That’s just one of the highlights of the lovely island off the north-west coast of Wales, also known as Môn Mam Cymru, the Mother of Wales, which attracts over one million staying visitors and half a million day visitors, bringing in just over £200m income to the island.
It’s a great place for walkers, with the coast traversed by a 125 mile long distance route, the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path, which falls within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covering 95 per cent of the coast. Primarily for walkers, sections of the path can also be enjoyed by cyclists and horse-riders. It passes through a landscape which includes farmland, coastal heath, dunes, salt-marsh, and cliffs, and if you are lucky you will spot a red squirrel, now only seen in a few parts of the UK. Anglesey also boasts some of the most fascinating rock formations in Europe, and so has been designated a Geopark.
Don’t miss outstanding castles and stately homes including Beaumaris and Plas Newydd. And there’s a great choice of accommodation including a hotel which has welcomed visitors for over 500 years to self-catering in a converted chapel and windmill as well as cottages.
And then there is the station with the longest place name in Europe, and one of the longest in the world: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch – which means “St Marys Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave”. Usually shortened to Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG. The extended name is rumoured to be the work of a local tailor who wanted to put the village on the map in the mid-1800s.
But don’t be in too much of a hurry getting to the Isle of Anglesey: it’s well worth spending some time en route, on the mainland, enjoying the mountains and coast of Snowdonia, Wales’ top destination, and a great area for activity holidays; and the stunning castles of Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech. There’s the unique, Italianate village of Portmeirion and you can go “green” with a trip on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. North Wales is also home to Clogau Gold, which has produced gold for many Royal wedding rings
Places to stay on Anglesey
Ye Olde Bulls Head in Beaumaris has been welcoming guests since the 15th century –including Charles Dickens and Samuel Johnson, while in the English Civil War it was commandeered by one of Cromwell’s generals
The Townhouse, Beaumaris – stylish boutique hotel under same ownership as the Bulls Head
Tre-Ysgawen – country house hotel and spa
Neuad Llwydd began life as a Victorian rectory before becoming a country hotel
Cleifiog Uchaf a 16th century Anglesey longhouse, turned into a country house hotel
Menai Holidays has 200 self catering properties on Anglesey and in North Wales
The Windmill, a five star graded windmill
Hen Graig, overlooking the pretty harbour at Bull Bay
Penrhos Feilw Chapel built as a chapel just over a century ago
Anglesey Coastal Holidays “luxury living with an unparalleled attention to detail”
Places to Eat
Ye Olde Bulls Head, Beaumaris – modern British cuisine served in The Loft Restaurant in the eaves of the historic building (see also above for hotels)
Lobster Pot – renowned seafood restaurant
Ship Inn, Red Wharf Bay
The White Eagle, Rhoscolyn – gastropub, completely rebuilt a few years ago
And if you are staying in self-catering you may like to sample:
And of course the famous Anglesey Sea Salt, Halen Môn www.seasalt.co.uk
Begun in 1295, this unfinished castle is the last and largest of King Edward I's Welsh fortifications. Designed by the king's mason-architect, Master James of St George, it is a perfect example of a concentrically planned castle. Formidable defences survive, surrounded by a partly restored moat. World Heritage Site.
Plas Newydd Set amidst breathtakingly beautiful scenery on the Menai Strait, this elegant National Trust house was redesigned by James Wyatt in the 18th century. The 1930s restyled interior is famous for its Rex Whistler association, containing his largest painting and exhibition. A military museum contains relics of the 1st Marquess of Anglesey, who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo. Only open April – October
Oriel Ynys Môn Museum and arts gallery, showcasing the island’s history, culture and wildlife, and with collections of the renowned wildlife and countryside artists Charles Tunnicliffe, and Kyffin Williams. Opened in 1991 by HM The Queen, they also stage poetry readings and concerts featuring the best Welsh singers and instrumentalists.
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