A lot of us in 2021 are going to be considering a break in the UK rather than a trip abroad. Luckily, for me I moved to live on Anglesey last year so haven’t got far to travel to visit some beautiful scenes and interesting attractions.
If you are planning on a visit to Anglesey or North Wales there is simply loads to see and do you’ll be spoilt for choice. However, here I’m listing a few of my favourite places discovered so far to give you some ideas:
1. Beaumaris Castle
Beaumaris is a glorious castle that was never completed due to lack of funds (hmm, nothing much changes does it). It was commissioned by Edward I in the late 13th century and is the last of the castles he built in Wales.
Wandering around the remarkably well preserved castle you can easily lose yourself in the maze of tunnels and corridors and almost hear the horses as they might have entered the great keep in times gone past.
With stunning views across the waters and countryside from the opposite outlook you can see why he chose this spot. A truly atmospheric place to visit.
TIPS: Don’t go in the morning. For some reason everyone seems to, and the queues are quite horrendous during the holiday season. By mid to late afternoon the crowds have died down and you get a real appreciation for the place without dodging other bodies.
Try to avoid coming in via the main A545. Because of the narrowness of the main High Street you can end up queueing for over 30 mins just to travel 1 mile! There are plenty of other routes on B roads that avoid the traffic snarl.
Just opposite the castle check out the local Victorian courthouse and gaol too.
2. Oriel Môn
Oriel Môn is a wonderful museum and arts centre near the capital of Anglesey, Llangefni. Quite small in stature it’s not going to wear you out wandering around. It is well thought out for visitors, has a bit of everything for all tastes and is full of fun educational pieces for the children.
Artwork, sculpture, sound installations and history all jostle with each other in this airy and slightly eccentric atmosphere. I am not a person who usually enjoys modern art however the Oriel’s gallery had pieces that made me laugh out loud as well as others that made me think long and hard.
TIP: They have a wonderful café at the entrance with good robust and well cooked temptations for you (try the all day breakfast – it’s Olympic!) but be warned, you have to book as it is extremely popular. I’d book as you go in and then break off during your wandering.
3. Din Lligwy
The Lligwy region, near Molfre is where three different ages can be found side by side (a few minutes walk between each site). You’ll find the Neolithic burial chamber from 3 millennium BC, a circle of stone hut foundations from the Roman occupation era from around 4th century AD and finally the remains of a medieval church from the 12th century.
Particularly at the Roman era village you can almost close your eyes and evoke the sights, sounds and smells from that time. Now surrounded by trees it was once open to a view over the straits which you can also view in the walk over to the church.
A little off the beaten track it doesn’t get swamped by visitors so you’ll be able to take in the scenery almost uninterrupted.
TIP: Don’t be put off by the very narrow single-track road leading to the sites though you may have to reverse a few times if a car comes the other way. It eventually widens out with a layby where you can park/leave your bicycle safely.
4. Porth Wen Beach
Anglesey has an absolute plethora of lovely beaches dotted all around the island. During high season a lot of them do get extremely busy however, Porth Wen, being more rocks and rockpools than sand quite often get overlooked.
To the west of the beach is a large natural rock arch and what looks like an old harbour. There are also the remains of an old brickworks from pre-world war I which is interesting and very photogenic.
If you’re into scrambling, fishing, looking for crabs or just want a more interesting beach experience then give Porth Wen a go.
TIP: You need to be sure footed and wear decent shoes as the path to get to Porth Wen is pretty steep and, of course, the bay is full of rocks!
5. Parys Mountain
Now this isn’t really a mountain but it is one of the highest points on the island.
Parys Mountain is a weird landscape of the ancient opencast copper mine. Shaped by miners using nothing more than picks, shovels and gunpowder. There is a level walk around the top of the mine and you’ll see some amazing colours – reds, oranges, pinks, browns, purples, blacks, greens, yellows, and greys. It’s been used a number of times for the backdrop to films and programmes.
People have mined the metals here since the Bronze Age and into the 1760’s. Apparently there are still vast deposits still left underneath and there may be plans to re-open it in the future.
You will think that the landscape is barren at first glance, however it supports a variety of birds and plants that that can tolerate the concentrations of copper and zinc are able to survive there. The area has distant views of Snowdonia, with the peak of Mount Snowdon visible on clear days.
TIP: Do NOT go to Pary’s mountain when its wet or high winds as it just looks miserable and depressing. Pick a nice sunny day and the views are well worth it as well as place to get your imagination going!
Happy Holidays and do let me know what you discover or, if you’d just like to let me know how you got on then let’s connect.