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Coastal Cruising: Around Anglesea By Balmoral And Along North Wales Snowdonia Coast

8th September 2017
UK Heritage excursion vessel, Balmoral began today coastal cruises that include calls to locations along the north Wales coast between Anglesey and Liverpool. UK Heritage excursion vessel, Balmoral began today coastal cruises that include calls to locations along the north Wales coast between Anglesey and Liverpool. Photo: Aled Wyn Jones - White Funnel facebook

#coastalnotes - Coastal excursions off the stunning scenery of north Wales began today and exclusively up to 19 September by one of the most travelled on UK inshore vessels the iconic Balmoral, writes Jehan Ashmore.

From various small ports on Anglesey, north-west Wales and also Liverpool, Balmoral will operate 21 coastal excursions cruises mostly departuring from Menai Bridge. This location in itself is a must see opportunity to experience onboard as the vessel navigates the narrow waters of the Menai Strait and head into the open waters by those taking in an all round Anglesey cruise.

Also on these excursions circumnavigating Anglesey, will be the sights of the South Stack Lighthouse near the Port of Holyhead with its ferry connections using Dublin Port.

In addition views of the mountains of Snowdonia which too form part of the coastal splendour on excursions notably eastward calling to Llandudno and reaching as far to Liverpool. The Merseyside port featured in last year's joint RTE/BBC documentary 'The Enemy Files' presented by Michael Portillo while onboard Balmoral. The vessel acted as the 'Munster' carrying troops to then Kingstown Harbour (Dun Laoghaire).

Also a port of call this month by Balmoral will be Caernarfon with its wonderful Norman Castle dating to 1330. For further information on Balmoral Excursions (a registered charity) operated by White Funnel click here.

This year Balmoral marks 68 years having entered service in 1949 as an Isle of Wight ferry (involving crane-handled cars) for Red Funnel service. Her career also provided coastal excursions on the Bristol Channel, the south coast along the England Channel and London/Thames estuary. These coastal cruising grounds along with west Scotland have been revived in 2015 after a gap of several years due to funding issues to restore the Bristol based ship back into a seaworthy state. 

At only 693 gross tonnage, Balmoral is a small ship but has played a big part in UK coastal cruising down through the decades.

Among duties has been the Balmoral's participation in the Coronation Fleet Review of Queen Elizabeth II. The small ship also acted as consort to another queen that been in the form of the majestic trans-Atlantic liner RMS Queen Mary which she accompanied on the Cunarders final departure from UK waters 50 years ago in 1967.

Published in Coastal Notes
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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