Where to stay on Anglesey
The Island of Anglesey, located off the North Western tip of Wales, has always been a popular holiday destination for those travelling from Cheshire and the wider North West region. With its excellent transport links by rail and road, you can easily arrive on the island within an hour and a half of leaving home. The Island of Anglesey is a small but perfectly formed holiday destination.
The Island of Anglesey
Although Anglesey is the largest island off the Welsh coast and the seventh largest in the British Isles, it is still a manageable size to enjoy, whether that be for a few days or a longer stay. Linked to the mainland at Bangor by two impressive and dominating bridges, the Britannia Bridge, accessed by the main A55 link road and the historic Menai Suspension Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, that serves locals crossing from the coastal community of the same name. Crossing the Menai Straits for many is an evocative experience; it can feel like you are coming home, the memories of many a family holiday over the years and the excitement of crossing onto the holiday island of Anglesey will resonate with many.
South West Anglesey
The first sign you will see following ‘Welcome to Anglesey’ is the left turn off the main trunk road into the famous Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch or just LlanfairPG for short. It is the longest place name in the UK and the site of many a family argument as to how to correctly pronounce the small village with the big name! I can assure you, after years of trying, if you are not Welsh speaking you will never perfectly pronounce it.
The South West corner of Anglesey, accessed via LlanfairPG, is arguably the quietest area on the Island, however it is jam-packed with tourist opportunities and spectacular views across the straits to Caernarfon and the Llyn Peninsular. From experience, aside from the upmarket holiday village of Plas Coch, you will often find the best value for money holiday accommodation whilst still providing great access to amenities and beaches.
Newborough and Llanddwyn Island
The small village of Newborough is conveniently close to Newborough Forest and the most photographed sight on Anglesey, Llanddwyn Island. The pine forest and warren at Newborough are a natural habitat for the endangered red squirrels as well as being ideal for mountain biking and walking.
This unique habitat with forest walks, sand dunes, saltmarshes and beach are a natural nature reserve for many seabirds and has been classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The large, wide beach is popular year round and its exposed westerly position not only allows for uninterrupted views but the perfect conditions for kite-surfing and wind surfing. Along with Rhosneigr in the North, the Newborough area is the perfect position to stay for outdoors and adventure enthusiasts. Although the village of the same name is small, and not ‘touristy’, it has a everything you could need including a small convenience store, popular fish and chip shop (Codmother) and pub.
West Coast Anglesey
Along the western coast, continuing through Newborough you will pass the tidal wetlands of Malltreath; a pleasant flat walk for children with much to see including wild ponies and plenty of water birds, before taking a left turn towards the dunes at Aberffraw. Again, this area is often overlooked when considering holiday accommodation, and as such the beaches are unspoilt, very rugged in parts and much quieter than their eastern counterparts.
The small village of Aberffraw is a fantastic option if stunning coastal views, the opportunity to enjoy the water and a great beach is a number one priority. The short tidal river of Afon Ffraw dissects the village and originates two miles inland before carving its way through the lower wetlands and dunes before flowing into the sea at Aberffraw. Whilst respecting the tide times, this river and its bank becomes a playground during low tide for kayaks, small boats, and paddleboards. The combination of fresh water, rock pools and sea in proximity appeals to families that are looking to spend their holiday enjoying the beach and water. The sunsets here too are spectacular.
Newborough and Llanddwyn Island
The most popular resort on Anglesey’s west coast is Rhosneigr, this one-road in/one-road out village has morphed over the years from a quiet retirement area to a thriving tourist resort during the Summer months with many holiday properties and rental homes popping up.
The short main street is dotted with surf shops, cafes, and ice cream parlours and as such, becomes busy during the school holidays. Over the years, many have been drawn here thanks to its unspoilt coastline and geography which makes it ideal for water sports notably windsurfing, surfing, and kayaking.
The surfing vibe is infectious and Rhosneigr is arguably the closest resort on Anglesey to mimic the Cornwall vibe. Over the last couple of years, the standard of holiday accommodation in the area has dramatically increased and you can easily marvel at some downright impressive homes available to rent.
The Sandy Mount Hotel on the main street has also opened to cater to those interested in a boutique hotel/bar experience with a relaxed, animal and child friendly, atmosphere. Think sandy toes on the veranda enjoying a sundowner, unfortunately however it is set back from the beach, but still very pretty, nonetheless.
