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Things to do in Anglesey

Published on 16 Mar 2018 by Gwion Llwyd

 

Just a short drive from the Welsh mainland, but a million miles from the daily grind. Whether you‘re coming on holiday to Ynys Môn – the isle of Anglesey – to relax on golden sands, or to enjoy walking in some of the most spectacular landscapes in Wales, Anglesey will transport you to a place that will uplift, energise and inspire. As well as its many scenic lanes and quiet back roads, the island boasts 125 miles of stunning coastal path, which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is a thriving west coast surf community, and from high speed RIB rides to paddleboard safaris, plenty of opportunity for fun and adventure. With an ancient Celtic history, the island has a captivating cultural heritage, and if you like to indulge in a little local cuisine on your hols, the award-winning local food scene won’t disappoint.

Here’s a selection of our favourite things to do in Anglesey. 


BEACHES

Porth Padrig / White Lady Bay

This secluded pebbled cove near the village of Llanbadrig is awash with Celtic legends. Park at the free car park near St Patrick’s Church in Llanbadrig and follow the footpath down to the beach. You will find a beautiful crescent bay of sand and rocks framed by dramatic cliffs. There is a huge white quartzite stack in the middle of the bay. 

Lligwy Beach / Traeth Lligwy

You’ll find this lovely sandy beach between Moelfre and Dulas Bay on Anglesey’s east coast. Lligwy’s clean golden sands make it ideal for family fun and it is popular with surfers, windsurfers, swimmers and kitesurfers. Another significant draw is the lovely beach café which sells ice cream made with milk from local farms as well as delicious burgers, pizzas and paninis. There is a good surf shop here too. 

Traeth Llanddwyn / Llanddwyn beach

A truly enchanting place on the south western tip of Anglesey. Pine trees roll down to big sandy dunes and a fabulous golden beach with a stunning mountain backdrop. From the beach, you can walk out to the tiny Llanddwyn Island, at the west end of the beach, at low tide. Legend has it that Llanddwyn was the 5th century home of Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. 

Rhosneigr

This family-friendly seaside village on Anglesey’s west coast has it all going on. Take your pick from surfing, bodyboarding, paddleboarding, kite surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, rock pooling, cycling, walkin and sandcastling. Look out for the intriguing rock formations on the beach, and beautiful views of the Llŷn peninsula. Rhosneigr has plenty of lovely cafés, restaurants and independent shops. 

Porth Swtan / Church Bay

You’ll find Porth Swtan / Church Bay on the peaceful and timeless north-west coast of Anglesey. This Blue Flag award-winner boasts a broad sand and pebble beach backed by high red sandstone cliffs. At the right time of year you’ll see gulls, fulmars and choughs nesting in them. When the tide is out, there are some exciting rock formations that are great fun for rock pooling and for playing hide and seek. 

Trearddur Bay 

You’ll find Trearddur Bay on Holy Island, a short drive over the embankment on the north west coast of Anglesey. With its fantastic big-sky views out to the Irish Sea it is a popular place for sailing, surfing, canoeing and kayaking. You’re only walking distance from the town which has some nice cafés and shops. There are plenty of decent ice cream opportunities. Seasonal dog restrictions apply.


Things To Do In Anglesey

DAYS OUT

Soak up the atmosphere at Beaumaris Castle

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. 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. 

RIB rides and other boat trips, Menai Bridge and Beaumaris

You can pick up an exhilarating high-speed RIB Ride from Menai Bridge which will speed you along the Menai Strait to admire Anglesey’s beautiful coastal landscapes. Take your pick from a variety of tours, including excursions to see the seals and birdlife at Puffin Island (including some puffins if you are lucky), or you can commission the RIB for an exclusive excursion for groups of up to 11. 

The Hidden Gardens at Plas Cadnant, Menai Bridge

Spectacular historic gardens featuring a valley garden with waterfalls and a beautiful ancient woodland. There’s an excellent tearoom too. Described as one of the best kept secrets in North Wales, you’ll find Plas Cadnant just outside Menai Bridge, off the road towards Beaumaris.

Pili Palas near Menai Bridge

The Pili Palas (Butterfly Palace) is home to all sorts of friendly creatures including butterflies, parrots, lizards, meerkats, snakes and assorted creepy crawlies. There are some gorgeous rabbits and guinea pigs to cuddle in pets corner, as well as delightful Kune Kune pigs, cheeky goats and miniature donkeys in the farm yard. You’ll also find a park, adventure playground, play barn and trails to explore. A fab family day out, especially for younger kids.

Anglesey Model Village near Newborough

Featuring models of Anglesey’s many landmarks, all set in beautifully landscaped gardens. Anglesey Model Village is a great family day out with a backdrop of Snowdonia mountains.

