Cycling to Wales’ Love Island, and finding ‘Cockle Bay’

Cycling over a bridge during a Guided Bike Tour on Anglesey.

Well I’ve been recceing rides all summer, sometimes with company, but here we are on Green Lane Bike Tour’s first outing. The weather was fine and dry and wind not too strong, and I have a lovely looking bike for one of my riders.

After briefing the group, we set off, explaining a bit of the history of the land around us, and how important the habitat is for some of our rarest birds and plants, as well as a bit of history about how the marsh was reclaimed.

Pont Marcwis at the end of the cycle track was a good point for a first break. The bridge is listed as an important historic structure. It and was built in 1820 and named in honour of the Marquis of Anglesey.

We cycle along a quiet road and cross an empty A road to cycle 1 kilometer along the top of Malltraeth Cob. The views from here are quite something- on one side, a large shallow estuary stretches towards the horizon. Being so shallow, the tide appears to be out more often than not, and it’s one of those atmospheric beaches where scudding clouds affect the colours you see on the sand, water and reeds below.

Take a look at our Guided Bike Tours now!

To the other side are Malltraeth pools, there are a couple of horses who like to stand around, I’ve photographed then in exactly the same place on different occasions, but they’re not around today. It’s a great spot for bird-watching, and when the water’s low you can even see the mullet thrashing around in the shallows. To cap it all, you can see across the island towards Snowdonia.

We had a discussion about which house belonged to famous bird illustrator, Charles Tunnicliffe before pedalling on.

After the Cob we enter Newborough forest– a fabulous resource, and cycle along the wide roads towards Llanddwyn Island.

Llanddwyn is named after Dwynwen, Wales’ Patron Saint of Lovers. We lock the bikes up and decide we want to visit the island, so head off for the island, reminding of the incoming tide. On the island we come across a television set. The empty row of pilot’s cottages have been ‘dressed’ and is ready for their new ‘residents’ who are to be filmed living the life of a fishing community in 1910– just to that we can watch how they fare on television later on… it’s a strange world.

We chat with two of the crew who are smoking mackerel outside, before moving round the headland to sit and have a lunch and watch the breakers…

So relaxing were the breakers and the sound of the sea that we probably relaxed for too long. Walking back, someone comments: “Look, people have taken their shoes and socks off’, and sure enough, the tide has come in, and we too have to remove our footwear and paddle- it’s not cold and hardly shin deep, and just adds to the enjoyment….

Shoes and socks back on, we get back to our bikes and cycle into the woods by some smaller lanes. The forest is home to what has, at times been the world’s largest raven roost. I’d been looking forward to listening to the ravens, but they were quiet today, and beyond the dunes all is quiet, sheltered from the sound of the sea, and the wind.

We join the main forest road and are soon retracing our wheels back to the start deciding to skip the cafe stop, as we’d spent so long on the island today!