With its rolling green hills and crystal waters, the Isle of Anglesey is a dream for those in search of peace and tranquility.
Known for it’s historical sites and remarkable beaches, the island is one of the UK’s holiday hotspots.
At just over 275 square miles, this small island has a big heritage and a booming tourism industry – with 1.6m visitors to the Island each year.
So if you are wondering what to do when you arrive in Anglesey, you are sure to be spoiled for choice. We’ve rounded up just a few of the great things you can see and do on the island.
How many of these amazing Anglesey adventures can you tick off?
If there is an island gem that hasn’t yet been added to this list, please do let us know and we’ll be sure to include it.
Explore the Most Magical Place on the Island
With rocks spanning four eras, 12 geological periods, and a history dating back 1,800 million years, Parys Mountain has got to be number one on your list of places to visit on Anglesey.
Its vividly coloured orange, purple and green landscape due to exposed minerals in the land will make you feel like you have just landed on Mars.
Located south of the town of Amlwch on Anglesey, the site that was awarded World Heritage Site status in 2015 puts the island’s rocks alongside sites like Edward I’s Welsh castles and the Taj Mahal in India.
Parys Mountain is the remains of one the of the oldest copper mining sites in Britain – and once the biggest in the world.
The Romans are among those who extracted vast resources of copper more than 4,000 years ago.
Earlier this year, BBC film crews descended on the mystical mountain to shoot scenes for a new TV crime drama, Hard Sun, starring Jim Sturgess and Agyness Dey.
And did you know, in 2016 three men tackled the mountain on unicycles and were all filmed riding their single wheelers along the dramatic landscape, including down steep drops by Lunar Aerial Imaging.
Go Red Squirrel Spotting at Newborough Forest
Newborough Forest is well known as one of the endangered Red Squirrel’s strongholds and if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of one of the rare native species.
The squirrels have recovered impressively on Anglesey in recent years after the grey American specie almost wiped out the native breed 20-years ago.
Just 40 reds were believed to be left on Anglesey in 1997 but today, red squirrel numbers have surged to around 700 across the island following a successful project which saw greys eradicated.
While walking the paths, keep your eyes pealed for the little red coated creatures that were introduced into the forest by the Anglesey Red Squirrel Project.
If you head south through or along the edge of the forest, you’re likely to find Llanddwyn Bay.
Eat the Island’s best Street Food
Whether you fancy getting stuck into a big greasy burger or tucking into a mountain of cheesy nachos, you must try the Island’s first ever street food restaurant.
From Mexican to American, Korean, Asian and Italian, the Simply Street Bar and Grill has it all.
And you can even get a burger made with Jack Daniels whisky and Coke. The ‘Mine’s a double JD and Coke’ burger consists of two 6oz flame grilled burgers with Jack Daniels and BBQ sauce made with Coke and is served with fries and slaw.
The man behind the popular Chuck Wagon BBQ, Mark Roberts, transformed the former Caffi Ffynnon Cybi ice cream parlour into an international foodie “den” in June.
He said: “It’s a little bit more upmarket than eating on the street but we don’t have any plates – all the food is served in little baskets with our own branded paper inside.”
Where : Stanley Terrace, Holyhead
Step Back to the Neolithic Times and Discover Bryn Celli Ddu
Bryn Celli Ddu – an ancient burial mound – is one of Wales’ famous Neolithic passage tombs. It is around 5,000 years old.
The site which was excavated and reconstructed in 1928 was originally built to not only protect and pay respect to the remains of ancestors, but also as an important socialising point during the New Stone Age.
A ground-penetrating radar survey recently suggested that the mound seen today is likely to be a part of a larger cairn cemetery complex covering a much wider area.
Rock art – a term used in archaeology to describe the human-made markings found in natural stone – pottery deposits and flint tools are just some of the remarkable finds by experts who have spent the last three summers studying the Cadw-owned site.
The site is open to visitors daily.
Explore Beaumaris Castle
Beaumaris Castle, considered to be the most technically perfect castle in Britain, was built during the late 13th Century.
