Holy Island Anglesey – the best secrets of the island

the most beautiful lighthouse in Wales UK

Holy Island and Anglesey

Anglesey consists of a few smaller islands such as Holy Island or tidal island – Ynys Llanddwyn. Undoubtedly, those are the most beautiful islands in North Wales. Amazing sandy beaches, breathtaking cliffs, and plenty of other attractions make this place a perfect holiday break. Moreover, the coast of Anglesey Isle is listed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The highest hills on the island include among others Holyhead Mountain at 220 meters (720 ft) or Mynydd Bodafon at 178 meters (584 ft). The hills are very spectacular with incredible views of the Irish Sea. During a nice weather Anglesey island looks more like Greece than the UK.

Holy Island, Anglesey

Holy Island, Anglesey

This part of Wales is also a home for a few lighthouses such as The Skerries, Point Lynas, Penmon, Goleudy Ynys Lawd, and many more. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Anglesey Isle. You can visit the fishing village Moelfre, see the castle of Beaumaris or explore lover’s island – Ynys Llanddwyn.

Ynys Llanddwyn island

Ynys Llanddwyn island

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How to get to Holy Island on the west coast of Anglesey?

South Stack Car Park postcode: LL65 1YH

It takes less than 30 minutes to drive from the mainland to Holy Island. After crossing the Pont Britannia bridge and driving next to Welsh town with the longest name “Llanfairpwll-gwyngyllgogerychwyrndrob” you will be at Holy Island shortly. Just continue the A55 North Wales Expressway that ends at beautiful Holyhead.

Goleudy Ynys Lawd lighthouse in Holy Island Anglesey

South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead

Why should you visit Holy Island on the west coast of Anglesey?

Just off the coast of Anglesey Island, you can visit a tiny lovely isle. Holy Island, also known as Holyhead is a home for one of the best lighthouses in the UK. The South Stack Lighthouse (Goleudy Ynys Lawd) with a height of 28m is set in a truly beautiful location.

South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead Holy Island Anglesey

South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead

Stunning cliffs with 400 zigzag steps leading to the lighthouse will definitely impress you. The South Stack cliffs are also a great spot for bird watching. Especially, between June and July, when you can see puffins.

steps leading to South Stack Lighthouse Holy Island Anglesey

Steps leading to South Stack Lighthouse

Elin’s Tower is the best place to watch wildlife on Holy Island. This white little tower set on cliffs has a shop and cafe, as well as an information center. Moreover, it is just a few minute’s walk from the South Stack Car Park.

View of Anglesey Island cliffs and Elin’s Tower Holy Island Anglesey

View of Anglesey Island cliffs and Elin’s Tower

South Stack lighthouse

Enormous cliffs with a height of 60 meters and the Irish Sea offer stunning views of Holy Island. Even though the lighthouse was built in 1809, a bridge was not constructed until 1828. Due to potential danger, the footbridge was closed in 1983. However, 15 years later, a new aluminum bridge was introduced that connects Holy Island with South Stack.

Holy Island lighthouse

South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead

Getting to Stack Bridge requires a lot of steps down. Also, you will need to be brave enough to cross it! If you want to visit the lighthouse, you can buy your ticket at RSPB South Stack. Climbing the spiral staircase in the South Stack lighthouse is one of the top things to do in Wales.

Looking at Elin’s Tower and Anglesey cliffs

Looking at Elin’s Tower and Anglesey cliffs

With over 400 steps and breathtaking views, you will want to stay on Holy Island as long as you can. Looking out for dolphins or seals will make your trip to North Wales really magical. You can also hike along the coastal path and take some incredible pictures with your backpacking camera.

Holy Island and Anglesey Island Map

On this map, you can find the top places to see in the Isle of Anglesey. However, make sure to get familiar with the history, geology, and secrets of the island before your trip. If you don’t, you might miss some of the most amazing attractions in Anglesey.

Anglesey is the biggest island that you can find in Wales and it is also the seventh-largest in the UK. The coastline of 140 miles (225km) offers amazing views of the oldest rock formations in the world. 16% of Wales Coast Path belongs to this island so if you want to explore the Welsh coast, visit Anglesey.

