FREE DAYS OUT
Parys Mountain & Amlwch Port
The copper mines at Parys mountain, near Amlwch have been worked since the Bronze Ages and during the 18th & 19th Century were the largest copper mine in the world. The scars of mining activities and a number of buildings and artifacts remain in the area. Visitors are encouraged to use the sign posted trails and viewing locations to admire the vivid colours in the landscape caused by the processes used to extract the ore.
The Copper Kingdom Centre (an entry charge applies) in Amlwch Port has a number of interactive displays describing the history of copper mining in the area but it is possible to just walk around the once busy harbour and port.
Anglesey Art Weeks / Walking Festival / Open Door Event
These and other events are held annually on Anglesey.
Artist across Anglesey open their studios and galleries to the public during the two weeks of Anglesey Arts weeks at Easter time.
The Anglesey Walking Festival is held at the end May/June for two weeks. There are a wide variety of guided walks celebrating the diverse nature of the island from archaeological walks to rock pool rambles. Some walks are free while others have a small fee to participate.
During September in England, Scotland and Wales the Open Door Event is a chance to explore some hidden treasures of culture and history, from university collections which are usually closed to the public or free access to small churches and castles.
Churches of St Cybi, Llanbadrig, St Cwyfan, Llandwyn Island
There are some delightful churches on Anglesey, varying in size from large to teeny tiny (Llanfigael) You’ll find them tucked away down small country lanes or on exposed headlands. Llanbadrig church near Cemaes is on the headland where St Patrick is said to have landed on route from Ireland. On Llandwyn Island, at Newborough stand the remains of a church dedicated to the St Dwynwen, patron saint of lovers. St Cwyfan, near Aberfraw is only reachable at low tide as it’s situated on a small island and St Cybi’s in Holyhead town centre is built within the walls of an abandoned Roman fort – there are great views of the ferry port from the graveyard here too.
Occasionally you’ll be lucky and find a church open, if not the graveyards and surrounding areas are fascinating too.
Anglesey Scheduled Monuments, Standing Stones and Hut Circle
Anglesey has 143 scheduled monuments, with 89 prehistoric sites. Most have free access however some standing stones are on private farmland and only accessible with the landowners permission. The sites include burial cairns, chambered tombs, standing stones, hill forts and hut circles and are dotted around the island. Six sites date from the Roman period and seven sites from the early Medieval times. Others include castles, remote dwellings, wells and churches dating from the later medieval period. Most sites are marked on the Anglesey Ordnance Survey map, so start exploring – it’s going to be a treasure hunt!
St Gwenfaen’s well (picture) one of the best preserved holy wells in Wales is found on the headland between Rhoscolyn and Treaddur Bay
Holyhead Breakwater Park
Holyhead Breakwater Country Park is a 106 acre site with ponds and former quarry buildings, some areas are suitable for a pushchair.
The quarry provided 7 million tonnes of stone for the Harbour Breakwater which was finished in 1875. It’s also possible to walk along the 1.7 mile long breakwater.
From the park it’s a steep climb to the top of Holyhead Mountain but well worth the effort for the view. Lower down, the coastal footpath runs around the headland to North and South Stack.
During the summer time there is a cafe and information centre. A charge for parking.
A few miles from Beaumaris is the site of a monastery dating back to the 6th century with remains of the 13th century Penmon Priory. Behind the church is a holy well, a spring emerging from a cliff and an impressive dovecot with a massive domed roof dating from about 1600 which housed nearly 1000 birds.
From here you can drive (it is a toll road so there is a charge) to Penmon Point with it’s pebble beach and lighthouse.
Anglesey has 125 miles of stunning coastline and our beaches have more than just sand and sea to interest and entertain you.
Fossils can be found in the rocks along the north coast of the island between Moelfre and Penmon. The piers at Cemaes and Beaumaris are great places to go crabbing with young children. The windy beaches of Rhosneigr and Aberffraw are particularly suitable for kite flying and kite surfing. Visit an art installation, the ‘Time and Tide’ bell on Cemaes beach, one of twelve bells around Britain which ring when the sea is at high tide.
Six beaches on Anglesey have been awarded a Blue Flag, an internationally recognised ecolabel, awarded to beaches and marinas for cleanliness, safety and high quality amenities – Church Bay is one of them.
Spectacular high cliffs and heath land seascapes. Visitors are welcome to take the 410 steps down the cliff side but there is a charge to cross the footbridge and enter South Stack Lighthouse. Puffins, choughs, guillemots and razorbills can be seen on the cliffs either from the steps or from Elins Tower where there are binoculars and telescopes to use.
Entrance/tour tickets can be purchased from the cafe.
Nearby are the remains of an Iron Age settlement a collection of hut circles scattered along the hillside.
From South Stack it is quite an easy walk (as opposed to the hike from the Breakwater Park) to the top of Holyhead Mountain. Great views from the summit across to Church Bay, the whole of Anglesey and Snowdonia beyond.
RSPB and National Nature Reserves
Cemlyn Bay, a curved shingle bank with the sea on one side and a fresh water lagoon behind is just five miles away and popular with both bird watchers for its important tern colony and naturalists.
Valley Wetlands and South Stack Reserves are a twenty minute drive away. At South Stack, Elins Tower with RSPB volunteers and binoculars on hand is a great viewing point high above the cliffs to watch the local sea birds. Cors Erddreiniog, a varied terrain of small lakes, heathland and woodland. Cors Bodeilio and Cors Goch are rare wetland fens which support many types of plant, bird and insect life. All three have some boardwalks.
Newborough Warren, is one of the finest coastal sand dune systems in Britain, with a network of pathways and tracks through the forest to the coast.
Jet Aircraft spotting
The residential Hawk Squadron at RAF Valley contributes to most of the airfields activity with a variety of other military aircraft landing on a lucky spotters day! The station has 6 run ways and it is weather dependent which runway is used.
From Pen y Graig you can often we can see the Sikorsky rescue helicopter practice between Church Bay and Holyhead when search and rescue personnel are dropped into the sea, set off a flare and are rescued by the hovering helicopter.