Explore Anglesey Series | BeaumarisPublished on 29 Jun 2020 by Gwion Llwyd
The prettiest town on Anglesey? Beaumaris is a strong contender. Get ready for pastel-coloured terraces, a mighty medieval castle & soaring mountain views.
An elegant waterfront town, Beaumaris sits on the shores of the Menai Strait looking back towards the mighty mountains of Snowdonia. The location is quite simply stunning.
With well-preserved medieval heritage as well elegant Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian architecture, it has plenty of character and stories to tell. Home to a collection of interesting boutiques, artists, galleries, restaurants and cafés, it is a must-do on your next holiday to Anglesey.
The town’s rather Gallic sounding name dates back to the 13th century and French-speaking Edward I. ‘Beau mareys’ or ‘beautiful marsh’ was meant to be the last of Edward’s royal strongholds in Wales.
The castle was set to be the Grand Design of its time, Edward’s crowning glory. And he had an impressive track record: the formidable fortresses at Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech were already part of his property portfolio.
Alas, money issues and trouble with the Scots (a clue to how that turned out is in Edward’s nickname: ‘Hammer of the Scots’) meant that Beaumaris castle was never finished.
What remains is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for being one of the finest examples of medieval military architecture in the world. Take a walk along the atmospheric battlements and soak it all up.
Just a few paces from the castle, Beaumaris Gaol and House of Correction was a much later addition to the town. Built in 1829 by Hansom (he of the Hansom cab), it features the original treadmill which prisoners were forced to walk as part of their punishment regime. Rather chillingly, the hanging gibbet is still fixed to the outer wall too. The guides at the gaol are excellent and vividly bring to life the Victorian prisoner experience.
The Oldest House In Wales
Everyone likes to sneak a peek through the window of the local estate agent on their holidays, don’t they? If you do that in Beaumaris, you will be looking through the windows of what is almost certainly the oldest house in Wales. The half-timbered house dates from around 1400. You’ll find it on Castle Street (the main high street in the town) near the bottom of Church Street.
Galleries And Boutiques
One of the things we love most about Beaumaris is how many of its shops, boutiques and galleries are independently owned. Even better, so many of them feature fab, locally made artisan products, like the divine Welsh soaps and candles at Cole & Co., or the instantly recognisable work of artist Janet Bell at her gallery on the main street. The evocative land and seascapes of Ian Walton and other artists are showcased at the Beaumaris Gallery on Church Street, and there are some great little gift and clothes shops to explore in the colourful courtyard off Church Street.
Food & Drink
Oh, there is a lot to choose from here. From the excellent eat in / take out treats at the Tredici deli to what must surely be a contender for the best ice cream in the world at the Red Boat Ice Cream parlour. And don’t miss the artisan breads, pies and pasties at the Central Bakery on Margaret Street. The eating out options are plentiful, including an award-winning brasserie at The Bull Inn. And it is definitely worth making time for afternoon tea at the Bulkeley Arms Hotel – sit in the drawing room at the back of the hotel to sup your tea with spectacular mountain views. Finally, if you fancy a night off cooking at your holiday cottage, head to The Cook Shop on Little Lane. As well as selling everything you ever dreamed of for your kitchen – and plenty more besides – it does a delicious line in high quality frozen food, including local seafood, starters, main courses, side dishes and desserts. Everything is chef prepared and features plenty of local produce. Yum.
Beaumaris Pier & Boat Trips
Head to Beaumaris pier for boat trips to popular fishing patches and tours of the nearby Puffin Island and elsewhere. You can pick up an exhilarating Rib Ride from nearby Menai Bridge which will speed you along the Menai Strait to admire Beaumaris from the water. If a day at sea isn’t for you, the Welsh Coast Path passes the beach, with walks west towards Menai Bridge (around 4.5 miles) or east to Penmon (around 4 miles) served up with spectacular mountain views.
Other Places To Visit Near Beaumaris
Spectacular historic gardens and tearoom featuring a valley garden with waterfalls and a beautiful ancient woodland. 4 miles from Beaumaris.
Penmon Priory and Lighthouse
Remains of a 13th century priory, a holy well and a dovecot. The lighthouse sounds its bell every 30 seconds. 4 miles from Beaumaris.
With high speed departures from Menai Bridge and a variety of itineraries and trips. An exhilarating day out. 5 miles from Beaumaris.
Home to all sorts of friendly creatures including butterflies, meerkats, pigs and goats. There are indoor and outdoor play areas. 6 miles from Beaumaris.
With a huge expanse of golden sand, this beach is ideal for paddling, swimming, walking and sandcastling. 8 miles from Beaumaris.
A gigantic playground nestled beneath the trees and mountains of Snowdonia. Family-friendly rides and adventures. 8.5 miles from Beaumaris.
Featuring the fastest zip line in the world as well as quarry go karts and off road tours. 13 miles from Beaumaris.