After spending quite a few holidays and weekends exploring Anglesey I thought I’d share this ultimate guide to the island. It covers some of the best places to visit, with attractions perfect for the whole family as well as thrill-seeking adventures. This small island is known for its many beautiful beaches and the epic views begin from the moment you cross over from the mainland. So here is my ultimate guide to Anglesey, so you can make the most of your trip there!
Ynys Llanddwyn Island | Newborough
I’m starting this list with one of my favourite places on Anglesey, Newborough Beach. This location is incredible for so many reasons, from the rugged mountains of Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula in the distance, to the soft sandy beach and a pine forest full of red squirrels that borders the coastline.
There’s something here for everyone. This beach has ample parking that costs £5.20 all day, with a toilet block, BBQ’s and an outdoor shower to rinse off the sand. This place can get busy in the Summer so arrive early to beat the crowds for the car park! But the beach itself is large enough that it won’t feel crowded even on a hot summers day.
Newborough beach also has a tidal island, Ynys Llanddwyn (featured in the photo) which gets cut off during high tide. So double-check the tide times before you visit to avoid getting wet feet! It takes about 30 – 50 minutes to walk to the island from the car park, but it’s definitely worth the walk. You can easily spend a whole day just relaxing and exploring this area!
Menai Suspension Bridge
There are two ways to get across to Angelsey if you’re travelling by car from mainland Wales. Both of these take you over the Menai Strait.
The most popular way to cross over to Anglesey is to take the A55 across the Britannia Bridge, but just to the right of this bridge is a second one just a short detour away. This second bridge is the Menai Suspension Bridge. It was the first modern suspension bridge in the world and it was built by Thomas Telford in 1826. It is still considered one of the great industrial wonders of the 19th century!
I’d recommend detouring off the A55 to pick up the A5 to cross over this bridge especially if it’s your first time visiting Anglesey. This is such a great experience and the perfect way to start your trip. But before you carry on your journey to the rest of the island, be sure to stop off and explore the town of Menai. Walking around the town, admiring the bridge from below and enjoying some delicious food in one of the many amazing restaurants. Some of my favourite restaurants in Menai include Dylan’s, Hydeout Bar Smokehouse, The Liverpool Arms and Tom’s Hamburger House.
The Place With The Longest Name In The UK!
After exploring Menai, the next place you need to visit is a location with the longest name in the UK and the second-longest place name in the world. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogeryrchwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch also commonly known as Llanfairpwll, or Llanfair PG for short has 58 letters in total! The word means ‘St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave’. The reason why Llanfair PG is so long is the result of a businessman in the 1880’s who lengthened the name in an attempt to attract tourists to the area. It’s safe to say that nearly 150 years later, it worked!
If you’re interested in learning how to say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogeryrchwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch click the video below, it’s taken me about 2 months to learn how to say it but I think I’ve got it right!
Beaumaris is a perfect place to base your holiday, with direct links to the main roads that take you all across the island. With its pastel-coloured houses and quirky shops, this town is easy to fall in love with!
There are plenty of things for you to do whilst you are here. You can visit the unfinished masterpiece that is Beaumaris Castle, which was never finished due to the money and supplies running out before the castle reached its full height. There are also boat trips which leave from the pier. These boat trips take you around Puffin Island and Penmon Point Lighthouse. I’ve gone on one of these boat trips and it’s a great opportunity to see the wildlife that frequent Anglesey’s coastline. Keep an eye out for puffins, seals as well as a few dolphins who frequently visit this area.
South Stack Lighthouse | Holyhead
What is the ultimate guide to Anglesey without mentioning the most iconic lighthouse in Anglesey? South Stack is a lighthouse and RSPB reserve just off the Northwest coast of Anglesey on an even smaller island called Holyhead. Known for its many seabirds such as the puffins and guillemots that frequent the area as well as the South Stack Lighthouse which is a prominent feature of this location. This is also the best place to see the sunset and is a favourite location for many photographers!
