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Writing the recent post about St Dwynwen made me want to get back over to Anglesey and pay another visit to Llanddwyn to see how the restored chapel was looking, so as last Sunday was a brilliantly sunny day and not too windy, that’s what I did.

Walking along the beach the effects of recent stormy weather on the dunes was very evident. The sand has been eroded quite dramatically, causing trees to lose their footing and slip down onto the beach below.

Significant erosion of the sand dunes

Significant erosion of the sand dunes

The retreating tide had left a few big jellyfish stranded on the sand, some looking very battered and torn; I don’t know how you tell if a jellyfish is dead or alive.

A rather battered large jellyfish

A rather battered large jellyfish

Scallop shell

Scallop shell

One of the things that fascinated us as children was that arriving on Newborough beach, the sea in front of us would usually be fairly calm and flat but as you get nearer to Llanddwyn Island you mysteriously hear roaring sea and when you arrive, through the gaps in the rocks that tentatively connect the tip of the island to the mainland, you glimpse white-crested waves crashing in.

Through the rocks to the far side of the Island

Through the rocks to the far side of the Island

Waves splashing onto rocks

Waves splashing onto rocks

Following the boarded pathway around the outside of the island I was surprised by the numbers of Herring gulls that had gathered here. There were dozens of them dotted closely over one of the small rocky islets just offshore and many more floating around in ‘rafts’ on the sea.

Rocky Island dotted with Herring Gulls

Rocky Island dotted with Herring Gulls

The island is famous for spectacular rock formations called pillow lavas and mélange. The mélanges contain colourful mixtures of different rock types including quartzite, schist and limestone.

An outcrop of multi-coloured rock

An outcrop of multi-coloured rock (click for better effect)

The sight of a dry-stone wall built down a rocky outcrop seems rather random, but I assume it’s to stop the island’s resident Soay sheep and horses from getting onto the beach below, although they have all been taken somewhere more sheltered for the winter.

Green stone wall built onto the rocks

Green stone wall built onto the rocks built to prevent sheep and horses from getting onto the beach?

The decision to only partially restore the chapel was a good one I think. Aesthetically, ruins in locations such as this lend more of an atmosphere, but I fear the reasons for it are more prosaic. If a building here was made weatherproof and accessible it would probably either be vandalised or unofficially lived in. Or both.

The recently restored chapel of St Dwynwen

The recently restored chapel of St Dwynwen

Lighthouse, Twyr Mawr, sparkling sea and a background of the Llyn Peninsular

Lighthouse, Twyr Mawr, sparkling sea and a background of the Llyn Peninsular

A raft of herring gulls riding the waves

A raft of herring gulls riding the waves

Snow-capped mountains across the bay

Snow-capped mountains across the bay partially obscured by cloud

St Dwynwen's chapel across a pool of standing water

St Dwynwen’s chapel across a pool of standing water

The restored chapel

The restored chapel

St Dwywen's Cross & mountain view through the chapel arch

St Dwywen’s Cross & mountain view through the chapel arch

Far side of Newborough beach & forest

Far end of Newborough beach & forest

Newborough sands-people walking, kite-surfing & snowy mountains

Newborough sands-people walking, kite-surfing & snowy mountains

Pillow larvas were formed 580 million years ago. Molten larva from the earth’s mantle bubbled up through cracks in the seabed. When the larva blobs hit the cold seawater they quickly cooled and hardened, creating the intriguing rock ‘pillow’ shapes.

Pillow larva formation on beach

Pillow larva formation on beach

On the way home I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the beautiful Menai Suspension Bridge with emphasis on its backdrop of sunlit snow-capped Snowdonian mountains.

Menai Suspension Bridge

Menai Suspension Bridge

The Menai Suspension Bridge (Welsh: Pont Grog y Borth) is a suspension bridge between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales. Designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1826, it was the first modern suspension bridge in the world.