Interesting Island – Places to visit on Anglesey
Anglesey’s coastline is a treasure trove awaiting discovery. Its beauty is unsurpassed – green hills, rocky shores, awe inspiring views of the mountains of Snowdonia and the Irish sea. There are very few people who are not moved by such an incredible island. It is not surprising that our ancestors felt the same way. There are so many Neolithic burial chambers and settlements that show how important Anglesey has been all through the ages.
Discover the relatively recent history by visiting Beaumaris Castle and Aberlleiniog Castle or delve deeper into the past by exploring the ancient burial chamber of Barclodiad y Gawres, at Cable Bay between Rhosneigr and Aberffraw. Park your car at Newborough Forestry Commission, walk along the beach and cross over to Llanddwyn Island (which means “The Church of St Dwynwen”) and read all about our very own saint of lovers – Saint Dwynwen. She is the Welsh patron saint of lovers and lived during the 5th century AD, her feast day is celebrated in Wales on 25th January.
Cross the shoreline at low tide to visit one of the most recognizable churches on Anglesey, St Cwyfan’s – also known as The Church in the Sea. It originally stood at the end of a peninsula between Porth Cwyfan and Porth China but the sea has gradually eroded the coast and the two bays turning it into an island. Parts of this medieval church date from the 12th century but it was rescued and restored in 1893 by local architect Howard Hughes. He arranged for a seawall to be built around the church and started its restoration.
Visit Holyhead Maritime museum and all the lifeboat stations to learn about the awful shipwrecks that led to the building of so many lighthouses and the need for the RNLI on Anglesey. Learn about the bravery of the volunteer crews – who to this day put everything on hold to ensure the safety of those at sea.
One of the most interesting places to visit is the museum at Oriel Ynys Môn. Here you can discover the history of Anglesey and view a timeline that really puts everything in perspective – you will leave in awe as a result of being able to link Anglesey’s history with what was happening elsewhere in the world. It is very child friendly and well worth a visit to bring history to life.
The finest example of a concentric castle, built by Edward I. Spend a great day exploring this fascinating castle and learn all about its history.
Built in 1614 and renovated in the 19th century. Walk through the courtroom, stand in the original dock and view the splendour of the grand jury room.
Built in 1829, this Victorian gaol features the only original treadmill in situ in Britain and a gibbet is still fixed to the outer wall.
The Church of St Mary
Built in the 14th century where you can see a crusader tomb and Princess Joan’s 13th century stone coffin. Stunning stained glass windows.
Plas Cadnant Gardens
Described as one of North Wales’s best kept secrets these gardens are well worth visiting. A walled garden, a secret valley garden and an upper woodland garden.
Britannia and Menai Bridge
The Thomas Telford Centre in Menai Bridge celebrates both bridges and also the rich marine environment and the outstanding natural beauty of the Menai Straits.
The Belgium Promenade
Built in 1914 by a group of refugees from Mechelen in Belgium as a thank you. Visit Church Island and St Tysilio Church at the same time.
Built in 1838 as a result of so many lives being lost on the shores of Anglesey. Puffin Island and all its medieval ruins can be seen from the shore.
Site of a monastery dating back to the time of St Seriol who was believed to have lived in the 6th century. Stunning church, dovecote and holy well.
Built in the 18th century and now run by the National Trust. Incredible gardens, fascinating house and breathtaking views.
The new centre tells the story of copper mining in Amlwch dating back to the Bronze Age. Fascinating history.
The port at Amlwch is one of the best-preserved mineral exporting harbours in Wales. The Heritage Centre provides the history with a cafe and shop.
Church in the Sea, Aberffraw
12th century St Cwyfan’s is known as the Church in the Sea – and for good reason! The church can only be reached at low tide, and on foot.
Holyhead Maritime Museum
A fascinating museum to visit for all ages. Learn about Anglesey’s maritime history and visit the permanent exhibition, Holyhead at War.
South Stack, Holyhead
One of the most spectacular lighthouses in Wales, situated on Holy Island on the North West coast of Anglesey. There is a RSPB centre here as well.
This lovely little church is rich in history and well worth a visit. Believed to be the oldest Christian site in all Wales, it dates back to at least 440 AD.
This peaceful church was visited by the medieval pilgrims who came to worship at the garve, holy well and chapel of St Eilian. It is 2 miles east of Amlwch.
Anglesey’s purpose-built museum and art gallery. The History Gallery provides a fascinating insight into the island’s culture, history and environment.
Neolithic Burial Sites
Inhabited for at least 10,000 years, there is an intense concentration of Neolithic burial sites on the island. Bryn Celli Du, and Barclodiad y Gawres are recommended.
Trefignath Burial Chamber
The site is in the care of CADW. Excavation here from 1978-1982 showed that the buildings range in date by more than 1,000 years. Fascinating.
Porth Wen Brickworks
Site of a disused brickworks and part of the Anglesey Coastal Path. Well worth a visit for its eclectic nature.
St Cybi’s Church, Holyhead
The present Parish Church, built between the 13th and 16th century, stands on the site of the church built by St. Cybi within the walls of the fort.
Swtan, Church Bay
A fully restored example of a 17th century Welsh thatched cottage situated in the picturesque village of Church Bay. Owned by the National Trust but run by the “Friends of Swtan”.
Holyhead Breakwater Park
106 acres of amazing beauty. A large variety of wildlife and incredible scenery all set against the spectacular backdrop of Holyhead Mountain and the Irish Sea.