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Location - Western Europe; Capital - Wales - Cardiff; Population - Wales - 3 million; Currency - Pound Sterling MORE UK - WALES

Finally I got to backpack around my home territory, north Wales! So a Holyhead-bound train was the start of a tour of the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Mon in Welsh), host to some fine beaches and a rugged coastline, and Holy Island, a small island off its coast - April 2017


uknote20 Pounds Sterling










wales1014First stop was South Stack, a remote rocky islet that's home to a lighthouse and plenty of birdlife - South Stack, Holy Island


wales1019Heading south to the tiny beach at Porth Dafarch - Porth Dafarch, Holy Island














wales1020Several canoeists were braving the waves - Porth Dafarch, Holy Island














wales1023aTrearddur Bay is a family beach halfway down the west coast of Holy Island. It was the Easter weekend and public transport was minimal so I hired an excellent electric bike, a Godsend for the steep climb to South Stack - Trearddur Bay, Holy Island


wales1027aA rather disappointing beach at Rhoscolyn on the south coast - Rhoscolyn, Holy Island


wales1001My first night was spent at Holyhead, a rundown town that's the gateway to Dublin by ferry. Long in need of a revamp! Holyhead, Holy Island













wales1003Overlooking the harbour is the Maritime Museum - Holyhead, Holy Island














wales1032The narrow channel separating Holy Island and Anglesey is connected by two bridges. This is the quieter and more picturesque link at Four Mile Bridge, Holy Island


wales1034aThe local way to cross the divide? Four Mile Bridge, Holy Island


wales1037Llynon Mill is the only working windmill in Wales - Llynon Mill, Anglesey















wales1040It was built in 1775 and is now open to the public as a museum - Llynon Mill, Anglesey















wales1049There's a couple of great beaches at Rhosneigr on the west coast of Anglesey, this one being Traeth Crigyll. Pity about the rain! Rhosneigr, Anglesey


wales1048This garden statue made me smile, straight from the Muppet Show - Rhosneigr, Anglesey


wales1058Dog walkers were the only people to be found on a soggy day at Broad Beach (Traeth Llydan in Welsh, traeth meaning beach) - Rhosneigr, Anglesey














wales1082aThe colourful sea front at Beaumaris, a castle town in south-east Anglesey


wales1072A much brighter day at Beaumaris with a great view over the Menai Strait separating Anglesey from mainland Wales in the distance


wales1088 Learn about the harsh treatment of inmates in Victorian times at Beaumaris Gaol, built in 1829 - Beaumaris, Anglesey















wales1098More colour, this time at the Market Square boutique shops - Beaumaris, Anglesey















wales1106Beaumaris is famous for King of England Edward I's moated castle


wales1112The castle formed part of Edward's 'iron ring' of fortresses in north Wales, built to subjugate the Welsh. Welsh forces under Owain Glyndŵr captured the castle in 1403 but it was re-taken two years later - Beaumaris, Anglesey


wales1122Construction work began in 1295 but the money ran dry and it was never completed. This photo shows mainland Wales across the Menai Strait from Anglesey - Beaumaris, Anglesey












wales1280North of Beaurmaris is the small coastal resort of Moelfre, Anglesey


wales1281There was a lot of windsurfing and kayaking going on when I visited, and it has a lifeboat station and museum. Also check out Ann's Pantry, an excellent cafe on the road leading down to the beach - Moelfre, Anglesey


wales1149For me the south west corner of Anglesey is the most attractive area of the island - Newborough, Anglesey














wales1153Walk through Newborough Forest to great views of the beach, backed by the peaks of Snowdonia across Llanddwyn Bay - Newborough, Anglesey














wales1155The peninsula just visible on the horizon is Llanddwyn Island, reached at low tide from Newborough Beach - Newborough, Anglesey


wales1158Taking the scenic walk along the beach to Llanddwyn Island - Newborough, Anglesey


wales1161A great mountainous backdrop to Newborough Beach - Newborough, Anglesey














wales1176Two lighthouses mark the tip of Llanddwyn Island, this one being Twr Bach















wales1185Twr Bach (small tower) framed by the Snowdonia mountains - Llanddwyn Island


