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Anglesey tourist information & travel guide

Anglesey | Holyhead | Amlwch | Menai Bridge | Beaumaris | Beach and nature

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Anglesey tourist guide

Reached by crossing the bridge over the Menai Strait, the island of Anglesey is at the top corner of Wales. This bridge was built by Thomas Telford in 1826, and was the first suspension bridge in the world, and also the most difficult project in the scheme to link London with Dublin. Anglesey is predominantly low-lying and possesses remarkably fertile soil, which used to supply the rest of the country with grain and cattle. This landscape is in marked contrast to the rugged Welsh mountains to the south, which provides a stunning backdrop to the verdant pastureland of the island. These prosperous farms often offer visitors the chance of guesthouse accommodation or self-catering in a scenic farm cottage in Anglesey.

The main town on Anglesey is Beaumaris and the last castle in King Edward the first's 'ring of steel' dominates the town. The castle was constructed between 1295 and 1298 when the money ran out, and as such it has remained unfinished but still it has qualified for world heritage status due to the complexity of its design, and the intricacy of some of the defences, including gateways with murder holes for pouring boiling liquids onto anyone stupid enough to try to attack it. Beaumaris also boasts an ancient Courthouse and Gaol, the latter housing the only remaining human treadwheel in Britain, used to subdue those sentenced to hard labour. There are some excellent holiday cottages in Beaumaris to rent and gorgeous self-catering houses too.

Anglesey has some lovely beaches and the small towns of Rhosneigr and Amlwch are popular holiday resorts offering a variety of self-catering accommodation, whilst the nature reserves of Llanddwyn Bay and Cemlyn Bay are havens for a large number of migrating birds, but the largest beach is at Red Wharf Bay on the east coast of the island. If you want to rent and Anglesey cottage by the sea then Rhosneigr cottages, houses in Amlwch, self-catering accommodation near Llyanddwyn Bay or an idyllic holiday cottage at Cemlyn Bay will offer perfect rental homes in Anglesey for an ideal Welsh retreat.

The country house of Plas Newydd is one of the most elegant residences in Wales and the home to the Marquis of Anglesey. The house was built for the first marquis in the late 18th century and has a unique association with the artist Rex Whistler as it contains his largest painting, a room-sized trompe l'oeil of Mount Snowdon. The house also has a large military museum and contains many relics of the first marquis' campaigns including the riding breeches he was wearing at the Battle of Waterloo when his leg was removed by a stray cannon ball, and the articulated artificial leg he had fitted afterwards. The gardens are also worth a visit and offer some lovely walks down to the coast, with always those views south to Snowdonia.

Along the old A5 road to Holyhead are the old Toll Houses, all well preserved and one now a good café. The town of Holyhead itself is not much of an attraction but has been an important port ever since the Romans established a naval base here in the second century. Today it handles the ferries that ply the Irish Sea, and from the top of the 710 ft Holyhead Mountain there are views of Ireland to the west, and even so far as the Isle of Man to the North. There is a great variety of holiday cottages in Holyhead to rent for a self-catering holiday on Anglesey.

Anglesey was an important place even during the Bronze and Iron Ages and is littered with burial chambers and standing stones, some more remarkable than others. Most of these sites are registered Ancient Monuments with rights of access, but some are on private land so it is best to check before marching across someone's crop.

Finally, don't forget to visit the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllla-ntysiliogogogoch!

Anglesey beach and nature holiday guide

For beach lovers, there are wonderful sand beaches between Amlwch and Beaumaris on the eastern coast, and between Rhosneigr and Ynys Llanddwyn, including Cymyran and Broad Beaches on the west coast. Feature of the northern side of the island are the striking cliffs and delightful small, secluded bays. The island's coastline is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, taking in the Holyhead Mountain and Mynydd Bodafon, and this beauty can be investigated by the visitor by walking some of the 200 kilometre Anglesey Coastal Path and visiting some of the delightful hamlets and inns along the way.

For nature lovers, the most important animal colonies on Anglesey are the Pentraeth and Newborough red squirrels. Birds on Anglesey include auks including razorbills, puffins, guillemots, auks, choughs and peregrine falcons.

Mona Airfield, close to RAF Valley is the location of the annual Anglesey County Show and is popular with visitors for the farmers' livestock rearing contests that sees farmers from around the country taking part.

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