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Stanley Embankment

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What's it like
Stanley is a tidal play wave which forms as water rushes into the inland sea through a tunnel under the A5 and railway line which forms the Stanley Embankment. It works on the flood tide and is very popular on large spring tides. You should not paddle through the tunnel other than at slack water or paddle on the 1st wave on the seaward side (outgoing tide) as it is closed by walls on either side and can be impossible to get off! The wave builds slowly from slack water and is great for flat spins and vertical moves. It is very safe and the worst that can happen is a short swim under the A55 bridge (green and white dotted line on map below) into the inland sea to empty on the shore either side. There are large boils under the new A55 bridge on a large tide and can catch out those not used to them.

Notes:
Need to get there about two hours before high tide at Holyhead.
Tide times at Holyhead
Springs (biggest) tides are 1pm and 1am (needs full moon or torch to paddle at night)
Less crowded on neap tides but is still a good paddle when everything else is too low.

How to get there
A55 to Holyhead.The second time you view the chimney from the Aluminum Smelter take the exit to Y Valley. Go straight across the crossroads by the garage (traffic lights). After a mile park on the road / few parking spaces by the railings outside Kwick Fit. You may get clamped if on Kwick Fit property. Cross the road and through a small gap / gate and cross the railway carefully!. Follow the track and go through a small tunnel under the A55. Put in on the inland sea and paddle round to the tunnel under the A55 which gives access to the playwave. Try to get there early to gain confidence as the wave builds.

Alternative access.
Park in the nature reserve car park on the opposite side of the estuary. Wait until slack water (the seaweed covered rocks to the west of the tunnel entrance need to just be covered) and paddle through the tunnel. At the end of your session paddle round to cross the railway as above and put in again on the Kwick Fit side to paddle across the estuary back to the car.

 

 

Information sources :
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/stanleyembankment.htm
http://playak.com/article.php?sid=86

 
 

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