Ynys Llanddwyn island

Ynys Llanddwyn (tidal island on Anglesey)

There are several coastal paths to walk in Anglesey. Some of the popular locations are Holy Island, Ynys Llanddwyn, Church Bay, and Porth Tywyn Mawr. You can also walk from Amlwch Port to Parys Mountain to see the historic windmill. Colorful mountains or lighthouses are really unique to see on the island.

Ynys Llanddwyn lighthouses

Ynys Llanddwyn lighthouses

The names of the Anglesey island

Ynys Mon or Mon Mam Cymru (Mother of Wales) are just a few names of Anglesey Island. The name of Ynys Dywyll (Dark Island) is referring to a small number of forests in this part of Wales. Also known as the Island of the Brave due to its history. The name Anglesey comes from English and it refers to many angles on its irregular coast.

Ynys Llanddwyn

Ynys Llanddwyn (tidal island on Anglesey)

History of Anglesey Island

This flat and fertile island was like a magnet for Commander Suetonius Paulinus. He could easily invade Ireland due to its close location. In fact, there is a lot of evidence of Roman impact on the island.

Church’s ruins in Ynys Llanddwyn island

Church’s ruins in Ynys Llanddwyn island

There are also a lot of sites with religious significance in this area. In Ynys Llanddwyn island, the Welsh patron of lovers – St Dwynwen lived in isolation for sixty years. There is a big cross on the island and the church’s ruins. You can also visit St Cybi’s Church in Holyhead or St Patrick’s Church in Cemaes Bay. After the Roman period, there was the “Age of Saints” with plenty of monasteries in Penmon and Holyhead. Unfortunately, due to the Viking’s raids a lot of them were destroyed.

cross on tidal island Ynys Llanddwyn

Ynys Llanddwyn island

In the twelfth century, Anglesey was known as the Mother of Wales, because of its fertile land. This island was supplying the rest of the country with its grain. The population of Welsh island started to rise. Nowadays, you can find some of the sought-after locations to live with house prices over one million pounds.

Ynys Llanddwyn island

Ynys Llanddwyn island

Geology of Holy Island and Anglesey Island

The island has really interesting geology. Rocks on Anglesey Isle are from the Palaeozoic age. Due to Earth’s movements, some of them changed into metamorphic rocks. An increase in the sea level caused this part of Wales to become an island that is only 200 meters high. When visiting Anglesey, you will feel like exploring a completely different world. This is an unreal holiday destination to visit in the UK.

Traeth Llanddwyn beach in Anglesey

Traeth Llanddwyn beach in Anglesey

There is a lot of life evidence from the past on the island. Calcified microbes date 860 million years. In Holyhead Maritime Museum you can see the Mammoth jawbone! Moreover, there is also evidence of the ice age in Red Wharf Bay. Who wouldn’t want to explore such an interesting island?

Ynys Llanddwyn (tidal island on Anglesey)

Ynys Llanddwyn (tidal island on Anglesey)

You can also find pillow lava stones in Ynys Llanddwyn island or folded rocks in South Stack. The Paleozoic lagoon near Puffin Island is another great place to visit if you want to learn a bit more about geology. Brachiopods fossils or macrofossils are a few secrets of the island that you can see on the rocks. The limestone cliffs with protozoan shells will impress every explorer of the island!

Anglesey in North Wales

Coast of tidal island Ynys Llanddwyn

Why are Holy Island and Anglesey Island rocks so special?

Ordovician rocks, limestones, or oolitic ironstones are just a few types of rocks that you can see in Anglesey. Such a variety of shapes and colors makes this destination really unique. In some of the places, there is also the purple conglomerate.

Rocks in Anglesey

Rocks in Ynys Llanddwyn island

This island is a paradise for geologists. There are over 100 different rock types to explore and admire. Anglesey is also world-known for a rare type of rock – blueschist. This metavolcanic rock is one of the prettiest rocks that you can find on the island.

Beach in Ynys Llanddwyn Island

Beach in Ynys Llanddwyn Island

In lovely Amlwch Port, you can see a geological clock representing various types of rocks of Anglesey. Rocks on the island are really special and I have to admit that it is hard to find something similar to that across the country.

