The Isle of Anglesey is located in north Wales. It is a series of two Islands, the ‘big island’ and Holy Island which is where my family has vacationed for over a century. It is packed full of history, stunning scenery, walks and incredible beaches.
How To Get There
One of the reasons that it is reasonably hidden from wider adulation is that it isn’t the easiest to get to. Whilst you can get a direct train from London Euston to Holyhead, and there are some local trains, with children, you do really need a car, and the roads aren’t particularly fast. That said, if you are happy to take it slow and do a road trip across North Wales and through Eryri (Snowdonia), you will not be disappointed. The scenery is simply stunning, and there are some must see magical sights like the colourful and Italianate Portmeirion or even Mount Snowdon itself with its little railway that takes you to the top (if you aren’t a hiker – if you are, put a proper hiking child backpack on and tackle the pyg pass. Please make sure you are prepared for all weathers though. Many people get stranded here each year as the weather can change in an instant!).
Anglesey is stunning – there is so much variety – the coastline is the same composition as that which is found in Cornwall to much acclaim. It has golden sandy beaches, beautiful coves and stunning lighthouses. You can mix history (the 13th century Beaumaris Castle, Plas Newydd, ancient celtic burial mounds or the picturesque South Stack Lighthouse as a few examples) alongside a multitude of outdoor activities.
For when it rains, there is the Anglesey Sea Zoo, a conservation aquarium which has just opened up a new sealife tank; Pili Palas, which used to be simply a butterfly farm, but now has a birdhouse, lizard enclosure, meerkat tunnel and much more; Foel farm park which is situated right next door to the sea zoo which is simply a working farm with tractor rides and a chocolate shop.
But otherwise, the sandy beaches with their gently sloping sands are simply heaven for children. There are incredible rock pools – over the years we have caught all manner of things including sea horses, eels, gobies, crabs etc (none were harmed). This year when kayaking in Rhoscolyn we came nose to nose with a grey seal!
When To Visit
Best time to visit Trearddur in my opinion is August as that is when the sailing club is in operation. It’s fairly unique in the fact that racing only happens once a year and it is quite magical to see the boats racing. That being said, you will get better value in June/July & the restaurants won’t be quite so busy.
Dublin! Yes, you heard that right! From Holyhead you can get the early ferry and be in Dublin by mid-morning. With small children you might want to stay overnight as it takes 3 hrs on the Ferry but as a teenager, I used to pop over for the day! Otherwise, Puffin Island, Caernarfon Castle, Penrhyn Castle, The Welsh Mountain Zoo and Llandudno are all great days out.
Where To Eat
My husband once said (and he is a definite foodie) that he has never had a bad meal on Anglesey. This has definitely not always been the case, but there are now several amazing eateries. Our favorites are: The Sea Shanty in Trearddur (amazing children’s menu complete with local mussels and chips) which also houses the most amazing ice cream shop, The White Eagle in Rhoscolyn, The Lobster Pot in Church Bay and Enoch’s Fish and Chips in Valley (all sustainably sourced, limited plastic & lovely children’s bag).
Where To Stay
In Trearddur the stock is mostly self-catering, ranging from camping, right up to 12 bed luxurious houses. We normally stay in the holiday bungalows (£) but this year we stayed in the most amazing rental property a few minutes walk from the beach (££). The only proper hotel in town is the Trearddur Bay hotel and it is really lovely. My father in law stayed there a couple of years ago, and his suite overlooked the bay.
If you are renting, put an order in with Anglesey Fine Foods for all your meat and fish needs. There is no fishmonger on the Island, so if you want to sample the amazing local produce you need to get your order in by 12.00 on Friday, or just eat your fish out at restaurants as they all buy direct from the quays. Anglesey Fine Foods also stock a wide selection of local beers, have a pretty wide-ranging wine list as well as some pretty random things & local cakes and treats! It’s a bit of an Aladdin’s cave!
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