Anglesey, Wales’ largest island, is blessed with a stunning rugged coastline fringed by a coast path and numerous glorious unspoiled beaches ideal for family holidays.
When you are ready for a fun filled family day out there are lots of places to visit and all within easy reach of holiday cottages in Anglesey.
It would be quite easy to spend a whole day or possibly two enjoying the attractions of Beaumaris, the historic gateway to Anglesey.
A visit to beautiful Beaumaris Castle is a must. The Jacobean Courthouse and Victorian Gaol are fascinating and a stroll along the traditional seaside pier is a delight. Book a boat trip to cruise the scenic Menai Strait or try a spot of fishing while you are there. The elegant waterside town has a good selection of shops, galleries, cafes, pubs and restaurants too. Little ones will love the huge paddling pool on the green beside the pier. The perfect place to sail model boats and cool down on hot sunny days.
The Anglesey Bridges Exhibition at the Thomas Telford Centre gives a fascinating insight into the two iconic bridges that span the Menai Strait, joining Anglesey to mainland Wales. Menai Suspension Bridge completed by Thomas Telford in 1826 and Britannia Bridge completed by Robert Stephenson in 1850.
Experience thrilling Rib Rides from Porth Daniel at Menai Bridge. Choose from Explorer Rib Rides and Seamor’s Ribrides. Expect to see a wealth of wildlife, stunning coastal scenery, offshore islands, lighthouses, historic sites and mysterious caves.
Menai Bridge is fast becoming the foodie capital of the island with many excellent eateries to choose from. Dylan’s, in a state of the timber clad building with huge picture windows is a multi award winning venue with great food and wonderful views over the Menai Strait.
Here is a tongue twister to test your language skills: The railway station is small but the name is the longest in the UK.
Impress the locals, learn how to say it:
‘LLAN – FAIR – PWLL – GWYN – GYLL – GO – GER – YCH – WYRN – DROB – WLL – LLAN – TY – SILIO – GO – GO – GOCH’
Translated it means “Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.” Originally called Llanfairpwll, a local tailor lengthened the name as a publicity stunt. He certainly succeeded. Llanfairpwll is now a shopping venue, ideal for those in need of a little retail therapy.
Multi award winning Anglesey Sea Zoo is a great hit with all ages. The unique aquarium exhibits British marine wildlife including small British catsharks, conger eels, lobsters, octopus, seahorses, rare spiny seahorses, quirky lumpsuckers and moon jellyfish. Talks and feeding displays take place daily. Enjoy homemade refreshments in the popular Rockpool Cafe.
Visit Ty Halen (the Salt House), a new award-winning Saltcote and Visitor Centre, the home of Anglesey Sea Salt or Halen Mon in Welsh. This locally harvested seasoning is enjoyed around the world by chefs, gourmets and even Barrack Obama. It has been served at royal weddings, at the London 2012 Olympics and political summits. Did you know it is even used as a vital ingredient in Green & Blacks chocolate and Piper’s Crisps. Guided tours take place daily. A variety of flavoured salt, deli products, gifts and more is available in the shop.
Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve comprises a partially forested large dune system, saltmarsh, mudflats, a freshwater lake and the tidal island of Llanddwyn accessed via the glorious sandy stretch of Newborough beach where dogs are welcome in designated areas only. The pine forest is home to red squirrels and a number of other small mammals as well as numerous wildflowers, insects, amphibians and reptiles.
When the tide is out explore Llanddwyn Island, once home to St Dwynwen, Wales’ very own Patron Saint of Lovers.
The award winning Marram Grass Cafe in the village of Newborough and listed in the Good Food Guide is well worth a visit. Expect great food in a welcoming and upbeat atmosphere.
The little coastal village and vast dog friendly sandy shore of Rhosneigr has long been a destination for beach holidays. Families and watersports enthusiasts all enjoy spending busy days on the beach followed by refreshments in one of several excellent eateries nearby. A charming wildlife walk stretches all around Llyn Maelog, a lake between the village and the Anglesey Coast Path. Famous wildlife artist, the late Charles Tunnicliffe who illustrated Tarka the Otter and covers for the ‘What to look for’ series of Ladybird books was inspired by the wildlife here. His work can be seen in Oriel Ynys Mon Gallery in Llangefni.