If you want to explore the place a bit further, there are 400 steps to get down to the lighthouse itself, where you can go on a tour of the former engine room. Or you can just soak in the views from the lighthouse from the newly built cafe that offers wonderful coastal views. The parking is free here for the first two hours which is plenty of time to stop off to get a few photos and explore the area around South Stack Lighthouse.
Cemaes Bay is the most northerly village in Wales. With two beaches and an idyllic harbour, this location should be on your list of places to visit. This is a popular place in the summer to paddleboard, swim in the sea and enjoy the sheltered harbour. It’s a popular spot for locals and a great place to take children to enjoy the sea on a safe beach. There’s parking right on the seafront, with one of the car parks featuring a small hut that sells some of the best woodfire pizza’s I’ve had! They taste particularly amazing after a morning of activities in the sea!
This small windmill on Anglesey has taken the island by storm with some of the best doughnuts in the whole of North Wales or in my opinion the whole of the UK! They’re the creation of Richard Holt (a chef who’s worked in London’s most exclusive Michelin Star restaurants), as well as his amazing team. With queues that often wrap around the building, it’s easy to see why this is a popular favourite amongst locals and tourists alike! The doughnut or as they’re brilliantly named here Mônuts (after Ynys Môn the welsh name for Anglesey) often sell out before 1pm so it’s best to arrive early. I’ve visited a few times now and my favourite Mônuts are the Lotus and all of the Chocolate ones,plus their milkshakes and chocolate bars are just as incredible.
The windmill here was built in 1775 and is the only working windmill in Wales producing stone-ground wholemeal flour using organic wheat. You can explore inside the windmill and learn more about its history in Anglesey. There are also two roundhouses that offer a great insight of the life of Iron Age farmers over 3000 years ago. So if you visit Anglesey, Melin Llynon is definitely worth spending some time exploring and indulging in some of the most incredible Mônuts.
One of the best places to visit for sunrise is Penmon Point lighthouse, located on the East Coast of the island. There’s a private toll road to get to the lighthouse which is £2.50 but the parking afterwards is free. This place becomes famous in the summer as bioluminescence plankton light up the shores with bright blue light at night and it becomes a hub for photographers and spectators.
There’s a cafe which sells delicious pizza and food as well as some toilets. Pizza always tastes the best when you eat it with an epic view and it doesn’t get much better than this place!
If you ever wanted to experience what it might be like walking on Mars then this might just be the place for you! Located just outside the town of Amlwch is the site of a large copper mine. The colours of this mine are incredible, especially on a sunny day as the mine dazzles in hundreds of vibrant shades of orange and red.
This was once one of the largest copper mines in Europe in the 1700s and has had activity in the area for over 4000 years. It is completely free to visit this location and worth a visit if you are on the northern side of the island.
PLACES TO STAY
There are plenty of places to stay across Anglesey if you are looking to extend your trip here. Beaumaris is a good location to stay at, with easy access across the whole island. As well as breathtaking views, and great restaurants it is the perfect base for a holiday here. Click the map below to view accommodation and places to stay around the area.
There are so many places worth visiting around Anglesey. These places are perfect for families, thrill-seekers as well as those who want to relax at the beach. Here are some wonderful locations I have recently explored that I can fully recommend visiting! Click any of the links to visit their website to find out more and book tickets. I will keep adding to this section of the blog post as I explore the island more, so feel free to check back here for future recommendations.
Family Attractions and Days Out for Kids in Anglesey
Anglesey Sea Zoo | This award-winning family attraction is a wonderful place to visit as you come face to face with Britain’s most elusive sea creatures including Seahorses, Octopus, Lobsters and plenty more. There are over 40 tanks here and the zoo features one of the largest aquariums in Wales displaying over 150 native species.
Pili Plas | Located near the Menai Bridge is another award-winning attraction perfect for the whole family, whatever the weather! They have tropical butterflies, snakes, tarantulas, lizards, exotic birds and so much more. As well as farm animals, an adventure playground and an indoor play zone.