Beach in Ynys Llanddwyn Island

Beach in Ynys Llanddwyn Island

Anglesey beaches

Tiny Holy island has also a few amazing sandy beaches such as Traeth Llydan, Traeth Borth Wen, and Porth Diana Beach. All of them are lovely little bays between rock cliffs. You will also find more stunning beaches on Anglesey Island. Some of the best are Lligwy Beach, Traeth Benllech, Traeth Crigyll, Porth Tyn Tywyn or Traeth Mawr.

Beach in Ynys Llanddwyn Island

Beach in Ynys Llanddwyn Island

Anglesey Isle in North Wales is definitely one of the best beach destinations in the UK. Llanddwyn Bay offers an incredible amount of tiny beaches on Ynys Llanddwyn. Also, the long sandy Traeth Llanddwyn will make you fall in love with this island.

Traeth Llanddwyn beach in Anglesey

Traeth Llanddwyn beach in Anglesey

Surfing Anglesey

The west coast of Anglesey Isle is a perfect location for surfers. Rhosneigr is one of the most famous places on the island for windsurfing or kitesurfing. Long sandy beach, plenty of restaurants and shops in this small village makes it a great holiday destination in the UK.

Bae Malltraeth, Anglesey Isle

Bae Malltraeth, Anglesey Isle

Also, Aberffraw offers a lot of fun for surfers on the west coast of the island. With a plethora of beaches such as Silver Bay, Trearddur Bay Beach, and Church Bay everyone can find a great spot to enjoy surfing in Anglesey.

Anglesey, Wales beaches

Anglesey, Wales

Anglesey Circuit

Not only beach lovers will fall in love with this island, but also those who love fast cars. In Anglesey, you can find a motor racing track next to Porth Cwyfan. Instead of relaxing at the beach, you can have an amazing driving experience. Why not drive Formula race cars or watch motorsport shows? If you have an admission ticket for the event you can camp at the Anglesey Circuit. It is a fantastic idea to combine an unforgettable driving experience with exploring this lovely island. If you want to stay nearby the Anglesey Circuit there are some other options in Aberffraw or Rhosneigr. For example, Plas Bach, Ty Croes is not only within the reach from Anglesey Circuit or Traeth Mawr beach, but it is also a pet friendly holiday home.


Why should you visit Holy Island and Isle of Anglesey?

In Anglesey, you can explore amazing fortresses such as Beaumaris Castle. The Iron Ring of Castles also includes Conwy Castle which is only 35 minutes drive from Beaumaris. St Mary’s and St Nicholas’s Church or the Pier are other great places to visit in this charming town. However, the most stunning are beaches in Ynys Llanddwyn island so make sure to visit at least one of them.

Ynys Llanddwyn island

Ynys Llanddwyn island

One of the poets describes Anglesey as a “Gem among the seas”. Magnificent coves, sand dunes, and dramatic cliffs create beautiful scenery on the island. Anglesey offers plenty of coastal walks and hidden gems that you can enjoy during your holiday.

Despite the small size of the towns in Anglesey, they are very unique and rich in history. The main town, Holyhead with a ferry port has a good connection to Ireland. In less than 4 hours you can get to Dublin. You can also visit Llangefni, the capital of the island. With such a plethora of choices, you should definitely visit this beautiful location in North Wales.

Ynys Llanddwyn island

According to legend, the name of the island means “St. Dwynwen’s Church.” (in Wales St. Valentine is Dwynwen). You can see ruins of the church on Ynys Llanddwyn island with the shape of the cross. It is worth note that this is a very unusual plan for the churches in this area.

Church's ruins in Ynys Llanddwyn island

Church’s ruins in Ynys Llanddwyn island

On the west coast of Anglesey, you will also see some of the best beaches in Wales. Even with so many visitors on the island, you can find plenty of secluded spots. Tiny beaches set between cliffs make it a top destination to visit in Wales. Apart from the beaches, you will also enjoy beautiful lighthouses. Goleudy Twr Mawr and Goleudy Twr Bach remind me of windmills. Two white structures at a height of approximately 10 m are great landmarks of Ynys Llanddwyn island.

