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Anglesey: The Breadbasket of Wales

With rolling green hills, a high concentration of ancient sites and a coastline that ranges from rugged cliffs to golden sandy beaches, The Isle of Anglesey has plenty to offer everyone from the history lover to the wildlife enthusiast. This green and pleasant rural idyll has a turbulent history of religion and warfare.

Here’s a Pro-Tip: Keep an eye out for the endangered Red Squirrel, a rare native species of Anglesey that has mostly been replaced by the grey squirrel on the mainland!

Anglesey---Menai-Bridge-UK

The Menai Bridge carries traffic to Anglesey

Beyond the brilliant landscapes and exciting history, this former home of William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has a sense of humour. It is also known for having the longest place name in Europe; Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllanty-siliogogogoch! Yes, that is a real name! Anglesey is located just off the Northwest coast of Wales, separated from the main island by the fast-flowing Menai Straight. The climate is mild with the average temperature of 12C (54F). With the scenic 214km (132 mi) Anglesey Costal Path, this is a great destination for a walking holiday. The native language is Welsh, although everyone speaks English as well. The overall atmosphere is welcoming and laid-back; the perfect place to unwind!

Depending on where you are traveling from, there are many ways to arrive in Anglesey. Those traveling from Scotland or England can easily arrive via motorway or train in a matter of hours. If you are traveling from mainland Europe, Ireland or any other overseas continent, you can fly into Anglesey Airport, Maes Awyr Ynys Môn (HLY), which is located about a 10-minute drive from the main town of Holy Head. The closest large international airport, however, is Manchester about 200km away (125 miles).

Here are my favourite Anglesey destinations to explore:

Beaumaris Castle – This magnificent site was begun by Edward I of England in 1295 as one of several picturesque castles in the region built during his campaign to subdue the Welsh. Although it was never completed due to lack of funds, this perfectly symmetrical, moated site offers an opportunity to explore history.
Beaumaris-Castle

Beaumaris Castle has been pro-moated in my opinion!

Traeth Llydan – Over a mile of sandy beach on Anglesey’s Southeast coast offering a variety of water sports for an action-packed day!

Parys Mountain – Located in the southern town of Almwich, this was once the site of a large copper mine dating back nearly 4,000 years! The exposed minerals have created a vividly coloured landscape that looks like it could be from another planet.

Anglesey---South-Stack-Lighthouse

What type of house weighs the least? A lighthouse!

Holy Island – A tiny island located just off the west coast of the Isle of Anglesey known for its beautiful beaches, diverse landscapes and settlements dating back to prehistoric times! It was the last stronghold of the druids in ancient Britain and derives its name from the numerous bronze-age standing stones, burial chambers and other religious sites that dot the landscape.

Here’s what to do while there:

  • South Stack Lighthouse – This Anglesey lighthouse was built in 1809 on a tiny islet as a way to warn ships of the dangerous rocks below. Here you can also visit the South Stack Cliffs or take a tour of these sites.
  • Holy Head Mountain – The highest mountain in Anglesey is a great place to hike, birdwatch and explore ancient ruins. Enjoy all of the nearby activities in Holy Head Town.
  • Treaddur Bay – While most beaches here are rocky, there you will find nice sandy beaches to spend the day relaxing

Holy Island reminds me of the Orkney Islands because of it many ancient sites!

Because of the incredibly fertile soil and mild climate, Anglesey has been referred to “the Mother of Wales” and was historically able to provide food for the whole of Wales. Welsh recipes were traditionally not recorded in writing but passed down verbally within each family.  Lamb, Leek and cheese were some of the main ingredients of traditional welsh dishes such as cawl, Welsh cakes and bara brith. From traditional to modern, here are my favourite places to eat in Anglesey:

  • Sosban and the Old Butchers Restaurant – The island’s first Michelin star restaurant is located within a historical butcher’s shop. Dishes are prepared using the locally sourced produce that is available that day. Treat yourself!
  • Wavecrest Café – Traditional family-recipe menu, bottomless tea and famously good scones. Seating inside or out with ocean views.
  • Freckled Angel – Combines Spanish tapas with British flavours, modern vibe and delicious locally-sourced ingredients.
Welsh-Cakes

Enjoying myself in Wales is a piece of Welsh Cake

Here’s another Pro-Tip: On the third Saturday of each month, The Anglesey Farmers Market is held at Prince’s Pier, Menai Bridge. Here you can find many local stalls offering the freshest produce, handmade cheeses and plenty of crafts!

