04 Jul

Anglesey is a beautiful island reached by crossing the Menai Strait.

AngleseyAnglesey is a place where you can get away from it all. Relax, enjoy the hospitality and lose yourself in the island’s winding lanes or on its spectacular coast. There’s also plenty to do for all the family with events, attractions and outdoor activities all set in beautiful scenery.

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Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris was the last of his “iron ring” of castles along the North Wales coast. Technically perfect and constructed to an ingenious “walls within walls” plan, it was the 13th century high-tech equivalent of a spaceship landing unceremoniously on Anglesey today.

The finest work of Edward’s military architect, James of St George, it employed no fewer than 450 stone masons, 375 quarrymen and 1,800 unskilled labourers.

And then the money ran out. So it’s an unfinished masterpiece.

Today you can still see the classic proportions, the water-filled moat, the arrow slits and murder holes. But the upper floor of the north gatehouse was never built. The towers of the inner curtain wall never reached their full height. And they never got their turrets.

What’s left is quite awe-inspiring enough. So impressive that Beaumaris, along with the castles of Harlech, Conwy and Caernarfon, is a World Heritage Site.

That means it’s “of outstanding universal value to all humanity”.

No wonder it attracts 90,000 visitors every year. And a lot of its biggest fans are not serious-minded scholars of medieval military architecture – but children.

“Maybe it’s because it looks like a child’s drawing of a castle,” says Stacy Birkett of site custodians Cadw. “It’s a lovely place to explore, with its spiral tower and narrow passages. And the views across the Menai Strait are stunning.”

Kids love history when their imagination is allowed to run riot. See (and hear) the proof inside a converted grain silo in the castle gatehouse, now doubling as a film theatre.

While in Anglesey you must visit the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch which is the longest place name in Europe!

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