Walk the spectacular Anglesey Coast Path from Holyhead or drive along the coast road to Ellin’s Tower RSPB Reserve opposite Southstack Lighthouse. The magnificent coastal scene is strewn with wild flowers and alive with a variety of seabirds including chough, peregrine falcons and nesting puffins. Ellin’s Tower is open and manned by informative staff daily throughout the year. It’s a great place to pick up information, watch the wildlife in comfort and enjoy refreshments.
History buffs might like to visit a series of ancient standing stones still present on the island. Look for Bronze Age Penrhos Feilw standing behind Plas Meilw Farmhouse 2k south west of Holyhead. Ty Mawr standing stone is sometimes known as Trefignath because of its proximity to Trefignath Burial Chambers. Access via a public footpath behind the Holyhead Leisure Centre.
Holyhead Leisure Centre has a traditional 25 metre heated swimming pool with a parents and toddlers pool next to it. Great fun whatever the weather.
Large, sandy and beautiful Trearddur Bay is backed by a promenade close to the village. The young and young at heart will love exploring rockpools. Slipways give easy access. A safe bathing area is marked out by buoys. Dogs are welcome in designated areas only during summer. The family friendly Trearddur Bay Hotel serves food and drink in the relaxed and informal Inn at the Bay pub and in The Bay Restaurant.
As you approach pristine white Llynnon Mill with its magnificent sails and cosy Tea Room you will believe you have stepped back in time. Llynnon Mill was built in 1775. It is still working and produces stoneground flour from organic wheat. Visitors are welcome to step inside and talk to the miller and his assistant followed by a cup of tea in the tea room. Flour is on sale too.
In the mill grounds stands a cluster of reconstructed Iron Age round houses, part of a living museum representing life on the island 3000-5000 years ago. Each hut has been furnished with a modest collection of tools, fireplace and cooking utensils to show how ancient communities might have lived.
Parys Mountain and Amlwch
Extraction of metals at Parys Mountain began during the Bronze Age. It was once the largest copper mine in the world. Wander over the extraordinary stony landscape of orange, red, pink, purple, brown, black, green, yellow and grey, shaped by picks, shovels and gunpowder during the late 1760’s. The ‘Copper Kingdom’ is now home to a wealth of wildlife including skylarks, meadow pipits and chough.
Copper was shipped all over the world from Amlwch Harbour nearby. Visit the historic little harbour, enjoy a coastal walk and refreshments in the town. Friday is market day.
The seaside village of Moelfre with its Lifeboat Station, Seawatch Centre, dog friendly sandy beach, cafes and restaurant is popular with visitors. Dolphins and Porpoises frequent the bay and make a wonderful feature on any coastal walk. Look out for the Royal Charter Monument and the bronze statue of Dick Evans (1905-2001), coxswain of the lifeboat and a local hero.
The seaside town of Benllech stands on the edge of vast Red Wharf Bay. A great spot for traditional beach holidays with shops for picnic supplies, beach essentials and plenty of places to eat. The sandy beach with rock pools is popular with families, watersports enthusiasts and fisherfolk. A lifeguard is on duty during holiday periods. The Anglesey Coast Path passes over the beach. Dogs are welcome in designated areas only during summer.
At low tide the 10 square miles of sandy Red Wharf Bay are uncovered. It is a nature reserve fringed by salt marsh and sand dunes. An abundance of birds including curlew, dunlin, purple sandpipers and shelduck are attracted here. The village boast 3 excellent places to eat and drink, The Ship Inn, The Tavern on the Bay and The Boathouse all with views over the bay. Dogs are welcome all year round.
The small sand and pebble beach of Penmon is beautiful, tranquil and remote. Strong currents discourage swimming but a spot of sunbathing, rock pooling fishing or walking are all rewarding. You will have to carry everything you need. There are no facilities here other than the Pilot House Cafe at Black Point. To the east stands black and white striped Trwyn Du Lighthouse and Puffin Island alive with myriad seabirds is beyond. Walk along the shore to discover the remains of Flagstaff Quarry and Porth Penmon harbour. Dogs are welcome.
The atmospheric ruins of 13th century Penmon Priory and Holy Well with origins in the 6th century give an interesting focal point to a walk around the peninsula. The buildings are cared for by CADW and open to the public free of charge between 1 April and 31 March 10am- 4pm. Closed 24, 25, 26 December. Dogs on leads are welcome.