After all the rain storm “Desmond” brought last weekend, the Malltraeth Marsh is looking a bit wetter than usual…
Two national cycle routes* go across Anglesey: the Lon Las Cefni has been developed to link the two – and then it extends to Newborough, just because it is so nice here.:)
Most of the route is on a dedicated, traffic free, cycle track; there are just short stretches where you have to cross a road or where the route follows a quite lane.
For much of the route, the trail follows the straightened Afon Cefni – which looks more like a canal than a river – which is a paradise for water birds (and sometimes falcons, hawks and harriers that eat them). Alongside the Cefni, between Malltraeth and Llangefni, there are large areas of wetland, much of which is an RSPB reserve, and again, a haven for birds, and also fantastic for wildflowers.
About six miles from Newborough, the track and the river pass under the A55 dual carriageway – the main route across Wales to Holyhead and on to Ireland. It seems a bit of a strange place to choose to build a nesting site for sand martins, but that is what has been done. The martins do use the holes provided for them, and they seem to be quite good at dodging the traffic on the road above too…
It is about 12 miles in total if you follow the cycle route all the way from Newborough to Llyn Cefni. The route is very clearly signposted with information points along the way.
*the national routes are Nos 5 and 8 which go to Reading and Cardiff respectively (gulp – they’re for serious cyclists!). More information on the national routes is available on the Sustrans website.
Malltraeth is the next village along from Newborough to the north. The two villages are linked by a “cob” – a dike wall – with a footpath/cycle track along its top.
The cob was completed in the early 19th Century, under the direction of Thomas Telford and John Rennie. At the same time, the Afon Cefni was straightened (and straitened) creating what looks like a canal, but is still tidal. This created nearly 1,600ha of grazing land on either side of the Cefni. Much of this land is now a nature reserve managed by the RSPB.
From the cob there are beautiful views in all directions. On the inland side, lie a series of pools, known as the Cob Pools, with the vast Malltraeth Marsh / Cors Ddyga beyond. To the seaward side are the Malltraeth Sands with Malltraeth Bay beyond. The whole area is a haven for wildlife, particularly birds.
At the Malltraeth end of the cob, there are several benches and a small picnic area (and a chip shop in the village). There are also information boards explaining the history of the cob and the geology of the area, as well as a visual guide to help you identify the mountain peaks that form the horizon to the south.
At the Newborough end of the cob, there is another small car parking area, with picnic benches, known as the Malltraeth car park.
The path on the cob is completely flat. From one end to the other it is about a mile long.
Lots more information about the cob, Malltraeth and the history of the area can be found on the Malltraeth village website: www.malltraeth.com