An Ynys Mon Shootaboot

Plas Cadnant and a nature reserve in Holyhead, both on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, UK, were the locations for Shootaboot 2 2015. The weather was cloudy with sunny spells with a few short, light showers, but none of the cloudbursts of the previous days.

Vee could not wait to get into the Welsh countryside but she took a wrong turn along the way as she drove to Llanfair! so couldn’t take time out for photos. She said that the hour long detour was not without a considerable amount of pleasure as she drove through so many wonderful little villages.

After giving Vee a refreshing drink and a bite to eat I drove us to Holyhead after taking her to book into the nearest Premier Inn in Menai Parc. Anglesey, which is also known by its Welsh name Ynys Môn, is an island off the north-west coast of Wales. It stretches across an area of 714 square km and is the largest island of Wales and the fifth-largest island surrounding Great Britain. (Facts from Wikipedia).

We parked at the coastal nature reserve called the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park and walked out over the grassy stretches overlooking the Irish Sea. The fields were covered in primroses, bluebells and other flora, and were bordered by bright yellow gorse bushes which seemed to grow in the most hospitable of places on the surrounding chalk cliffs. Vee took loads of flower pics before we walked up to a viewpoint overlooking the sea and coastline.

320 Coastline at Holyhead Breakwater Country Park
Coastline at Holyhead Breakwater Country Park

318 The Holyhead Breakwater
The Breakwater seen from the view point.

At a mile long, it is possibly the longest breakwater in Europe. I assume that the zig-zag shape is to better withstand the winter storms. The breakwater was built from stone quarried here. After it was finished in 1875, the quarry was turned into a brickworks.

321 Brickworks chimney stack
The brickworks chimneystack and ruins.

Later, back at the car park some locals came to feed the birds on the duck pond and loads of gulls appeared from nowhere. Thinking that this was going to be a good photo opportunity, we sat and tried to capture some of the action.

332 A loaf for the ducks and gulls
The ladies with the bread.

365 Herring Gull - Larus argentatus
My only successful shot

Thursday 1pm

We met up again at our place, and after a cuppa set off on plan A, which was to visit Penmon Point with it’s geology, historic buildings, birds, and the chance of seeing porpoises or dolphins. Two miles down the road, as we were exiting Menai Bridge, I did a sharp left turn in to a narrow road, exclaiming, “The gardens are open, and I’ve never seen them yet. Lets take a look”, and what a good look it was.

Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens – Gerddi Cudd Plas Cadnant in Welsh – and their site and story is Here.
Briefly the 200 acre estate was bought in 1996, and the new owners started to restore it to it’s former glory in 1997.

381 Walled garden entrance
The entrance to the walled garden

391 The Double Herbaceous Border
The Double Herbaceous Border

409 Flowers around the Ornamental Pond
Flowers around the Ornamental Pond

Later on in the Valley Garden.

435 Bluebells beside path to upper valley
Bluebells beside path to upper valley

459 Path to the Afon Cadnant
Path to the Afon Cadnant

We walked through the valley garden to one of the waterfall view points. While we were there we spotted two adult Grey Wagtails feeding two chicks. The two chicks were separated by several yards of river, but the were fairly static, so we think this was their first day out of the nest. Because the chicks stayed in put, and waited for the parents to feed them, we took advantage and moved to a spot quite close and spent 45 minutes photographing them. A magical situation which was quite enthralling.

Waterfall on the Afon Cadnant539
One of the waterfalls.

531 Grey Wagtail feeding fledgling
Grey Wagtail feeding fledgling

1004 Yours Truly at the Tunnel
Me at the ‘tunnel’.

1008 Walled Garden Pyramid Topiary
Walled Garden Pyramid Topiary

Finally, a coffee break at the T-Bar. As I said, this was my first visit, but I can see me coming here again, especially as they do a season ticket. A season ticket and a T-bar – that has got to be a bargain. My son saw my photos, of which this few is a taster. If you click on any of the photos you will go to the original in Flickr, and then you can browse the rest of the pics, should you wish.

380 Tea Room (T-Bar)
Tea Room (T-Bar)

After a very nice coffee break we headed back to Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, with one more quick stop to view the two bridges on the Menai Straight.

1022 Menai Bridge over the Menai Straits
Menai Bridge