The fortress which overlooks the Menai Strait was the last of the castles built by King Edward I in Wales but his invasion of Scotland meant he was unable to complete his design.
Today, it is managed by Cadw as a tourist attraction and is open to the public daily from 9.30am until 5pm.
Discover the history of Ynys Llanddwyn
Just off Anglesey’s southern coast, you will find the magical island of Llanddwyn, surrounded by beautiful secluded sands.
The island, which has an intriguing history was home to Santes Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers.
Dwynwen lived during the fifth century and according to legend, she was the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters.
It is believed that she fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill but her father had already arranged for her to marry someone else.
Upset she could not marry her prince, Dwynwen begged God to make her forget him before falling asleep.
An angel visited Dwynwen in her sleep and gave her a potion to erase her memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
With her dreams coming true, Dwynwen devoted her life to God and set up a convent on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey.
The remains can still be seen on the island today, as can Dwynwen’s well that is believed to be home to sacred fish that are able to predict whether couple’s relationships will succeed.
If the fish are active when visiting the well, it is a sign of a faithful husband.
On the island, you will also find a stunning lighthouse and various structures, such as a tower and cross.
Do bear in mind that access to the island is cut off for a short time at high tide.
Take a trip to Anglesey Sea Zoo
Anglesey Sea Zoo – Wales’ largest marine aquarium and Anglesey’s leading all weather family attraction is home to some of the best of British marine wildlife from all around the coasts of the UK.
You can expect to see creatures such as octopus, seahorses, conger eels and even British catsharks.
The aquarium offers a niche but fascinating look at waters closer to home. Among its work is a Seahorse Conservation Programme.
Expert marine biologists offer daily talks, feeding displays and interactive sessions so you can get up – close and personal with some of the exciting exhibits.
But the fun isn’t just to be found under the water. There is a much-loved playground and bouncy castle and a crazy golf course too.
The Sea Zoo is open from 10am until 4.45pm, including Bank Holidays.
Uncover the secrets of Beaumaris Gaol
The Old Gaol at Beaumaris prison
Well known for its brutal methods of keeping its prisoners in check and the scene of public hangings, Beaumaris Gaol is full of sad memories and secrets providing a fascinating insight into the world of the prisoner during the 1800s.
Walk along the dimly lit corridors and explore the places of punishment to experience what the building was like when it housed up to 30 prisoners.
It was built in 1829 by Joseph Hansom, the designer of the Hansom cab. Two hangings were carried out on the gallows, which had been built against the wall of the gaol.
Discover the story of Richard Rowlands who was executed for the murder of his father in law in 1862. According to local tradition, he put a curse on the clock in the church tower opposite the scaffold and to this day, the clock has never kept the right time.
By 1878 the jail had closed and until 1952 it was used as a police station.
Since its closure in the 1950s the jail has been run as a tourist attraction.
Walk up Holyhead Mountain
Holyhead Mountain, known as Mynydd Twr in Welsh is the highest point on Anglesey.
On the east side of Holyhead mountain, you will find Caer y Twr – a late Roman watchtower overlooking the town’s harbour.
It is believed the Romans would have built the tower as a look out point for Caer Gybi Fort. It was built within the remains of an Iron Age hillfort.
Today, the remains are very scant although stones of the original footings still remain.
On a clear day, views can stretch as far as Ireland from the summit.
The site also attracts many bird watchers who come to see the variety of birds that nest along the cliff faces near South Stack, including Atlantic puffins, stonechats, oyster catchers and grey seals.
If you continue along the coast to South Stack Lighthouse, you can descend the 400 steps to the island where you can look out for puffins and porpoises.
Take a Picture at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Train Station
At 63 letters long, it is the longest place name in Europe (second longest place name in the world).
In English, the name means St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave.
It was derived after local businesses and civic leaders were trying to think up ways to attract visitors to the town – the name, legend has it, came from a local cobbler.
Sci-fi fans will recognise it as the password to the rebel base in Jane Fonda’s cult movie Barbarella.
