Cwyfan – The Church in the Sea

The destination of a bike ride to St Cwyfan's church, which sits on an islet off Anglesey.

🚴‍♀️ 26 miles / 42 km
(Can be shortened)
🌄 685′ / 208 m
🥪 Bring a packed lunch, café on route back

So much more than its destination, on this bike ride we cross wetlands, the route of an old track across dunes and a pack-horse bridge, and take country lanes to cycle to the sea. Our bike ride takes us to a stunning, much photographed Church which sits surrounded by the sea at high tide. We break from cycling for a picnic (bring your own) and to walk to the island at low tide.

Once part of the mainland, this beloved destination of landscape photographers is still occasionally used for weddings, and makes for a dramatic seascape.

The church has had a chequered past, and has been larger than the present building. Wrecked by storms, it has been also been saved from the sea more than once.

Journey to the sea

To journey to the coast on this bike ride, we cross one of Wales’ largest lowland wetlands, a vital resource for rare mammals, plants and birds. We’ll tell you about the travails and attempts to build a retaining wall to keep the sea out, and drain the saltmarsh. This created more farm-land and also helped people to travel across this part of the island. The salt marsh was so great it almost split the island, and the areas above and below the marsh were referred to as greater and lesser Anglesey. 

Aberffraw, court of the Welsh princes

After skirting the great estuary and the historic Bodorgan Estate, a favourite part of this bike ride is to cycle an ancient track across the dunes. In spring and early summer, we can spot wild orchids growing along the road here.

Crossing an old pack-horse bridge, we enter Aberffraw, the site of one of the most important Courts of the Welsh Princes.

Reaching the coast, we get to glimpse Cwyfan church sitting on her tiny islet in the sea. A stop here enables us to enjoy our picnic and walk out to the Church (we plan these dates to coincide with a low tide so that we can access the island- though it looks prettier and more dramatic surrounded by sea!)

After our exploration, we head inland, and our bike ride takes on a different character. We’ll probably stop at another church to tell you about the vicar who caused a scandal and had the island up in arms, and may decide to call at popular cycling café which provides wonderful home-made food!

Don’t just take our word for it…

My first cycle tour day on Anglesey.

Ellie’s knowledge of the areas history, geology and natural history was excellent. Excellent planning and route knowledge made for safe journey and took account of rider ability. 22 miles flew by!

Highly recommended!
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