Most of my posts about North wales have been around Snowdonia, mainly I suppose because I love being in the hills.
I have, however, paid three visits to Anglesey this year, and it has so much to offer. It’s relatively flat, with lots of rolling farmland. Anglesey Beef and Lamb is wonderful!
But there are lots of great sights, wonderful cliffs, great beaches, good bird-watching and history. Obviously having made three visits I still have much more to see, but I thought it was time I made a start, so here is my first post on Anglesey.
The Menai Suspension bridge was the first crossing of the Menai Strait, which seperates Anglesey from the rest of North Wales. Before the bridge was built anyone wanting to cross had to walk across soft sand to the ferry, and then do the same at the other side! There were also many ferry accidents, the worst being in 1785 when 55 people were swept away. Thomas Telford designed the bridge. It had to have 100 feet of clear space under the main span, to allow the tall sailing ships to pass underneath. The 16 massive chains hold up 579 feet of roadway between the two towers. The bridge was opened on 30th January 1826.
Moelfre is a small sleepy village with a pebbled beach and white-washed cottages huddled around the bay. It is well known around the the world for having one of the finest and renowned life boat stations in the world.
Many of the lifeboatmen stationed there have won medals for bravery.
On the night of 26th October 1859 a British cutter, The Royal Charter, was on the last leg of it’s long journey from Melbourne to Liverpool. Sailing up the Irish Sea there had been no wind at all, but suddenly a savage storm blew up. The captain tried to get a pilot, but none would go out in such weather. he dropped anchor, but at 1.30am the chain parted, and it was dawn when two locals saw the ship being dashed against the rocks. The brave men of Moelfre made a human chain out into the breakers, and saved 18 passengers, 5 riggers and 18 crew, but on that day 452 people, including all of the officers lost their lives. This is the monument, paid for by the people of Moelfre in remembrance of that night.
A short walk along the top of the cliffs leads to the sweeping bay of Lligwy, with it’s beautiful beach and sand dunes.
This is the view of the Great Orme from just above the village of Moelfre.
A short walk from the beach at Lligwy is this neolithic burial chamber. It was probably constructed before 3000BC, and when it was excavated in 1908 it was found to contain the bones of up to 30 men, women and children. The people who constructed this tomb had no tools and the wheel had not been invented, but the managed to manoevre this huge capstone, weighing over 25 tons, onto pre-arranged stone slabs around the edge.
Close by is this ruined chapel, built in the 12th century.
Just a few hundred yards away is Din Lligwy, an ancient village hidden in woodland. This is a Celtic settlement dating back to the last years of the Roman Empire in the 4th century AD.
All of the photos of Moelfre and Lligwy were taken in May 2008.
On the opposite side of the island is the lovely little beach at Porth Dafarch.
A little further around the coast is South Stack and it’s lighthouse. The cliffs around here are the breeding grounds for many seabirds, including Guillemots, Razorbills and Puffins. Also on these cliffs can be found the wonderful Choughs, members of the Crow family with bright red beaks.
All of these photos of Porth Dafarch and South Stack were taken in June 2008.
Malltraeth Cob Pool is south of South Stack and Porth Dafarch. This is a wonderful place for bird watchers, but there are some lovely walks in the area too.
I spent a couple of hours here and saw lots of ducks and waders, including Pintails, Teal and Little Egrets.
As you walk along the path you have the cob on one side and the cefni estuary on the other, with more ducks, waders and seabirds to see.
And so I headed back to the bridge.
The photos around Malltraeth were taken on the 6th November 2008.
I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’m back on Anglesey again, there is so much to see and do.