Cut yourself off from civilisation by finding yourself a beautiful Welsh isle onto which you can step without needing to dip your feet into the sea
It’s funny how the idea of being on a small tract of land surrounded by water evokes a sense of romance and freedom.
Rather than feeling trapped, the thought of walking on our own little patch out of reach from civilisation is, to many of us, rather appealing.
Visiting one of these offshore gems requires a boat… though not always. For Wales has at least 10 islands that, for some of the time, are accessible by foot from the mainland. Our walks this month take you to three such ‘sometimes islands’.
The first is an icon of Anglesey: Llanddwyn Island is home to Twr Mawr lighthouse – a photographer’s dream. It sits on a rocky promontory and provides fabulous views of the Menai Strait, the northern summits of Snowdonia, and the Llyn Peninsula. It’s also accessible most of the time, only being cut-off at high tide.
Our second walk also offers amazing views of Snowdonia. The flat estuary surrounding Gwynedd’s River Dwyryd offers uninterrupted vistas of the mountains (including Snowdon itself), as well as the likes of Harlech Castle and the Italian-style village of Portmeirion.
Starting at the village of Talsarnau, a make-your-own-way footpath takes you to Ynys Gifftan, an island inhabited until midway through the last century. Bring your wellies because there are a couple of small creeks to cross en-route, and make sure you don’t try and cross more than three hours either side of low tide.
Finally, we head to the Gower Peninsula. Many readers will be aware of the tidal island of Worm’s Head at the southern end of Rhossili Bay. But to the northern end there’s another that requires far less clambering to access.
Burry Holms is just a few metres off the mainland and is a great spot from which to see Worm’s Head weave its way out to sea. The walk also offers the chance to amble along Llangennith beach – the northern part of Rhossili Bay. It’s possible to cross to the island up to two-and-a-half hours either side of low tide.
Make sure you check tide times before attempting any of these walks at www.tidetimes.org.uk
ROUTE 1: An Anglesey classic – bring your camera!
ROUTE 2: Hidden in broad daylight within Snowdonia
ROUTE 3: Step off the tip of Gower... to an offshore island
Route inaccessible? If you find that any of the routes featured on walesandborders.com has become inaccessible in any way, do let us know so we can alert the necessary authorities on your behalf. You can email the Web Editor at email@example.com
For the full feature on tidal island walks, see the November 2019 issue of Welsh Coastal Life. For back issues, click here.
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