Angelsey — Ynys Llanddwyn walk

This walk begins and ends in the Newborough Forest. This Site of Special Scientific Interest has sand dunes and mudflats that make you feel like you’re in another country. You also have impressive views of Snowdonia, which is just across the water. The forest has red squirrels, which we didn’t see, but there were a few people walking around with impressive zoom lenses just in case.

Llanddwyn Island is a small island off the west coast of Angelsey. Llanddwyn means “The church of St Dwynwen”. St Dwynwen is Wales’ St Valentine and her day is celebrated on 25 January (not 14 February). There are a few versions of her life story. A daughter of a Welsh prince, Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon but played hard to get, possibly because she intended becoming a nun or her father had another man in mind. When she prayed to be released from this love, she received a potion. This potion, instead of releasing her, turned her spurned lover into ice! She prayed again and asked for three wishes: (1) that Maelon be thawed; (2) that all true lovers find happiness; and (3) that she would never again want to marry. She went on to live the life of a hermit. After her death in 645 AD, visitors started leaving offerings at her shrine, a place of pilgrimage. The influx of people boosted the wealth of the island and the funds were used to build a church, whose ruins are visible today.

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