Plas Newydd Stately Home near Newborough

An enchanting mansion house and gardens owned by the National Trust. Plas Newydd has fantastic views across the Menai Strait to Snowdonia. Plas Newydd is home to an exhibition of works by Rex Whistler, including his famous dining room mural. The extensive gardens are beautiful all year round, with a fine spring garden and Australasian arboretum, an understorey of shrubs and wildflowers, an italianate-style summer terrace, and massed hydrangeas which give autumn colour. The gardens are also home to a significant red squirrel population. There is a lovely tearoom and gift shop.

Anglesey Sea Zoo near Brynsiencyn

If you like sealife you should make time for a trip to the excellent Anglesey Sea Zoo, which you’ll find on the Menai Strait close to Brynsiencyn. It’s a unique aquarium, displaying the best of British marine wildlife including octopus, lobsters, seahorses, conger eels and jellyfish. There’s also plenty of engaging information about British marine habitats and the research and conservation work which is helping to save them.

Halen Môn / Anglesey Sea Salt near Brynsiencyn

Much admired by cooks and chefs around the world, Halen Môn / Anglesey Sea Salt is derived from pure Anglesey sea water. You can visit Halen Môn HQ on the banks of the Menai Strait to learn about its salt manufacturing process and buy all sorts of salt seasonings, sauces, soaps, and other delights. Halen Môn  ‘gin of the sea’ / Jin Mor made with Snowdonia mountain water, fresh botanicals and a pinch of Anglesey sea salt. You can also shop for Halen Môn products online.

Foel Farm near Brynsiencyn

Foel Farm is a lovely little family-run farm with the most amazing mountain views. You can meet and feed the animals, take a walk around the farm, enjoy a tractor or mini trailer ride and jump around on the inflatables. The farm is also home to an excellent chocolate shop, which produces artisan chocolate using local ingredients. 

Anglesey Riding Centre near Brynsiencyn

Fancy a ride with a view of Caernarfon Castle and Snowdonia mountains? Head straight to Anglesey Riding Centre. With 5 miles of private bridleways to explore, and friendly instructors and ponies, the riding school is suitable for beginner through to experienced riders. A brilliant way to explore the Anglesey landscape.

Llynon Mill, Llanddeusant

Llynon Mill is the only working windmill in Wales. It produces stoneground wholemeal flour using organic wheat, and you can buy delicious breads and cakes from the mill’s tearoom and gift shop.  In fact, ‘cakes’ doesn’t really do it justice. The mill’s new owner, Richard Holt, is a renowned patissiere and his creations are worth the trip to Ynys Môn alone, including the downright delightful mônuts (bet you can’t guess what they are) and milkshakes. The mill also produces its own siocled (chocolate) and a fragrant gin using botanicals from the gardens around the mills. If that weren’t enough reasons to visit, there are also two Iron Age roundhouses (around 3,000 years old) at the site to explore. Opening times vary, so check the website before you visit.

Oriel Môn, Llangefni

Anglesey is packed full of Welsh culture and history. If you want a very pleasant introduction, head to the small museum and gallery at Oriel Ynys Môn, Llangefni. Look out for paintings by the late Anglesey artist Kyffin Williams, who captures the character of the North Wales landscapes and people so beautifully. There’s also a great display of the work of the late Charles Tunnicliffe, another Anglesey based artist. As well as some fabulous art, you can learn about the history of the island in a fascinating museum display, and enjoy some really delicious cakes at the café.  

The Copper Kingdom and Parys Mountain, Amlwch

Copper has been mined at Parys Mountain since the Bronze Age and the Copper Kingdom Heritage Centre tells the story of what was once the biggest copper mine in the world. At Parys Mountain you can see the astonishingly beautiful industrial landscape it left behind. 

A trip to Llanfair PG

Truth be told, few locals call the town by its full name. Usually Llanfair PG will do. That said, no visit to Ynys Môn is complete without a stop over at the village with the ‘longest name in the world’ – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Visit the railway station for a photo opportunity with its name plate, then pop down to St Mary’s Church on the shore of the Menai Strait to admire the statue of Nelson, which looks out over the waters that were once his training ground. From here you can look up at the amazing 19th century engineering work of Robert Stephenson, who designed the Britannia Bridge. It’s one of two bridges that cement the connection between Ynys Môn and the mainland.


Things To Do In Anglesey

WALKS

Penmon Point

The Trwyn Du lighthouse, which sounds its bell every 30 seconds, guards the north entrance to the Menai Strait at Penmon Point. There are some great rocks to clamber over (though be careful, the tides are strong and the sea can be feisty here), or to use as a perch for a bit of fishing.  Also at Penmon, you’ll find the remains of a 13th century priory and dovecote, and the cute little Pilot House café with its hot and cold snacks and cakes. The coastal path which rings the island has some beautiful views to the mainland from Penmon, as it tracks towards the colourful town of Beaumaris. 

