Just a short drive from the Britannia Bridge linking the island of Anglesey with the mainland, Beaumaris and the surrounding area make an excellent base for a holiday cottage stay. A pretty town, Beaumaris is dominated by a thirteenth-century castle, and on a clear day enjoys the stunning panorama of the Snowdonia mountain range as a backdrop. Many holidaymakers staying in an Anglesey cottage favour this easterly corner of the island as the location for their stay thanks to a combination of excellent beaches, such as Red Wharf Bay, in close proximity, a cluster of wet-weather attractions and, in the town itself, a plethora of pubs, restaurants and services.
Beaumaris castle was constructed by King Edward to guard the strategic eastern approaches of the Menai Strait once the English had completed their conquest of North Wales. It justifiably enjoys World Heritage Site status, and a visit is a must. There is an on-site exhibition, visitor centre, shop and the grounds, with superb panoramic views of Snowdonia across the water, make an ideal spot for a picnic in good weather. As with many Welsh castles, re-enactments and historical events are held regularly throughout the summer months, providing great family entertainment, but do check first for details and availability.
Beaumaris blossomed during the Victorian era, but the darker side of this period of history is revealed in a visit to the town’s Gaol and Court, which offer a fascinating insight into the lot of the prisoner in during this time. Visit the condemned cell, experience the cloying darkness of the punishment cells, handle the fetters and chains used to shackle felons in the last century and visit the Court where criminals were tried. Wander the town’s streets, displaying Victorian, Tudor and Georgian architectural styles, look in at the chapels and churches, let the children run off steam at the large play area on the Green, with views out over the Menai Straits, or take a pleasant stroll along the footpath leading from the Green up Mount Field to fully appreciate the splendour of the Snowdonia mountain range across the water. As the day winds to a close, enjoy a meal in one of the many good pubs and restaurants in town.
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