Family road trip Wales: Isle of Anglesey

Beaumaris Castle

Another Sunday, another segment in our family road trip in Wales. Today, it’s all about Ynys Môn, better known as Isle of Anglesey. (If you’re wondering why Cat looks a tad younger, it’s because this is from our first road trip in Wales, when she was seven.)

Immediately after you’ve crossed Pont Britannia from the mainland to Anglesey, you’ll notice a sign for Llanfair. It might even say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. I wondered if it was the longest place name in the world, but it seems there is a Maori name that’s even longer. The official name for Bangkok is even longer again. However, I’ve yet to hear of a longer name in the English language, so we’ll settle for that.

But there’s of course more to Anglesey than long place names. There’s Kate and William, for example – and now also Baby George. The Cambridges live on the island since Wills works at RAF Valley as a helicopter rescue pilot.

I expect this has brought more visitors to Anglesey the last few years. When we were there, in 2008, it was relatively quiet. The locals I spoke with – all very fond of their island – indicated they preferred it that way.

We spent one day on Anglesey and it wasn’t nearly enough time. The time we did have, we spent mostly in the town of Beaumaris (pronounced Biwmaris locally).

Beaumaris was a Viking settlement, always dear to a Norwegian heart. No remnants of that can be seen, however. My ancestors weren’t too concerned with leaving their footprints, it seems. Not physical footprints, anyway.

In Beaumaris, we visited the interesting old courthouse and the suitably thrilling Beaumaris Gaol. We stopped by the 500-year-old Tudor Rose, and marvelled at the tiny door.


But first we wandered around Beaumaris Castle in the rain. This is one of four medieval strongholds dotted around Northern Wales built by King Edward in the 13th century. I like how many of the ancient castles have easily accessible playgrounds immediately outside. Playing against this backdrop, perhaps an interest in history will seep into the young minds while sliding down the slippery dip. One can always hope…

Beaumaris Courthouse


The 400-year-old courthouse is still in use today, albeit only once a year. It’s possible to get a bit theatrical here – and my kids enjoyed both the courthouse and the gaol. Like being in a Dickens novel.

Beaumaris Gaol


Walking through this slightly spooky building, you get a certain feel for how it might have been to be a prisoner almost 200 years ago. Despite chains and beatings, this was quite a humane institution for its time. My favourite feature is the cradle in the photo above. Notice the rope going into the hole in the floor? Women prisoners worked in the room directly below and could easily reach the end of the rope to rock their babies to sleep.

The Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose, Beaumaris, Wales Tudor Rose, Beaumaris

The Tudor Rose is an old timber-frame house. Looks a bit odd among the tall modern buildings. It’s interesting to think about how this street might have looked in 1480 when the Tudor Rose was built. Presently, this fabulous building houses the offices of an estate agent. Must be a very atmospheric and inspiring place to work. Can’t help wishing it was a tea house, though.

What we would like to see and do next time we’re on Anglesey:

  • Sail around the island. The entire coastline of Anglesey is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.
  • Hang about the beach a bit, at Rhosneigr, Red Wharf Bay or numerous others
  • Visit the Skerries light house, the windmill at Llanddeusant and the Church in the sea at Cribinau
  • We’ve followed King Arthur in Cornwall, so I’d like to see King Arthur’s Seat.

We need about a week, I reckon.


Beaumaris practicals

  1. Beaumaris is a short drive from Pont Britannia (Britannia Bridge) which spans the Menai Strait separating Anglesey from the Welsh mainland.
  2. Entrance to Beaumaris Castle is £4.50, reduced rate is £3.40. A family ticket costs £13.50 and admits 2 adults and up to 3 children. A 3- or 7-day explorer pass gives free admission. Opening hours: 10 – 16 in winter, longer hours in summer.
  3. Entrance to Beaumaris Courthouse and Gaol: joint ticket is £7.50, £6 for children and seniors. Opening hours: 10 – 17 between Easter and September.


unesco logo

Beaumaris Castle is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd.

Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.




