Anglesey

Anglesey is a popular holiday area, with attractive contrasts of scenery, the coastline ranging from cliffs with rocky bays to wide, smooth beaches. The visitor can see many ancient monuments, such as the passage grave of Bryn-Celli-Ddu, the best example of its kind in Britain. Another fascinating site is Din Lligwy, where the remains of a pre-Roman settlement were discovered. Other places of interest include Plas Newydd, the beautiful 18th-century house of the Marquesses of Anglesey. A column at Llanfair PG which can be climbed for fine views of the island commemorates a Marquis known as ‘One-Leg’, who is remembered for his contributions in the Battle of Waterloo, where he received the wound from which he earned his nickname. Beaumaris Castle is a magnificent fortress of concentric design. The famous South Stack lighthouse stands on a rocky islet off Holy Island, and the village with one of the longest names in the world, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch ~ usually shortened to Llanfair PG! is in the south east of the island. Apparently, the name was ‘invented’, or at least extended, by a local businessman during the 19th century; not surprisingly most tourists are incapable of pronouncing it.

Menai Bridge

One mile to the west was Stephenson’s tubular railway bridge. Severely damaged by fire in 1970, it was later rebuilt with open steel arches and a new road deck above, carrying the A5 to Holyhead. The first bridge to link Anglesey with Gwynedd was designed by Thomas Telford in 1826. Not only is it 1000 ft long, 28ft wide and 100ft above the highest level of the tide: it was also the first major suspension bridge to be built – a triumph of 19th century engineering. In Water Street is a fascinating Museum of Childhood.

Moelfre 

Moelfre on the north coast was the birthplace of Goronwy Owen, the Welsh poet and earlier settler of Brunswick County, Virginia. It was off here that the Royal Charter was wrecked in a storm in 1859. 460 lives were lost and bullion and valuables worth over £400,000 from Australia were later recovered. The story was used by Dickens in The Uncommercial Traveller.