of Scotland called Sandford Bay.

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  11. We are about due one of those types of days out...to recharge the batteries...we always head to the Welsh coast as well...sometimes Anglesy. We found Whistling sands...trouble is i dont think I could find it again.....
    lovely pictures.

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  12. Those photos are breathtaking. What a perfect day. Your pictures and your descriptions make me want to visit Wales.

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  13. Wow, what fabulous photos. I shall have to visit that place one day. Your day out sounded just perfect to me.

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  14. It's hard to know whether to blog about these places. It would be awful to go and find them overrun with ice cream stalls and burger bars. There is a charge even to go down to park of £3 - is this a good thing or not? Might keep out the mean or the riff raff but maybe the riff raff don't want to be there in the first place (with apologies to riff raff, suspect I'm one so shouldn't talk).
    Anyway, I work on the basis that dunes and pines and ravens and lighthouses aren't everyone's cup of tea although I would not be at all surprised to find a phalanx of purplecooers munching homemmade pork pies and sharing organic chocolate in the sheltered lee of a dune.

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  15. Perfect day out and the picnic sounds lovely. I love a drink out of a flask after a good walk.
    Toady

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  16. Sounds like a place for the 'list'...next time we are in Wales. Lovely photographs, too. Mootia x

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  17. More reasons to visit Wales. There is so much beauty on this Island of ours, one wonders why we all feel the need to explore far corners of the globe. One day, perhaps, I shall do both. Possibly on a boat. But who will look after the kittens?

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  18. Sounds - and looks - like my kind of a place. Beautiful. Lovely blog, wish I was staring out west to Ireland right now.

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  19. That was lovely Elizabeth. Your photos look very like a place in Cornwall called St Just - dramatic cliffs and a lighthouse too. The picnic sounded pretty gorgeous too. I wish I was better about keeping my nose to the grindstone! xx

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  20. Just gorgeous - it's now on the 'places to go' list!

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  21. What a beautiful place. I love the cold, rugged beaches, they have so much character.

    I shall add Wales to the list of places to visit when we finally leave our corner of the world.

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  22. Thank you for the lovely photos..I grew up in Bangor and have spent many times on the warren and sitting on Llanddwyn island just dreaming. When I first learnt to drive it was the first place I headed to..happy memories

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