32 Responses to “Family road trip Wales: Isle of Anglesey”

  1. Salika Jay 19 August 2013 0959 #

    Although quiet, seems there are few historic places to see here. Sailing around the island sounds like fun, and a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Anglesey.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 August 2013 1632 #

      It was a quiet, interesting and beautiful island.

  2. Sounds like you’ve been having a great time travelling through Wales, Sophie! Another place to put on my “To Do” list.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 20 August 2013 2147 #

      I think you’d like it, Christine 🙂

  3. Muza-chan 20 August 2013 0806 #

    So beautiful…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 20 August 2013 2147 #

      It’s a lovely island indeed.

  4. That’s interesting about the female prisoners being able to rock their babies to sleep from the floor below. Kinda sad and depressing too. But I hope you make it back to the Isle to explore it more in depth. I hope to make it to Wales someday as well!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 20 August 2013 2147 #

      I hope you do, too 🙂

  5. Jeff 20 August 2013 2221 #

    I am in love with The Tudor Rose, it is beautiful. I would like to get more information about the island

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1456 #

      The Tudor Rose is pretty. More information on Anglesey is easily available on the web 🙂

  6. Mellisa Turner 21 August 2013 0938 #

    “A great post! We are a big fan of road trips. We recently returned from an amazing and an utterly adventurous road trip to Scotland. We would surely like to add this road trip to Wales in our bucket list. The historical places seem real fun. “

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1501 #

      I had a fabulous road trip in Scotland, too – many years ago. Perhaps time for another one…

  7. Gabe 21 August 2013 1821 #

    “Sail around the island.” Judging from the last shot you took that looks like it would be an amazing trip.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1504 #

      I really think it would be. Thanks for stopping by, Gabe 🙂

  8. Mary {The World Is A Book} 23 August 2013 0637 #

    I remember some of your Wales post and lovely to see this again. It’s so scenic. Great to know there are many things to entertain the kids there. Love that picture of your girls in the courthouse. The Tudor Rose looks beautiful and you’re right it looks more like a tea house or even a quaint boutique.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1505 #

      I really do recommend Wales as a great family distination.

  9. Laurel 23 August 2013 1753 #

    Who knew there was so much to do on such a small island? Also interesting that Beaumaris Castle is a UNESCO site, that alone would make it worth visiting in my opinion.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1512 #

      Beaumaris Castle is one of the many highlights on this island 🙂

  10. Mary @ Green Global Travel 24 August 2013 0408 #

    Not unlike other locales that you have detailed in Wales, Anglesey looks incredibly beautiful and serene. I love that you also managed to find yet another charming Welsh miniature!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1513 #

      Wales is a green destination, too 🙂

  11. Viv 25 August 2013 0939 #

    Interesting piece. We’re going to Anglesey very soon, staying in Beaumaris. By the way, Kate and William recently said goodbye to Anglesey as his time there has come to an end.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1513 #

      Thanks for the update, Viv – and have fun in Beaumaris 🙂

  12. Mette 25 August 2013 1429 #

    I’m really getting in the mood for visiting Wales. Can’t believe we just looked at the Severn Bridge without crossing when I was there.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1514 #

      I’ve had a few misses like that in the past, too.

  13. Eye & Pen 1 September 2013 1008 #

    Interesting 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 March 2015 0017 #

      Anglesey is an interesting place, for sure.

  14. Beyond my Front Door 23 September 2013 0502 #

    Haha Love the court house photograph. I have never been to Wales sadly, but I want to go! The place name is crazy long, cant believe there is a Maori one that is longer.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 March 2015 0017 #

      Wales is very underrated. It’s a gorgeous country.

  15. Stephen 4 March 2014 0554 #

    Awesome! I had no idea Wales had so many interesting things. (Shhh I have finds there who would kill me if they found out I thought that)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 4 March 2014 0917 #

      Wales is full of treasures 🙂

  16. Turkey's For Life 13 March 2015 0912 #

    Wow, seems such a place that that building is an estate agent. With you when you say you wish it was a tea house – maybe even a pub. 😉 Used to go to Anglesey all the time as a kid, staying with my friend’s family in a caravan. Lots of happy memories of beautiful beaches. 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 March 2015 0018 #

      Must have been a wonderful place to collect childhood memories.

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