Holidays in Anglesey
It is only the start of the year and – like the rest of the population – I am planning my holidays. Top of the holiday list is Anglesey. I live in North Wales so you would imagine I would choose to holiday somewhere else. However I am in love with Anglesey. So much so that for the last three years we have pitched our caravan there for the season. There is something just magical about it. The minute you cross the Brittania Bridge the stresses and strains of everyday life are a distant memory. So you may ask yourself, what’s so special about the place? Holidays in Anglesey for all the family are ideal and here are a couple of reasons to holiday in Anglesey starting with the most obvious.
Reasons to holiday in Anglesey
One after the other after the other of beautiful and clean beaches. And the good thing about them is that they all bring something different to the party. Depending on what time of year you visit they are also dog friendly. Here are just a few of the ones worth visiting:
- Newborough – This is where the forest meets the beach meets the mountains. The views across to the Snowdonia Mountain Range are truly breath-taking. It is at the top of this list for a reason and it is a must visit place. You have to pay to park – last year it was £4. Trust me, it is £4 well spent. There are toilets in the car park, as well as an ice cream van and a food hut.
- Benllech – A flat long beach that is safe to paddle in and is shallow for some distance. The main attraction is the expanse of beach to play on. Perfect for a range of beach games. When the tide is out you often see families playing frisby and beach cricket here. But with so much room you are not in each other’s way. There are also a few places to purchase traditional beach food – chips and ice cream! No good for body boarding though as this side of the island is quite sheltered from the wind. Parking is opposite and it is pay to park. If you come later on in the day you could take a chance and park for free on the road (I didn’t suggest that though!).
- Rhosneigr – Further up the island and one of the windiest beaches I have visited. A lot of water-sports take place in this area for that reason. Where there are water sports enthusiasts you tend to find lots of coffee shops, and this does not disappoint. It is also great for watching the fighter jets take off from RAF Valley. Just take your ear-plugs!
- Lligwy – The coastal walk takes you along the top of Lligwy beach. There is lots of variety here for the little ones. Rock pooling, climbing dunes, wide beach to play on. However it is a bit pebbly to get to the water so it is worthwhile taking some beach shoes. Be warned that parking is a bit of an issue so get there early – you also have to pay to park. If you are in a camper van you can pitch up there for the night. The café in the car park sells great bacon butties and last year events took place in a massive tepee in the evening. It had a real festival vibe about it.
Things to do
- Newborough Forest – Walking, cycling, horse riding, the beach, the dunes you name it, it has it. I can’t emphasise just how fantastic this area of Anglesey is. It is truly stunning and proudly lives up to being named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The drive through the forest down to the car park is just something else.
- Foel Farm – Our favourite attraction on the island and has been for the last 3 years. It is a small family run petting farm. There are tractor rides to the top field to see the working horses and the cows – and where the adults can appreciate the views across to Caernarvon- and there are pony rides as well. Feeding times are posted around the farm so you can have your kids in position to give the lambs and calves their milk. Buy animal feed as you enter so that you can feed the animals as you go around. The goats are particularly greedy. And if that isn’t enough there is a massive bouncy cushion for the kids to jump on.
- Crabbing at Beaumaris – Take a walk along the pier and be sure to take a bucket and crabbing line with you. Top tip: pack some bits of bacon. The crabs love it. Mind the seagulls though. Beaumaris also has a castle, great places to eat – the Red Boat for ice cream is sensational – and a child’s play area where they can run off some steam.
- Plas Newydd (National Trust) – If you have a National Trust pass then take it. The gardens have a play area and there is loads of room for them to run about. They also hold events at regular times in the year. If you want to get off the island there are other National Trust properties nearby.
- Lifeboat station at Moelfre – The waters around Anglesey and across to Ireland can be dangerous. Here you can learn about some of the daring rescues, the history of the lifeboat station, as well as getting up close to one of the lifeboats.
- Pili Palis – On a wet day be prepared for a bit of a squash as most holiday makers head for here. There are butterflies of all colours floating about as well as hiding in the tropical leaves. There are also educational areas for the kids to learn all about them. You will also find an outdoor play area as well as an indoor soft play area.
- Rock Pooling – Hours and hours of fun. I haven’t met a child yet that doesn’t enjoy it.
- South Stack – Take the coastal path and head over to the iconic lighthouse. It is also great for birdwatchers. If you go there on a Sunday – early afternoon – the model boat club meet to race around the pond near the car park at the foot of South Stack.
- Cadnant Garden – Tucked away just off the main road is this little gem of a place. The gardens are stunning. There is a waterfall and every variety oif plant you can imagine. It is great for photo enthusiasts and those that like a walk in peace and quiet. I can only apologise to the people that were there when we visited with Harry. There is no park for the kids but he loved running around the gardens playing hide and seek and throwing stones in to the water at the foot of the waterfall.
- Boat rides across to Puffin Island – something we haven’t yet done but plan to do this year. And for the thrill seekers you can take speed boat rides up the Menai
Places close by worth a mention
- Snowdonia – take a hike – literally, or visit many of the places tucked at the base of the mountains. Visit the resting place of Bedgellert, ride the waves at Surf Snowdonia, or experience the fun at Bounce Below. The list of activities in this area is endless.
- Caernarvon Castle – The place where Prince Charles was inaugurated. Just a word of warning, the stairs are dark and steep – as you would expect from an authentic castle. I was concerned about the safety of H the higher up he went. The barriers at the top are not very high and the gaps in the walls – as look-outs – had me clenching my fists the whole way around. But then I am a bit of a worrier in general. Across the river and up the hill you will find a play park, parking and picnic benches.
- Ireland – Before you go look for offers on the ferries across to Ireland. They go from Holyhead so why not take the opportunity to pop across for the day.
- Dylan’s (Menai Bridge) – My favourite place to dine out. As you would expect from a restaurant situated right on the Menai the speciality is fish. Freshly caught from outside the window. But you can also have freshly prepared pizza, steak and pasta dishes.
- The Golden Fry (Benllech) – Be prepared to queue at any time of the day. That is the measure of how good this place is. But it doesn’t come cheap.
- Ann’s Pantry (Moelfre) – I recommend a visit purely for the fabulous home-made cakes.
- Maram Grass (Newborough) – Booking is essential. It is a limited but very exciting menu. There is no kids menu but smaller portions are available. All the produce is locally sourced therefore the menu changes based on the time of season and the produce available. It is simply divine. Nothing leaves the kitchen without the Maitre De casting his eye over it first. If you fancy treating yourself then this is the place to go.
- The Oystercatcher (Rhosneigr) – It is dog friendly, kid friendly and has a good variety of food on the menu. It is open plan and airy and the kids will love the fact you can sit in one of the beach hut seats on the large balcony. After a stroll on the beach it is a great choice to eat at and the menu is reasonably priced. The glass frontage and the balcony looking out across the beach makes it a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
- Plenty of it. Anglesey is known for it’s campsites and holiday home rentals. Just a quick search on the net will result in a large number of choices.
No write-up about Anglesey would be complete without mentioning the breath-taking views across to the Snowdonia Mountain Ranges. They are simply stunning. Every day the view is different depending on the cloud formation and the way the sun is shining. They provide a stunning backdrop to your holiday experience.
I do hope that I have given enough reasons why Anglesey is a great choice for a family holiday. It holds a very special place in my heart. The only thing left to do now is to go and book it!