An underrated gem of Great Britain, Anglesey has much to offer the prospective tourist both young and old. Whether it is high octane action or reflective castle tours, this isolated part of Wales is filled with a rich history and heritage that shouldn't be missed. Anglesey is an ideal size if you're looking for a fun, interesting holiday which doesn't involve too much driving. At only 714km squared, the island is big enough to get lost but small enough that you can see most of the main destinations within a week. The roads are wonderfully sculpted throughout the picturesque landscape and the coast views are superb across the board.
Here's just a few places you should visit if you're considering taking a trip to Anglesey:
One of the few castles commissioned by Edward the 1st that wasn't built upon a previous structure, Beaumaris was built on what used to be a village. The entire population of the village was moved to a newly built village, aptly named 'Newborough' so work could begin on what would have been the largest of all the Welsh castles.
Grade-I listed, the castle was never completed. Boasting some of the best design work that architect James of St. George could muster, it utilises a wall-within-walls structure that would have been impenetrable. The inner wall curtain, accessible through the use of stairs, offers great views out to the Menai Strait all the way to the mountains of Snowdonia. Once on top of the walls, you can appreciate the scale of the project that was being attempted here. The space inside the inner walls takes up ¾ of an acre, and their interiors are all fully explorable. Passageways and corridors are complimented by a modest chapel, a lovely surprise intact amongst the outer ruins.
The Menai Bridge is just one of two road passages leading in to and out of Anglesey. The bridge is one of North Wales' most treasure landmarks, having been finished 1826, the Grade I-listed wonder is only 417 metres across. There's a whole load of information and bridge related activities to absorb over at the Menai Bridge Exhibition Centre. Locate in the bustling town itself, Menai Bridge is constantly bustling with tourists and commuters looking to get in and out of Anglesey. This constant motion gives the town a real busy vibe which can be refreshing after spending too much time in sleepy, rural Wales.
If you're looking for some peace and introspection, then there are some lovely little peaceful spots to hide away in Menai Bridge. Church Island is neatly cut off by a little river that runs through the town, at its highest point lies a memorial to those who died in World War II. Whilst you're paying your respects, you can gaze out upon Wales and the rest of Menai and take some time to reflect.
South Stack Lighthouse
If Anglesey were to have a must-see lighthouse, then this would be it. Work your way down through the winding walled path and make your up to the classical looking lighthouse. As if taken from a post-card, the architecture of the buildings are wonderfully simplistic and bold in their design. Having being opened and operated for over 200 years, South Stack is one of Anglesey's most popular tourist actions. 400 steps lead down from the mainland down to the miniature island that the lighthouse and surrounding cottages are sat on.
Before you reach the lighthouse, you'll have to make it across the short suspension bridge to the island proper. There's a fair bit of a drop to the waves crashing below (the island doesn't open during rough weather, so its always best to call ahead) but once you're down there, you can explore the light-keeper's cottages and take a fully guided tour of the lighthouse itself. The entrance price is reasonable and, at the right time of the year, birdwatchers are treated to thousands of birds flocking to the nearby rocks to breed. Puffins, guillemots and razorbills are just a few of the interesting species that gather there!
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