North Wales Photo Trip

Earlier this year in January 2024 I stayed on Anglesey in North Wales for a week of landscape photography.

The island boasts several iconic British photography locations that I’ve been eager to photograph for some time. Additionally, it provides a chance to explore and learn about a new area.

Day 1

I stayed in the seaside village of Rhosneigr, chosen for its close locality to various spots in Anglesey. The trip up would span approximately 6 hours and cover over 350 miles, prompting me to find a suitable a halfway stop for lunch. Perusing the maps, I noted Ratcliffe-on-Soar as a viable pit stop, home to the UK’s final operational coal power station. I had seen recent images of the area on Instagram which showcased the nearby canal and boat yard, inspiring my choice.







Shot with IR D600


I ended up staying here a lot longer than planned as it is such a great location. In particular the canal boats in varying stages of repair in the fields in front of the cooling towers has potential and one I hope to be returning to at some point.


Day 2 

For my first proper day in Anglesey I went to Newborough Forest and the nearby Ynys Llanddwyn. The weather was wet and very windy (as it was most of the week) but as this location was my prime motivation for the visit so it had to be experienced first. 

This area is unique for its vast sand beach and dunes that have encroached into the pine forest, leaving isolated pockets of trees among the dune grasses. The fierce wind made photography almost impossible but I did manage a few images when adequate cover was found. There are apparently terrific views along this beach towards the Eryri mountain range in the distance but the low cloud eclipsed that…




After a good look around I made the breezy walk along the beach to Ynys Llanddwyn, a small tidal island, famous in landscape photography circles for the two lighthouses; Twr Mawr and Twr Bach. It’s easy to see why this spot is so popular and there are lot of compositions available beyond the cliché view of Twr Mawr. 





Close up of the iconic Twr Mawr lighthouse


With the day nearly done I had just enough time to stop off at another nearby location on the way back to my lodgings. Eglwys Cwyfan or the ‘Little Church in the Sea’ as it’s unofficially known is a medieval church with a tidal causeway. With sunset and high tide due to coincide, I had planned this right, but the terrible wind limited my opportunities again somewhat. 



Shot with my telephoto lens. I wish the wind would have allowed a longer exposure on my tripod to blur the waves but it was not to be…



Day 3

Day 3 was less windy but much, much wetter so I made plans to do some exploring around Parys Mountain and the  Amlwch area to the north east. 

Parys Mountain is the site of a large copper mine, heavily mined during the 18th century but which has largely been disused since the underground mines closed in 1904. What remains is an alien looking landscape, scarred by the centuries of excavations; copper ore was mined here back in the Bronze Age..! 




Amlwch, the adjacent port town, was once a thriving global hub for the copper ore trade during the mine’s operation. Over time other industries like shipbuilding came and went and more recently a bromine works which now sits derelict near the port. As I was taking some shots of this building from the neighboring football field, some lads came to have a chat and they explained that they were on their way into the old works. I wish I had gone in with them as it looks very interesting from pictures online. Maybe next time..!






Day 4

On my final day, I enjoyed a break from the harsh weather and decided to mark the occasion by witnessing the sunrise at Penmon Point. Despite arriving well before dawn on a weekday, I encountered the diligent toll chap. He must never sleep! I couldn’t complain too much though, considering the excellent facilities and convenient parking by the shore.









Before visiting, I’d only seen standard minimalist shots of the Trwyn Du Lighthouse, so I didn’t realise the scenic potential of the surrounding coastline. It was a delightful surprise to discover this firsthand. Although a few other photographers were present, they were focused on capturing the lighthouse from the causeway, leaving me with the place all to myself. After spending a couple of hours there, I enjoyed breakfast at the café before moving on to my next destination.





In the afternoon, I embarked on a scenic drive back up the coast toward the famed South Stack lighthouse near Holyhead. Parking at the RSPB visitor center, I set out on foot, tracing the rugged coastline. The clifftop views toward the Eryri mountains were dramatic and I got a nice atmospheric shot as the smoke rolled in from the nearby bracken fires.

I was hoping to find a novel view of the lighthouse but the classic staircase view couldn’t be beat so I waited until dusk for the beacon to come alight.

By Friday, the tempestuous weather was forecast to return, prompting me to make an early departure, ensuring a safe journey back to Kent ahead of the impending storm.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my damp adventures in Wales 🙂

About the Author:

Leave a Comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *