Anglesey_south-stack-pathThe Island of Anglesey lies off the north-west coast of Wales, and it’s a place resonant with ancient history and character. It is an area associated with the druids, the Iron Age and the Roman occupation of Britain. It has a scattering of small towns, sandy beaches and a beautiful rural coastline.

Anglesey is a small island of less than 300 square miles, and it has a feeling of self-sufficiency, close to but apart from the Welsh mainland. This brings with it a unique character, and this is reflected in the hospitality shown towards its visitors. For anyone considering staying in a holiday cottage on Anglesey, it has much to recommend it.

 

Exploring Along the Coastal Path

The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path runs for some 125 miles along much of the island’s coastline. 95% of the Anglesey’s coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This takes in woodland, coastal heath, dunes, salt-march and cliffs. There is also a National Nature Reserve.

The island is divided into 12 sections, which is handy if you don’t actually fancy trying to walk the full 125 miles (though if you do, the Friends of the Anglesey Coastal Path will award you with a special badge and certificate).

Highlights of the route include Holyhead Mountain, the highest point on the island, the imposing Menai Suspension Bridge, and the Cemlyn nature reserve.

Ancient Monuments and Castles

If you want to get a real sense of history, stretching far back to times of pre-Christian worship, then Anglesey is the place to be. The island has over 120 ancient monuments, including around 30 burial chambers dating from Neolithic era and Bronze Age. There are also plenty of standing stones.

The island is home to a number of castles. Beamaris is the most famous, built during the reign of Edward I in 1295 but never fully completed. In contrast with the squat sturdiness of this construction are the ruins of Aberlleiniog castle, seemingly embedded in surrounding woodland, and the eerie, hillside Bryn Celli Ddu burial chamber.

 

Anglesey’s Best Beaches

For those less inclined to explore rugged paths and ancient monuments, there is always the beach, classic UK summer weather permitting. Anglesey is blessed with a number of outstanding beaches, from the wide expanse of Lligwy Beach to the rural seclusion of Porth Nobla.

Porth Tywyn Mawr Beach is popular for watersports and has a nearby campsite and village for amenities. The sheltered cove at Bull Bay has plenty of rock pools for kids to explore and also some good fishing locations. Moelfre’s small pebble beach is a good for boats, while Cemaes Bay feels like pretty much the perfect sandy beach.

Anglesey is full of contrasts, from ancient to contemporary and rugged to relaxing, which makes it an excellent UK holiday location, particularly if you want to strike out on your own in a self-catering, holiday cottage.