Anglesey---Beer-Table

An evening beer with friends; the perfect end to a day

After a long day of lazing on the beach, exploring castles or hiking mountains, you’re probably ready to sit down for a drink or two. Although the national drink of Wales is beer, whiskey and wine are local favourites. In fact, on the north coast of Anglesey, the village of Llanbadrig produces grapes for both red and white wines within their own micro-climate.
  • Albion Ale House – Four rival Welsh breweries have come together to create a pub offering (in addition to excellent craft beers) lovely wines, spirits, bites and games.
  • Foundry Vaults – Located in Llanfgefi offers a diverse atmosphere with karaoke, live music, sports, games or an area in which to relax while enjoying a cask beer.
  • Red Warf Bay Vineyard – Wine tasting, tapas and amazing views of Red Warf Bay.

 

Here are some lovely places to stay while visiting the Isle of Anglesey:

  • Rent a cottage – The best towns to do so are in charming Beaumaris, the bustling Holy Head or Llangefni, the cultural capital of Anglesey.
  • The Bull – A simple and modern stay situated in two 17th Century buildings in the town of Beaumaris. It enjoys an award-winning restaurant and excellent bar.
  • Tre-Ysgawen Hall Hotel & Spa – Luxury stay in what was originally a grand mansion built in 1882. Enjoy spa packages, golf and a plethora of other recreations and facilities.

 

Anglesey has adventures for anyone and everyone. With deeply-rooted history, unique wildlife and picturesque landscapes, I am mindful to embrace and appreciate every moment!

 

Love,

 

Isabella

What a charmer!

Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Beaumaris Castle, Holy Island, Traeth Llydan (https://www.visitanglesey.co.uk/en)

Where to stay: Rent a cottage, The Bull, Tre-Ysgawen Hall Hotel & Spa (https://www.sabrain.com/pubs-and-hotels/north-wales/anglesey/bull-hotel/, http://www.treysgawen-hall.co.uk/)

Where to party: Albion Ale House, Foundry Vaults, Red Warf Bay Vineyard (https://albionalehouse.weebly.com/, https://www.robinsonsbrewery.com/pubs-inns-and-hotels/find-a-pub/f-j/foundryvaults, http://www.redwharfbayvineyard.co.uk/)

Where to eat: Wavecrest Café, Freckled Angel (https://www.wavecrestcafe.co.uk/, http://www.freckled-angel-fine-catering.co.uk/)

What to buy: Menai Sea Salt

Enjoy Anglesey: you’ll druid leaving!
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Beaumaris Castle, Holy Island, Traeth Llydan (https://www.visitanglesey.co.uk/en)

Where to stay: Rent a cottage, The Bull, Tre-Ysgawen Hall Hotel & Spa (https://www.sabrain.com/pubs-and-hotels/north-wales/anglesey/bull-hotel/, http://www.treysgawen-hall.co.uk/)

Where to party: Albion Ale House, Foundry Vaults, Red Warf Bay Vineyard (https://albionalehouse.weebly.com/, https://www.robinsonsbrewery.com/pubs-inns-and-hotels/find-a-pub/f-j/foundryvaults, http://www.redwharfbayvineyard.co.uk/)

Where to eat: Wavecrest Café, Freckled Angel (https://www.wavecrestcafe.co.uk/, http://www.freckled-angel-fine-catering.co.uk/)

What to buy: Menai Sea Salt

Enjoy Anglesey: you’ll druid leaving!

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