There is so much to be discovered during this three day tour of the Isle of Anglesey. The tour begins by crossing the Menai Strait over one of the two spectacular bridges that link the island to the mainland. A short stop, to see the village with the longest name, it then a must.
If the past is your thing, travel through prehistory, visiting Iron Age and Celtic sites in an astonishing state of preservation to seeing a picture-perfect castle in its moat at Beaumaris. Whilst the coastline offers many opportunities for a rich experience – from Penmon with its lighthouse and Puffin Island, a historic lifeboat at Moelfre, watching the seabirds rolling in the wind at South Stack (and another lighthouse), and a beach stretching as far as the eye can see …well until you reach the ruins of St Dwynwen’s (the patron saint of Welsh lovers) on an island accessible only at low tide.
Prepare for a great time
Take the time to prepare for your camping trip. Have the correct clothing for the season and warm bedding, with plenty of food with a few local delicacies this will be a fabulous experience. Take all that you will need, and plan to spend some time sightseeing and enjoying the nature that you will find to be all around you when you camp in Anglesey.
- Distance: 26 miIes (from Snowdonia Classic Campers to Dwyran, Anglesey)
- Travel Time: 45 minutes
Collect your camper and head north, through Caernarfon and on towards Bangor to reach the island by taking the A5 and the historic Britannia bridge over the Menai Straight.
Provisions: If you need to stock up your campervan then stop off en-route to Dwyran in Caernarfon where amongst other shops there is a Tesco.
Things to Do
- Llanfair PG
Llanfair PG, the abbreviation for the village with Britain’s most mind-boggling place name ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’
Just something you have to do while in Anglesey, a quick look and perhaps a photo of the sign on the railway station that is almost as long as the building
- Bryn Celli Ddu buriel chamber
A short detour on the way to your campsite leads to the 3,500-year-old Bryn Celli Ddu burial chamber. Bryn Celli Ddu – the Mound in the Dark Grove – is probably the best known prehistoric monument on Anglesey, and is one of the most evocative archaeological sites in Britain. Like other prehistoric tombs on Anglesey it was constructed to protect and pay respect to the remains of the ancestors.
Where to Stay
- Stay at: Ty Croes Vineyard Campsite, Dwyran, LL61 6RP www.vineyardcamping.com
Stay on a vineyard overlooking the Snowdonia mountain range at Ty Croes Farm. One of the few campsites where you can buy wine made on site!
It is a small, friendly site in a tranquil setting where dogs are welcome.
Enquiries to Wendy by:
Tel: 07784 092836
Open: March to September
- Distance: 26 miIes (from Dwyran to Church Bay)
- Travel Time: 40 minutes
Follow the coastal road west and discover craggy coastlines, golden beaches, hidden coves and spectacular seascapes.
Things to Do
- Plas Newydd House & Garden
Home to the Marquis of Anglesey, Plas Newydd is set amidst the breathtakingly beautiful scenery on the Menai Straits. This elegant house, now owned by the National Trust was redesigned by James Wyatt in the 18th century. The 1930’s restyled interior is famous for its exhibition of the work of the artist Rex Whistler including his most famous mural that’s over 56ft long. Open daily throughout the year between 11am and 4:30pm.
The Grade 1 listed gardens at Plas Newydd a well worth a visit. Nestled on the shores of the Menai Straits, the mild conditions allow a wide range of plants to flourish, from rhododendrons and magnolias to rare southern hemisphere specimens in the Arboretum. You may also get lucky and spot an elusive and shy red squirrel, a population that is now growing on Anglesey thanks to a re-introduction programme.
- Newborough Sands
If you fancy a sandy stroll, then Newborough Sands and Llanddwyn Island is the place to go. Discover miles of golden sand, framed to the left by the majestic mountains of Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula and to the right, cut of at high tide, an enchanted island said to be the home of Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh Patron Saint of lovers.
Newborough Forest and Llanddwyn Island form an extensive nature reserve, that is teeming with wildlife. It is a favourite spot for birdwatchers – expect to see divers, grebes, sea ducks, waders and purple sandpipers as well as seals, dolphins and even the occasional Minke whale. There are numerous tracks and paths in the forest to explore and if you are lucky you may see an elusive red squirrel.
NB: If you are visiting with your dog there are lots of places to take your dog on the forest trails but please be aware that there are seasonal dog restrictions on the beach and island.
- Llanddwyn beach (1st May – 30th September)
- Ynys Llanddwyn (1 April – 30 September)
Car Parking: there is a £5 daily charge to park in Newborough Forest beach car park
- Halen Môr
Take a tour at Halen Môr and look behind the scenes of an innovative artisan food company and be tutored in the art of sea salt tasting. This is a one-of-a-kind tour in the history of salt, culture, and food and in what makes Halen Môn Sea Salt a world-famous seasoning.
Halen Môr’s contemporary building sits well in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it houses a gift shop full of wares from near and far (you don’t need to book a tour to visit the shop).
- South Stack
If you are after a spectacular setting, then the cliffs of South Stack will not disappoint. Located on Holy Island, it is Anglesey’s most westerly point. An RSPB Reserve, the cliffs support large colonies of seabirds, that can be viewed from the RSPB’s Ellin’s Tower observatory. In spring guilemots, razorbills and puffins breed on the iconic cliffs.
The area has an amazing seascape, with views of the Lleyn Peninsula and Bardsey Island. It is even possible to see Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains on a clear day!
400 steps lead down the high sea cliffs to a lighthouse set upon on a small island separated from the mainland by 30 metres of turbulent sea. Visitors to South Stack Lighthouse can tour the former engine room before climbing to the top of the historic lighthouse to enjoy the panormic views.