Foel Farm Park | Enjoy a real farm experience at Foel Farm, with the opportunity to bottle feed lambs or calves! Cuddles with bunnies, riding a pony and taking a tractor ride around the farm are some of the things available here. All located just a short distance away from the coast!
Fun Activities and Sports in Anglesey
Menai RibRide | If you’re looking for some thrill-seeking adventures whilst in Anglesey, a boat trip with RibRide might be for you. Take a trip on one of the fastest RibRides in the world along the coastline of Anglesey. Soaking in the amazing views and wildlife along the way.
Anglesey Riding Centre | Set along the Menai Strait with incredible views of Caernarfon Castle and Snowdonia, this riding centre offers great views whilst on your ride out. They offer lessons and hacks that are suitable for all abilities from a complete beginner to the more experienced rider. With 5 miles of private bridleways and beach excursions, there’s something for everyone. This offers an incredible experience to see Anglesey in a whole new way.
Puffin Island Cruises | Departing from the pier at Beaumaris, boat trips from here offer a leisurely cruise along the Menai Strait. I went on this cruise a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed my time on the boat. It takes you on a 90 journey around Puffin Island near Penmon Point. There’s plenty of wildlife to view and interesting commentary along the way. Be sure to take a warm coat as it can get chippy out on the waters even in the Summer.
Museums, Gardens and Historial Places in Anglesey
Anglesey Transport Museum | With over 100 vehicles a trip to the transport museum in Newborough is like stepping back in time. They have a replica of a 1940’s street surrounded by memorabilia from over the decades. This includes tractors, cars, static engines, motorcycles and military vehicles. Not to mention the incredible panoramic views of Snowdonia in the distance.
Plas Cadnant | Described as one of North Wales best-kept secrets! This award-winning hidden garden features a stunning walled garden, woodlands and waterfalls. It is located between the Menai Bridge and Beaumaris and there is no booking is necessary for these gardens.
Holyhead Maritime Museum | Situated in the picturesque Newry Beach, this maritime museum is in one of the oldest lifeboat stations in Wales. It’s full of history about shipwrecks, rescues and what life was like sailing on the Irish sea over a century ago.
Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber | This is one of Anglesey’s most famous prehistoric landmarks that date back to 3000BC. The name Bryn Celli Ddu means the ‘Mound in the Dark Grove’ in English. This is free to visit and is a short 15-minute walk away from the car park.
Coastal Attractions in Anglesey
Breakwater Lighthouse and Holyhead Breakwater | At 1.7 miles long, this victorian structure is the longest breakwater in the UK. Popular with fishermen this breakwater is a lovely walk and leads to the Breakwater Lighthouse. Charter boats also run from the marina here, these go out fishing over the numerous wrecks and reefs in the area.
Church Bay | Church Bay is a lovely sand and pebble beach backed by cliffs. This is the perfect spot for swimming, sailing, fishing and surfing. It is also the location of an amazing seafood restaurant called the Lobster Pot which is worth a visit!
If you are looking for some amazing places to photograph in North Wales then I’ve got the perfect book recommendations! These books include the best time of day to go and where to shoot for the best composition. As well as a more in-depth guide into some of the places I have mentioned.
My favourite book is Photographing North Wales: The Most Beautiful Places to Visit. It is such a great book and has helped to inspire my photography loads over the past few years. As well as planning my trips around the area. Definitely, one which is worth the money, especially if you are going on a holiday to Anglesey and North Wales. Click any of the images below to shop for these books on Amazon.
Have you ever been to Anglesey? If you have, I would love to know what your recommendations on places to visit are. I’m hoping to go back there in the next few weeks. I’d love to explore the island during Autumn time and maybe catch a glimpse of a few Red Squirrels. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post on the ultimate guide to Anglesey!
If you are looking for more places to visit around Wales then my blog post on How to Spend a Day in North Wales would be a great read for you! I also have a new blog post on the Perfect Gift Guide for That Outdoor Adventurer in your life!
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