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Holyhead tourist information & travel guide

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Holyhead tourist guide

The island of Anglesey in the North West of Gwynedd County is connected to the mainland by two bridges over the Menai Strait, the original and famous Menai Suspension Bridge, the first modern suspension bridge in the world designed by Thomas Telford, and the Britannia Bridge.

To the west is Holy Island, with its main town of Holyhead, the ferry gateway to Ireland, connected to Anglesey by a causeway.

Aside from Holyhead, the main towns on Anglesey are Beaumaris, Amlwch, Llangefni, Menai Bridge and perhaps most famously, the town with the longest name in the UK, "The church of St Mary in a hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and near St Tysilio's church by the red cave", or as it is better known and unpronounceable by most, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, although in fairness, it is now abbreviated to the easier Llanfair PG. Interestingly, the original name was a simple 19th Century invention to attract tourists that continues to work to this day!

Surprisingly to many visitors, Welsh is spoken widely throughout the island, which is the largest of Wales and England and the fifth largest off the coast of the UK.

Although the largest town on Anglesea, Holyhead is not the actual county town, and officialy, it's not really on the island, occupying, as it does, Holy Island, which is just off the coast (but connected by the "four mile" causeway). It marks both the start and finish point of the Anglesey Coastal Path that runs almost within the length of the entire designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on Anglesey.

Holyhead has a good selection of shops and restaurants as well as a selection of independently-run food establishments to cater to every taste. There are also a number of pubs and inns where you can be assured of a Welsh welcome and a good selection of home-style cooked food. Many are family friendly and some even have facilities to welcome the four-legged member of the family should you not wish him to go into kennels when holidaying.

Holyhead is home to the Ucheldre Arts Centre, located in an old convent chapel where regular film nights, theatre performances, art exhibitions by both local and national artists and workshops covering many art interests. It is notable for its arched roof, square tall tower and quite impressive height. There is an exterior amphitheatre situated in landscaped grounds used for theatre presentations.

There is a healthy interest in football in the town with two teams playing in the Anglesey and Gwynedd Leagues. You'll also find that almost half of the town's residents speak Welsh, although on average, the proportion of teenagers in the town speaking the language is considerable higher.

The town is also noted for a quite quite disparate records - Holyhead High school was the first comprehensive school in the UK, it has the longest breakwater in Europe, wonderful for nature and wildlife lovers, and in 2008, much to the delight of Star Wars fans, one of the first churches of the Jedi religion was founded in the town.

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