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At just 276 square miles, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Isle of Anglesey which lies just off the tip of North Wales was simply an extension of the mainland. But, as soon as you cross the impressive Menai Bridge which links Anglesey to North Wales, you’ll truly feel like you’ve entered a new country. I was lucky enough to enjoy a cottage holiday on Anglesey last week and here is my pick of how to make the most of your time on this wonderful island.
Beaumaris is one of the most popular places on Anglesey and it’s no surprise given the wealth of attractions in easy walking distance of the car park. The 1295 castle built by King Edward I dominates the town and combined with the castles of Harlech, Conwy and Caernarfon are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A stroll down the recently restored Victorian pier gives great views across the Menai Straits to north Wales even when we visited on the coldest of days! Imagine life as a nineteenth century prisoner in Beaumaris Gaol where you can descend into the darkness of the punishment cell. Elsewhere in Beaumaris, there are a great range of eateries and shops selling traditional Welsh fare to keep everyone entertained.
Newborough Forest has to be one of my favourite places on the island. The forest is located in the far south west of Anglesey not too far from Aberffraw, home of the legendary scallop-shaped biscuits. Colour-marked routes, suitable for bikes and buggies, wind through the forest of seemingly sky high Corsican pines over gentle sand dunes. Once you emerge from the forest you’re presented with a huge expanse of golden sand and gently rolling waves. Llanddwyn beach is completely unspoilt and boasts staggering views of Snowdonia even on a wintry day. Nearby is the church of Dwynwen, the patron saint of lovers, who lived here in the fifth century. If you’re looking to get away from it all on holiday, this is the place to do it. Later in the year when the weather improves I can imagine spending hours sunbathing and paddling here and on the other Blue Flag beaches like Trearddur Bay that Anglesey has to offer.
My favourite way to explore a new place is by bike; the feeling of the wind in your hair and the fantastic views just can’t be beaten. Families and those new to cycling should try the Lôn Las Cefni for 13 miles of virtually flat tracks which connects the two national cycle routes which cross Anglesey. For more experienced cyclists looking for a challenge, the 34 mile Copper Trail on the northern coast is ideal. It’s best to start this circular route at Llynnon Mill or Llanerchymedd where you’ll find ample car parking. The trail promises (and delivers) breathtaking coastal views and centuries of Anglesey history in just a few hours. Discover the only remaining 17th century thatched cottage at the Swtan Heritage Museum in Church Bay and visit the only working windmill in Wales at Llynnon where you can purchase a bag of freshly ground flour, all from the comfort of your bike. Explore the red and orange landscape of Amlwch and Parys Mountain, widely known as the Copper Kingdom as this area was one of the world’s most important mining centres in the 18th century. More information about cycling on Anglesey can be found by clicking here.
From a coastal path with dramatic views at every turn to excellent family attractions, there’s even more on Anglesey for a fantastic holiday. Why not take a look at our Anglesey and North Wales cottages or call our friendly holiday cottage advisors, until 9.30pm seven days a week to start planning your own holiday to beautiful Anglesey.