Newborough Warren

Newborough beach sits on the edge of Newborough Forest and Warren. The forest is famed for its thriving red squirrel population and a huge raven roost. During the winter months, it becomes home to the largest raven population on the planet. It is worth visiting just to watch the aerial acrobatics of these wonderful birds. In the summer, the forest is filled with the song of skylarks, meadow pipits, stonechats and blackcaps. Newborough’s grasslands and woodlands support a wide diversity of butterflies, and you will see plenty of them fluttering about. There are loads of trails and paths to explore, and the forest is a lovely place for a day out on foot or two wheels. There is an Animal Puzzle Trail for younger visitors, two family friendly cycle trails, a trim trail and a waymarked running trail. There is a small charge to the car park at the Warren, which has public loos and picnic benches.

From Llanedwen Church to Church Island

Ynys Môn boasts 125 miles of stunning coastal path, and there are countless beautiful walks exploring the coast. One of our favourites is from the church of Llanedwen near Llanfair PG. Follow the lane from the church down to the waterfront. At low tide it is possible to walk east along the coast path, as far as Thomas Telford’s splendid Menai Suspension Bridge, taking in Plas Newydd, the Britannia Bridge and Church Island on the way. Do make sure you check your tide timetables first though.

The Wales Coast Path from Cemaes

Sitting on one of the most dramatic sections of the Anglesey Coastal Path, Cemaes is the perfect place to explore if you enjoy walking on your holiday.  The Anglesey Coast path runs through the village in both directions. The scenery to the west of the village is some of the most remote on the island, taking in the beautiful National Trust owned Nature Reserve at Cemlyn. To the east, the coastal path – which is challenging in sections – follows rocky clifftops with spectacular views. As it winds its way towards Amlwch, it takes in dramatic offshore stacks, Llanbadrig and St Patrick’s Church, the old brickworks at Port Wen, and the sheltered little cove at Porth Llechog / Bull Bay.

Porth Padrig / White Lady Bay

Park at the free car park near St Patrick’s church in Llanbadrig and follow the footpath down to the beach. You will find a beautiful crescent bay of sand and rocks framed by dramatic cliffs. There is a huge white quartzite stack in the middle of the bay. It is named after Ladi Wen, a Welsh folk legend ghost who allegedly haunts badly behaved children. The beach itself is named after St. Patrick, who is said to have crawled ashore here after being shipwrecked on Middle Mouse Island, visible around a mile offshore.

Aberffraw – Traeth Mawr 

With a backdrop of some of the country’s finest sand dunes, this sheltered sandy beach is flanked by two headlands. Park in Aberffraw village and walk around half a mile along the sandy banks of the River Ffraw to get there. This is a beautiful rural spot with magnificent scenery and a distinct lack of crowds. At low tide you can walk to the far side of the bay, or follow the Anglesey Coastal Path north west to the Church in the Sea at Porth Cwyfan. You can walk out to the 13th century church at low tide.  


OTHER ACTIVITIES

Watch the sun set into the sea from Rhosneigr

The sandy beaches of Rhosneigr are amongst the best places on earth to watch the sun dip into the sea. Pack a picnic and a bottle of your favourite tipple and enjoy the spectacle as the sun sinks into the Irish Sea. 

Enjoy some stellar star gazing

Are you a watcher of stars? Penmon Point, the pebble-strewn beach promontory on the east coast of Anglesey, is known for sightings of puffins, seals and dolphins, but it also has perfect conditions for stargazing. To the north is Trwyn Du lighthouse and Puffin Island beyond. An atmospheric treat for romantic star gazers.

Visit the ancient stone circles of Ynys Môn

Anglesey has many ancient monuments that are worth a visit on your next trip.  It’s well-worth making a visit to the neolithic monuments at Barclodiad Y Gawres near Porth Trecastell / Cable Bay, or  Bryn Celli Ddu at Llanddaniel Fab, purely to soak up the atmosphere and marvel at the lives of our ancient ancestors. Also worth seeing are the astonishing Din Lligwy Iron Age village, and Lligwy neolithic burial chamber.


EATING OUT

In Beaumaris

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, there is a lot of foodie goodies to choose from in Beaumaris. 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. 