Where to Stay
- Stay at: Church Bay Cottages, Camping & Touring Site, Ty Newydd, Church Bay, Porth Swtan, LL65 4ET www.churchbaycottages.com
A family run campsite in Church Bay, North West Anglesey with good clean basic on site facilities. The beach is in walking distance with The Lobster Pot restaurant and the WaveCrest Cafe on the way to the beautiful blue flag beach in Church Bay.
The proprietor is Paul Clarke, enquiries:
Tel: 01407 730060
Open: March to October
- Distance: 20 miIes (from Church Bay to Moelfre)
- Travel Time: 40 minutes
Day three continues to follow the coastal road, clockwise around the Isle of Anglesey.
Things to Do
- Melin Llynnon / Llynnon mill
Llynnon Mill, built in 1775, is the only working windmill in Wales producing stone-ground wholemeal flour using organic wheat. Not only is the windmill a wonderful place to visit, there is a reconstruction of the Iron Age Settlement on site where two roundhouses provide a unique insight of the life of Iron Age farmers over 3000 years ago.
- Amlwch Port
The pretty historic harbour of Amlwch Port is well worth a visit. Have a panad (welsh for tea) and homemade cake at the Sail Loft Cafe with its quirky wooden floor where they used to roll out sails and visit the Copper Kingdom Visitor Centre that tells the tale of the regions copper mining since the Bronze Age. From there a visit to Parys Mountain is a must.
- Parys Mountain
To the south of Amlwch is Parys Mountain, a site that in the late 18th century was the largest copper mine in the world. Since the Bronze Age people have mined the metals within Parys Mountain but in the late 1760’s a mass of copper ore was discovered with yields so great that Amlwch came to dominate the world copper market for over a decade. It became known as the ‘Copper Kingdom’.
A self-guided walk around the surface will show you an unique, colourful, lunar landscape and some fascinating industrial ruins. The route takes you past a large deep excavation, the ‘Great Opencast’, where the copper was carved out of the ground by miners using nothing more than picks, shovels and gunpowder! The stunning panorama from the viewing area above shows off the excavation’s amazing colours – an artist’s palette of reds, oranges, pinks, browns, purples, blacks, greens, yellows, and greys.
- Din Lligwy
Hidden away in a corner of the island is one of Anglesey’s finest archaeological sites, the ancient Din Lligwy village, its chapel and burial chamber that dates to the Neolithic period approximated 5000 years ago. It is thought that the remains were probably a chieftain’s stronghold, some 1,600 years ago. This is one of Anglesey’s magical places.
- Llanddona Circular Walk
If a relaxing walk is more your thing, then head towards Red Wharf Bay and Llanddona and take a few hours out to enjoy this coastal walk with seascape views and the mountains of Snowdonia National Park. For more information on the walk click here.
- Penmon Point
Penmon Point has a real ends of the earth feel to it, it is remote and rugged with spectacular views of Puffin Island, the mountains of Snowdonia, and Trwyn Du lighthouse. The currents here are strong so swimming is not a good idea. Instead just take in the wild beauty of the location and maybe explore the rock pools or do a spot of fishing.
There is a toll of about £3 if you drive on to the Point. Facilities include a café & toilets. Dogs are allowed throughout the year.
While you are in the area, stop at Penmon Priory which dates back to the 6th century. The impressive dovecote and other buildings at Penmon are the remains of a medieval priory, while the holy well is a link with the earlier Age of Saints.
There’s plenty to see and do in Beaumaris, because this little town has been important since Edward I built one of Britain’s finest castles here. This seaside town is a mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
A ‘must’ is to take a walk through the town, starting with a stroll along the seafront, taking in the pier and the views over the Menai Strait and Snowdonia then continuing through the charming streets with their picturesque cottages, many painted in soft pastel colours.
Beaumaris has lively cafês, pubs, restaurants and hotels, with good food to suit every taste, and some excellent shopping marked by quality independent traders
Beaumaris Castle is the last of the ‘iron ring’ of castles built in North Wales built by Edward I to stamp his authority on the Welsh. Begun in 1295, in just 3 years the funds for building Beaumaris had dried up as the Kings focus turned to Scotland. This unfinished masterpiece is regarded by many as the finest of all the great Edwardian castels in Wales. Technically perfect and constructed according to an ingenious ‘walls within walls’ plan, Beaumaris Castle was state of the art for the late 13th century.
Beaumarris Gaol is a Victorian gaol, and is the only gaol in Britain with the original treadmill in situ that was used to pump water for the prison and was powered by those sentenced to hard labour. An informative self-guided tour visits suitably depressing cells and a nuresery above a women’s workroom that has a slit in the floor through which mothers could, by pulling a rope, rock their babies’ cradles without stopping working. Executions were a huge local attraction – but happily there were only ever two!
Where to Stay
- Stay at: Nant Bychan Farm Campsie, Moelfre, LL70 9PQ
Nant Bychan is a small, family run campsite set on a working farm where you are guaranteed to get a warm welcome on arrival. The site is midway between the village of Moelfre and the beach, Traeth Bychan, each being just a 10 minute walk along the coastal path. This idyllic campsite with its own private, rock beach has panoramic views of Moelfre Bay and its lifeboat station, the Great Orme at Llandudno and the mountains of Snowdonia National Park. If you are lucky you could wake up to the sight of dolphins swimming in the bay.
Tel: 01248 410269
Open: March to October
From Nant Buchan it’s an hours drive (30 miles) back to Pantglas to drop your camper off for 11am on your final morning.
Return to the mainland over the Menai Bridge, where Thomas Telford’s graceful, functional suspension bridge has carried the original London-Holyhead road high above the Menai Strait since 1826.
It’s worth making time to stop off and enjoy a short scenic walk along the waters edge, below the bridge and from the Belgian Promenade cross the short causeway to discover the 6th Century church of St Tysilio on ‘Church Island’.