Triskele_Logo_Books_POS2 A Taste of Triskele 3D Paperback

LOCATION

Holyhead?

 

Ah, the place you get the ferry to Dublin, you mean?

 

I'm pretty sure ninety percent of the general public would know as much about Ynys Mon, the beautiful Isle of Anglesey, as they do about Gatwick Airport or Paddington Station.

 

It's a crossing point. Hell, it has been since the Romans decided the A5 would end there over two thousand years ago. A place you arrive at mid-journey when you've already been driving four hours, are tired and cranky as hell, and know you face a forty minute queue just to board the ferry, and another two hour slog on the other side of a choppy Irish Sea.

 

So, good memories? Probably not.

 

But if I could persuade you one day to take a little adventure off the A55 and spend a sunny weekend exploring the sights, sounds and smells of the dramatic and beautiful coastline, I think you'd be more than delighted. And I'd feel very smug indeed.

 

So, what makes Anglesey special? Well, for a start you can only get there by crossing one of the two bridges that join the island to mainland Wales, the Britannia or Menai Bridge. How cool is that? I often think about what might happen if the bridges got washed away or blockaded, how we'd be stuck there forever. But perhaps that would be no bad thing.

 

So, once you’ve crossed onto the island, the best way to see it is to follow the coast road in either direction. You'll visit some wonderfully quaint towns, acres of open countryside, secluded coves and wild, deserted beaches.

 

Turn right as you leave the bridges and your first port of call will be the colourful seaside town of Beaumaris at one end of the Menai Straits, equally famous for its breathtaking views across to Snowdonia on the mainland as for its incomplete medieval

castle and the ancient gaol which is now a museum. Turn left, and you pass the ancestral home of the Marquesses of Anglesey, Plas Newydd, and arrive in the tiny town famous for its not-so-tiny name, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

 

And breathe. You will have plenty of time to relax and unwind. Anglesey presents you with an almost immediate peace and sense of isolation that is long gone from many tourist hotspots.

 

It maybe a cliche but in this case it's true - there really are too many places of interest on Anglesey to list here. The island has an abundance of history: from Neolithic burial chambers, through to ancient Druid lakes and ruined Roman towns, to Medieval palaces and secret World War II bunkers. If history isn't your bag, then

perhaps the beauty of nature will impress you. The island's entire rural coastline is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and features many sandy beaches, especially along its eastern coast between Beaumaris and Amlwch and along the western coast from Ynys Llanddwyn through Rhosneigr to the little bays around Carmel Head. The Anglesey Coastal Path is a 200-kilometre (124 miles) path which follows nearly the entire coastline.

 

Personal favourites of mine are the idyllic sweep of sand at the Caernafon end of the straits, called Llanddwyn, with its white sandy beach and atmospheric lovers' island. Lligwy Beach, near Moelfre, is another favourite and of course Church Bay, a little slice of Cornwall within walking distance of my cottage.

 

Anglesey is a hidden gem. It's a place of myth and magic, and it's no lie when locals tell you that, on a clear day, from the highest points on Anglesey, you can see five kingdoms. Five? Aye. Wales, England, Ireland, Isle of Man. And looking up, with a wink, they tell you - the Kingdom of Heaven. It's that kind of place and I'm proud to call it my second home.

 

Especially now with my new neighbours, Wills and Kate - aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I'm sure any day I shall bump into Kate in Waitrose and we can swap tips about life on this little island.

 

Well, if Anglesey is good enough for Royalty, it's good enough for me.