In Menai Bridge

The nearest town to this beautiful holiday cottage on Anglesey overlooking the Menai Strait, is Menai Bridge. As well as its iconic bridge, you’ll find plenty of independent shops, and some great places to eat. The Liverpool Arms is an impressive gastropub, and you can’t beat the fantastic waterside setting of Dylan’s, which is famous for its pizzas and seafood. If you prefer small plates, you can’t go wrong with a trip to The Midland for outstanding tapas, with an emphasis on great seafood and an excellent wine list, or, still on the tapas theme, the Freckled Angel is magnificent too. If you want something fine dining and are able to book well in advance, don’t miss the unique culinary experience at Sosban and the Old Butchers. For stocking up the holiday cottage fridge, you might want to visit the Waitrose supermarket in the centre of town.

Other delicious gems around the island

Sandymount House, Rhosneigr

The Oyster Catcher, Rhosneigr

The White Eagle, Rhoscolyn

Sea Shanty Café, Trearddur Bay

The Wavecrest Café, Church Bay

Caffi Siop Mechell, Llanfechell

The Lobster Pot, Cemlyn

The Bayview Restaurant, Cemaes Bay

Pebbles Bistro, Benllech

Ann’s Pantry, Moelfre

The Coastal Café Fish Bar, Moelfre

Traeth Bychan Beach Shop and Pizzeria, Moelfre

The Tavern on the Bay, Red Wharf Bay

The Boathouse Restaurant, Red Wharf BayLlys Llewelyn Cafe, Aberffraw


WELSH LANGUAGE

The welsh alphabet is phonetic so once you know how to say the letters, the theory is that reading the words is straightforward; you say what you see. A little time spent familiarising yourself with the alphabet will help no end when you’re trying to navigate your way around the area…

a short, as in ‘hat’, never as in ‘ball’
b as in ‘bag’. Although is there really any other way?
c always hard as in ‘cat’, never an s as in ‘precise’
ch like the ch in the Scottish word ‘loch’, but with more phlegm
d as in ‘dog’, never as in ‘djinn’
dd a buzzy ‘th’ sound, as in ‘this’. Think angry bees with a lisp
e short, as in pen
f v. This is very, very simple, and when you get really used to it, f will play hafock with your spelling
ff f. Equally, you can ffind yourselff getting too used to ff as well
g always hard as in ‘get’, never a ‘j’ sound as in the last g in garage
ng as in ‘song’, where the g isn’t hard, like in ‘gig’, but a soft glottal stop made in your throat
h as in hat, always sounded and never silent
as in ‘pin’
j accepted now because of the loan words from English that use it, like ‘garej’
l a ‘luh’ as in ‘lava’, but never an ‘ul’ sound as in ‘milk’
ll not as hard a sound to make as some would have you think. Raise your tongue to the top of your mouth as if you were going to say ‘el’, then make the ‘ell’ sound by blowing air round the sides of your raised tongue, instead of by using your voice. You should sound like an annoyed cat
m as in ‘mithridatize’. Or as in ‘mum’, if you want to be boring
n as in ‘nanobot’
o short as in ‘hot’, not round as in ‘hotel’
p can I have a p please Bob?
ph an English f, or Welsh ff sound, as in ‘phase’
r rolled. Some people just can’t get a rolled ‘r’ – their tongues are unable to vibrate in the right way. It’s a genetic thing, apparently,
similar to being able to roll your tongue into a tube, or turn the end upside down. Honestly, some people can, but my tongue’s not that prehensile. Roll if you can, don’t if you can’t
rh hr. Make a huffy, breathy sound before your rolled ‘r’
s always soft as in ‘sit’, never a ‘z’ sound as in ‘juxtapose’
t as in ‘top’. Can it get any simpler?
th as in ‘think’, softer and less buzzy than dd
u If you had stepped in something disgusting and made a kind of ‘eugh’ noise, the vowel ‘eu’ sound would about approximate
w oooooo
y ok, y breaks the rule that Welsh is phonetic. As a single syllable word, y is like ‘uh’, on the last syllable of a multisyllabic word it’ an‘u’ or ‘ee’, and anywhere else it’s like the unstressed, indeterminate noise of the final e in ‘garden’ or ‘letter’. Ysbyty (hospital) is the perfect example.

USEFUL PHRASES

Welcome: Croeso
How are you? Sut mae / Ti’n iawn
Good morning: Bore da
Good Afternoon: P.nawn da, prynhawn da
Good evening: Noswaith dda
Good night: Nos da
Cheers / Good Health! Iechyd da!
Do you speak welsh? Ydych chi’n siarad Cymraeg?
How do you say…. in welsh? Beth ydy….yn Cymraeg?
Thank you: Diolch
I love you: Dw i’n dy garu di
Happy Birthday: Penblwdd Hapus

and a couple of funny ones….
Microwave: popty ping
‘Might as well’: Man a man a mwnci


Check out our selection of holiday cottages in Anglesey

 
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