Go bird-spotting at South Stack Lighthouse and Cliffs
This stunning outpost is a prime spot for bird watching.
Enjoy a close-up view onto a wonderful cliff-side nesting colony where you will be able to watch puffins, razorbills, guillemots and even some rare choughs.
There’s even a love television so visitors can have a close up view of the nests. And if bird-watching isn’t your thing, there are extensive nature trails along the lowland and along the cliffs, with the beautiful backdrop of the sea.
Spend a day at one of the award-winning beaches
There are six Blue Flag beaches on Anglesey. Benllech, Church Bay, Llanddwyn, Llanddona, Trearddur Bay and Porth Dafarch, Holyhead proudly fly the Blue Flag having been recognized for their high standard of water quality, cleanliness, safety and excellent facilities.
Seven others have won a Seaside Award – Beaumaris, St. David’s, Red Wharf Bay; Silver Bay, Rhoscolyn; Traeth Crigyll and Porth Eilia.
If you want to enjoy a picnic with some dolphins, Lligwy Bay is a sheltered beach in the North East of Anglesey which offers regular sightings of seals and dolphins. It was also named one of the top 10 Best Picnic Spots in Britain by Coast magazine.
Visit the only surviving working windmill in Wales
Llynon Mill is a gristmill located on the outskirts of the village of Llanddeusant.
The mill was built for £529, 11s in 1779 and stands at over nine metres high and was used for grinding corn, oats and other grains.
After becoming damaged in a storm in 1918. the mill eventually closed until the local council reopened it following a lengthy eight year restoration project. The mill now produced flour.
Dive right in with some island watersports
The island is the perfect place to embark on some water adventures. And with a wide range of activities on offer and stunning clear waters, it’s no wonder Anglesey is becoming a hub for watersports.
Whether you are new to the pursuit of watersports or are a seasoned pro, there’s plenty of exciting adventures to have on the waters surrounding Anglesey.
You can take a powerboat trip around the coast, which involves high speeds and splashing water while taking in the sights.
Or take it up a notch and take a RIB ride – one of the most popular activities on the island. Reaching speeds of over 80mph, this is not for the faint hearted.
The island is also famous for being a windsurfing hotspot, and is the perfect location for beginners who have yet to experience big waves.
Anglesey is one of the most prominent coasteering areas in Europe, and a must for all aventurers. Participants scale and climb the Anglesey cliffsides and can also jump, dive, and flop into the water below the cliffs.
Dine in at a Michelin Star Restaurant
Sosban and The Old Butchers Restaurant is the island’s first Michelin Star eaterie. The which is a tiny seven table restaurant has a fixed menu, which is owned by a husband and wife team.
Located in the heart of Menai Bridge within a historical butchers shop, the chefs prepare unique dishes from locally sourced produce available on the day.
The food is described as unfailingly unconventional as the chef-patron Stephen Stevens users a scientific approach for the food using taste charts to produce an unusual, finely honed constantly changing set menu that seeks to give diners a new experience every time.
Take a gallop along a beach
Experience the countryside on the island by horseback with the Anglesey Riding Centre. Offering breath-taking views of Caernarfon Castle and Snowdonia and a selection of well-schooled horses and ponies, visitors can take a hack out into the Anglesey landscape by horse and embrace the beautiful scenery the area has to offer.
More experienced riders will be able to take a gallop across the beach on their steed as part of the ride.
Pick up some Menai Sea Salt
Used by Michelin-starred restaurants the world over, Halen Môn salt is known in the most elite of foodie circles.
The product is traditionally harvested directly from the waters of the Menai Straits and is sold in both pure and flavoured varieties. It has even been given Protected Designation of Origin status – one of only 65 products in the UK with the accolade.
Halen Môn salt has its very own visitors centre – Tŷ Halen – an award-winning Saltcote and information hub housed in a unique £1.25m bespoke building.
The one-of-a-kind behind the scenes tour is recommended for anyone interested in salt’s place in our history, culture, food and in what makes Halen Môn Sea Salt the world’s finest seasoning. Led by a trained guide the tour includes a tutored salt tasting.