When you're planning to tour new destinations, there's no better source of information than the locals! Andria Massey introduces this iconic Welsh island.

Who are you?

Andria Massey, Footpath Secretary and Access Officer Ynys Mon Ramblers Group, and freelance photographer.

Why are you a local authority on Anglesey? 

I holidayed in Wales from childhood, so when I retired in 2004 there was a strong pull to settle here. I chose the Isle of Anglesey.

What do you love about it? 

It has everything, from Blue Flag Beaches to high cliffs, 30 miles of the All Wales Coastal Path, lighthouses and historic sites. It is only 30 minutes from Snowdonia National Park. The people are friendly, it has a fairly low level of crime and the food is fabulous. 

What's your favourite place to visit in the area? 

South Stack, with its 1809 lighthouse on Ynys Lawd. This is accessed by following 400 steps down the steep mainland cliffs. These are a magnet for climbers and home to hundreds of seabirds, including puffins during breeding season. 

An RSPB centre site in Elin's Tower offers great views of the nesting birds. 

For history buffs, there is access to the Ty Mawr Hut group, with visible remains of 10 stone-built hut circles thought to date from the Neolithic period through to Roman times.

The coastal path goes up Holyhead Mountain, past North Stack and into Breakwater Country Park, featuring scenic trails, birdwatching and a lake. 

Which campsites would you recommend, and why? 

Perhaps the best one is Tyddyn Isaf Camping and Caravan Park. This is located in Lligwy Bay in Dulas on the island's east coast, close to the Coastal Path, with cycling routes, horse riding and access to beaches and monuments. 

What food and drink is the area known for? 

Fresh fish, often seasoned with Halen Môn sea salt taken from the Menai Strait, is on the menus of many of the island's restaurants. The jams and marmalade from Beehive Preserves Jam Factory at Nanner Farm, Cemlyn, can be tasted on scones and bara brith - Welsh speckled bread. And there are two vineyards, one in Red Wharf Bay, another in Llanbadrig. The Anglesey Brewing Company produces craft beers and ciders. 

Tell us somewhere great to eat or drink! 

The best place is the Sea Shanty Café in Trearddur Bay, open between 9am and 9pm, and serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. It provides delicious seafood, but also caters for special diets, such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. 

The Tavern in St David's Bay and The Ship Inn and The Boathouse in Red Wharf Bay are also recommended, particularly for evening meals, and a number of restaurants and cafés in Beaumaris serve excellent food.

Where can you get spare kit? 

Many of the campsites have shops supplying accessories, but Bevan Caravan and Camping Supplies, a family-run business in Llangefni, offers everything from fuses and clothes to satellite dishes. 

Where can you find the cheapest petrol/diesel in the area?

There's a number of supermarkets on the island, with Tesco and Morrisons in Holyhead and Asda in Llangefni offering the cheapest prices. 

Where should you avoid when you're in the area? 

The Britannia Bridge is busy following ferry arrivals in Holyhead and during rush hours, and is sometimes closed to high-sided vehicles during windy weather. The Menai Bridge is narrow, so difficult to negotiate for wide 'vans, although buses use it. Beaumaris's narrow roads can become busy in the summer and during the Beaumaris Festivals, as can Menai Bridge when the Anglesey Food Festival is on. 

Share a secret highlight that only a local would know...

Perhaps only a few people would know that the coffin and lid of Joan, wife of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth and illegitimate daughter of King John, can be found in St Mary's and St Nicholas's Church in Beaumaris. 

RSPB Cors Ddyga near Pentre Berw is one of the largest lowland wetlands in Wales. It is also home to the Victorian Berw Colliery, the most visible remains of coal-mining on Anglesey and now a Scheduled Ancient Monument. 

Penmon boasts a splendid group of monuments. The 12th-century church has superb Romanesque decoration, and houses two 10th-century crosses. The abbey ruins date from the 1200s and behind these monuments is a holy well, now enclosed in a building with seats. There is also a splendid dovecote dating from the 16th century. 

Top five things to do in Anglesey

  1. Stretch your legs at South Stack Cliffs Nature Reserve, where the high cliffs are home to hundreds of seabirds and the 400-step descent to the lighthouse, built in 1809, affords great opportunities for birdwatching. 

  2. Amlwch Copper Kingdom is a unique landscape of pits that once formed the largest copper mine in the world, and has been mined since the Bronze Age, some 4,000 years ago. Learn all about it at The Copper Kingdom Centre.  

  3. Visit the captivating seaside town of Beaumaris, with its elegant pier that overlooks the Menai Strait, and take in the mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Don't miss the 13th century Beaumaris Castle, an immense and nearly perfectly symmetrical masterpiece that was to be the last of Edward I's 'Iron Ring' fortresses.

  4. Holyhead is home to the oldest lifeboat station in Wales - visit the Holyhead Maritime Museum to find out all about it and see a collection of exhibits that tell the maritime history of this sea-faring town.

  5. Follow the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path, which passes through farmland, coastal heath, dunes, salt-marsh, cliffs and woodland. Follow it right to the top of Holyhead Mountain (the highest point on the island) for spectacular views. 

When to visit Anglesey

The island has plenty to offer all year round, but is especially beautiful in summer, when you can enjoy those great beaches. Of course, this is also the busiest season, so beware that the Menai Bridge and roads around the island will be especially busy. 

How to get to Anglesey

There are two bridges across to the island; the Britannia Bridge carries the North Wales Expressway and the Menai Bridge is on the A5. The latter is narrow, and can be closed to high-sided vehicles in windy weather. 


Other nearby places