Holy Island and Trearddur Bay
Further north, and a short ride over Four Mile Bridge (which is not four miles long at all), brings you onto Holy Island, home to the luxurious Silver Bay Holiday Village complete with private beach and the neighbouring community of Rhoscolyn.
The White Eagle at Rhoscolyn is worth a stop for lunch if you are staying in the area and on a sunny day, the lawned beer garden is a real treat. Close by the seaside village of Trearddur Bay has been attracting holidaymakers for decades.
Long established, with its sandy beach and small resort centre dotted with a couple of notable pubs, The Seacroft and Sea Shanty, Trearddur Bay is small yet perfectly formed. There are countless small bays along the coast ideal for kayaking and swimming.
The accommodation options here range from the long-established Trearddur Bay Hotel to small independent cottages and static caravans. Slightly further around the coast will bring you to Holyhead Mountain, the highest point on Anglesey, and the South Stack RSPB Reserve.
South Stack and Holyhead
With sheer sea cliffs, the area is treacherous on a windy day however on clear days you can often see the Irish Coast and can enjoy watching the sea ferries making the short crossing between the two. South Stack is famous for its Puffin colony which, if you are lucky, you can spot during the Spring and early Summer months.
For any brave souls, you can take the 400 steep steps down to the South Stack Lighthouse located on its own small island and linked to Holy Island by a bridge.
If staying in the area, the large town of Holyhead, site of the main train station and port to Ireland is close by.
Although not an ideal spot to stay for a holiday, Holyhead provides great amenities including supermarkets and shops to service your stay. Close by the Penrhos Coastal Park is a great place to spend the afternoon with countless waymarked walks, trails and hidden beaches.
As you cross the bridge back onto Anglesey, you will pass through Valley, another village where you can pick up essentials and stop for lunch at Catch 22 Brasserie.
North Coast Anglesey
Along Anglesey’s northern coast there are no ‘resorts’ in the traditional sense but a collection of small villages and self-catering accommodation scattered across the countryside.
The beaches here are sandy and generally sheltered. The large beach at Porth Tywyn is a popular choice; it is approximately a mile long with rock pools at either end, easy also to access. During low tide it is a very wide firm beach, perfect for families and there is often activity from the nearby caravan parks, including boat launches to watch.
From here you can also look back over to Holyhead port and watch the ferries come and go to Ireland. Slightly further down the coast, Porth Swtan, or Church Bay, is a smaller offering and rocky in parts, perfect for rock pooling.
There is an array of self-catering accommodation and camping options surrounding this much-loved cove and along with the Lobster Pot, Church Bay Inn and Wavecrest café during high season, there is some great eating options locally too.
North East Anglesey
The north eastern tip of the Island, and the furthest point from the main A55 trunk road that transcends the island, includes the pretty hamlet of Cemaes Bay featuring a small beach and quaint shopping street.
From here the landscape changes as it rises to Parys Mountain with its network of now dormant copper mines. It can be incredibly windy in this corner of the island and the abundance of wine turbines prove this point.
Onwards towards the fishing port of Amlwch, Bull Bay offers dramatic seascapes and Point Lynas Lighthouse is a worthy stopping point. With regards to staying in this area, it is remote and certainly rich in history.
The landscape is unlike anywhere else on Anglesey and its remoteness may appeal to some looking for an opportunity to completely switch off. The popular eastern beaches of Dulas and Treath Lligwy are a short drive away and accommodation prices rise the closer you get to these.
East Coast Anglesey
I think it would be a fair to suggest that most holiday makers to Anglesey flock to the south east tip, around Beaumaris, and eastern beaches of Moelfre, Benllech and Red Wharf Bay for their family breaks.
Accommodation along this section of the Anglesey coast is at a premium, the closer to these resorts and beaches, the higher these accommodation prices are.
There are countless self-catering options available ranging from holiday parks, B+Bs, rental homes, and luxury properties.
Of these resorts, Benllech is your traditional bucket and spade offering; a safe beach complete with ice-cream parlour and café along with fish and chip shops, pubs and shops making it the number one choice for families.
Moelfre is famous for its RNLI Lifeboat station, pretty village centre featuring Ann’s Pantry café, ice cream parlour and pub overlooking a small rocky beach with impressive coastal views. Red Wharf Bay is vast and covers almost ten miles of beach at low tide, Pentraeth Forest skirts one side of the bay and Benllech sits to the other.
Along the seafront there is the famous Ship Inn, The Tavern on the Bay and The Old Boathouse, all great choices for dining with awe-inspiring views.