wales1180Catch a sunny day and the views are brilliant - Llanddwyn Island


wales1189One of several small beaches on Llanddwyn Island















wales1177These restored pilot cottages host a small museum - Llanddwyn Island














wales1200On a turning off the main road to Newborough is the prehistoric burial site Bryn Celli Ddu


wales1205It's thought the site was built around 5,000 years ago in the Neolithic Age - Bryn Celli Ddu, Anglesey


wales1214Snowdonia appears again, this time across the Menai Strait from Anglesey Sea Zoo - Anglesey














wales1215Overlooking the Menai Strait is Plas Newydd, originally built in the 14th century but renovated and expanded over the centuries


wales1219The manor house was the residence of the Marquesses of Anglesey but is now owned by the National Trust - Plas Newydd, Anglesey


wales1221I think this is the mainland Wales town of Felinheli opposite Plas Newydd - tell me if not!














wales1240This must be one of the most photographed train station signs in the world! The longest name in Europe and the second (or third?) in the world is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Phew. Below the name is a guide to pronunciation


wales1234Outside the station is the main souvenir shop displaying an English translation: 'The church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the church of Tysilio by the red cave' - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch


wales1235A huge Welsh dragon on the side of a pub in, erm, well.. Llanfairpwll for short - the name given on most road signs














wales1229The local garage sign. You get the picture.. - Llanfairpwll, Anglesey















wales1243A short walk east of the centre is the Marquess of Anglesey's Column, though unfortunately the steps to the top and what must be a fantastic view are closed - Llanfairpwll, Anglesey


wales1251But there's an excellent viewpoint on the road leading to the centre of Menai Bridge. The Menai Bridge links Anglesey on the left to Bangor and mainland Wales on the right













wales1257The bridge that gives the town its name - Menai Bridge, Anglesey















wales1264The tiny island of Ynys Gored Goch lies in the Menai Strait, shown here with Mt Snowdon behind on the left - Menai Bridge, Anglesey


wales1262The other bridge linking Anglesey to the mainland is Robert Stephenson's Britannia Bridge of 1850, though it was rebuilt in 1970 following a fire - Menai Bridge, Anglesey


wales1268St Tysilio's Church is on Church Island, next to Menai Bridge in the Menai Strait














wales1271Like it! But how long will BA let them get away with it? A hairdressers in Menai Bridge, Anglesey














wales1273Thomas Telford's Menai Suspension Bridge was a major feat of engineering, completed in 1826 as the world's first major iron suspension bridge - Menai Bridge, Anglesey


wales1274Boats moored in a picturesque section of Menai Bridge. This is taken near Dylan's, a cool bar-restaurant


wales1278aStrange to see cars parked here - Ynys Castell, Menai Bridge, Anglesey















wales1275That's Bangor pier with a distant Llandudno behind - Menai Bridge, Anglesey















wales1067And as if by magic I'm on Bangor pier on mainland Wales. Clouds obscure much of Llandudno's Great Orme on the right, and I reckon Puffin Island is just to its left - Bangor


wales1061aPenrhyn Castle stands in the middle of huge gardens - Bangor


wales1065I think of castles as built for military defence but many were just fortified manor houses where wealthy landowners lived. The 19th century Penrhyn Castle was the latter - Bangor














wales1287The sun sets on colourful shops on the high street in Llanberis, centre of Snowdon tourism


wales1298We've got steam railways everywhere in north Wales! This is the Llanberis Lake Railway which does a mini-run along Llyn Padarn (Padarn Lake) - Llanberis


wales1307Near the end of the Lake Railway line, looking back to Llanberis across Llyn Padarn - Llanberis














wales1291 The National Slate Museum shows how important slate was to the Welsh economy from the 18th to 20th century. These are slate workers' cottages - Llanberis














wales1310Ceunant Mawr Waterfall is a 10min walk from the centre - Llanberis



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LINKS - Wales tourist board - guide to north Wales - - take a train up Snowdon, Wales' highest mountain - more info on Snowdon - guide to mid Wales - another site focussed on mid Wales - guide to south Wales - Britain's official tourism website - train information across Britain - Wales public transport journey planner - National Express coaches cover Britain


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