Menai Strait

Sea Kayaking

Menai Strait / Culfor Menai | ©Ray Wood

Menai Strait

Sea Kayaking

The island of Anglesey is split from the North Wales mainland by the Menai Strait. This extensive strip of water is of great value to paddlers. If the rivers are dry, or the winds too strong to venture out to open sea, the Strait provides a useful haven where fun can still be had. It is also well worth visiting, regardless of the conditions elsewhere.

The character of the Strait changes significantly throughout its run from Caernarfon, northwards to Beaumaris. The section between Caernarfon and Felinheli is similar to a river estuary, but the next section between Felinheli and Menai Bridge is quite different. Here it is narrow, rocky, and more akin to a winding river canyon. The narrowest section of the strait is crossed by two impressive bridges, the Britannia Bridge and Telford’s suspension bridge. The group of small islands and rocks between the bridges is known as the Swellies. Conditions in this popular area are variable but a grade II river standard can occur on a spring tide.
The tidal streams in the Menai Strait are strong and fast (up to 8 knots) in both directions. Accurate tidal planning is essential, although this is not that easy to do. There are a number of complicated factors which must be taken into account, such as the relationship between high or low water and slack water, plus the differing nature of the flood and the ebb.


Access to the strait can be made in a variety of places including Menai Bridge, Nelson’s Jetty, Felinheli and Caernarfon.

Safety & Access
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Safety & Access

The publisher of this website accepts no responsibility for the way in which readers use the information contained therein. The descriptions and recommendations are for guidance only and must be subject to discriminating judgement by the reader. Advice and training should be sought before utilising any equipment or techniques mentioned within the text or shown in any of the photographic images. Kayaking and canoeing are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.


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Books, Guides & Maps

Welsh Sea Kayaking

As well as providing essential information on where to start and finish, distances, times and tidal information, the book does much to stimulate and inform our interest in the environment we are passing through.


OS Maps for area

Explorer OL17
Explorer OL263

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