Twr Mawr and Twr Bach Anglesey ligthouses

Twr Mawr and Twr Bach, Ynys Llanddwyn island

How to get to Ynys Llanddwyn?

Newborough Warren & Ynys Llanddwyn Car Park postcode: LL61 6SG

Getting to Ynys Llanddwyn requires driving to Newborough Warren & Ynys Llanddwyn Car Park. The car park is big and has public toilets, however, it can get really busy. During summer you might expect long queues so make sure to arrive as early as possible.

Ynys Llanddwyn island

View from Ynys Llanddwyn island

It takes only 20 minutes to walk through the Newborough Forest or by Traeth Llanddwyn beach to get to Ynys Llanddwyn. This short hike is definitely worth it as you will find some of the best-hidden gems in the UK on this tiny island.

Ynys Llanddwyn island

Ynys Llanddwyn island

Things to do near Ynys Llanddwyn

Before going to Ynys Llanddwyn, you can relax at Traeth Llanddwyn beach or explore Newborough Forest. You will enjoy spectacular views of Snowdonia and Llanddwyn Bay. It is a great spot for a picnic with a family due to the Blue Flag of the beach and its thrilling location.

Traeth Llanddwyn beach

Traeth Llanddwyn beach

This place has one of the most beautiful dunes in the UK. Due to the wind, water, and rocky coast Newborough Warren is also a home for a diverse range of fauna and flora. For instance, in Newborough Forest, you can admire the Corsican pine trees, as well as red squirrels.

Twr Mawr and Twr Bach – the most beautiful lighthouses in Wales

In native Welsh, Twr Mawr means “great tower” and Twr Bach “small tower”. If you wonder why there are two lighthouses so close to each other, I have an answer for you. The incorrect location of Twr Bach is making it difficult for ships arriving from the west to see the lighthouse. As a result, Twr Mawr was built to take its role.

Twr Bach lighthouse in North Wales Holy Island Anglesey

Twr Bach lighthouse in North Wales

It is worth note that Twr Mawr is on a slightly higher point of the island. Also, it is more visible from the west and other directions. Since 1846 Twr Mawr has been working as a lighthouse for almost 130 years. However, a new navigation beacon in Twr Bach was introduced in 1975 so Twr Mawr stopped operating.

Twr Mawr lighthouse in Wales Holy Island Anglesey

Twr Mawr lighthouse in North Wales

Both of them are really interesting structures to see on Ynys Llanddwyn island. It takes 35 minutes to walk from Newborough Warren & Ynys Llanddwyn Car Park to the lighthouses. Keep an eye on the tides as an island might be not accessible when the tide is high.

Ynys Llanddwyn (tidal island on Anglesey)

Ynys Llanddwyn (tidal island on Anglesey)

Holy Island and Anglesey weather

Anglesey Island is exposed to strong winds due to its location. Only Ireland slightly protects it from the Atlantic’s winds. However, there are no extreme temperatures on the island and you can enjoy all four seasons. You can expect a bit more rain on Anglesey Island than in other parts of the UK. Nevertheless, the British weather can be sometimes unpredictable and you can enjoy great sunny days on this Welsh island.

 Ynys Llanddwyn island Holy Island Anglesey

Ynys Llanddwyn (tidal island on Anglesey)

Weather in summer

The average temperature in June or July is 15°C. It sounds very low, doesn’t it? The good news is I have experienced over 20°C in spring, so don’t give up on this beautiful island. It is a perfect place for a summer holiday in the UK. Even, the temperature might be a bit lower than in other parts of the country, you will enjoy hiking green hills or cycling on the island. Also, August is the best month for swimming when the sea temperature reaches 16°C. Of course, for those who don’t mind the cold Irish Sea.

Weather in autumn

You probably don’t want to visit the island in autumn as it rains a lot in October and November. If you do, bring your waterproof jacket and umbrella. The average temperature in October is 11°C and it drops to 8°C in November. Days on the island are short with only 2 hours of sunshine in November.

Weather in winter

There is not much sunshine on the island during winter. Only 2 hours in December and January, increasing to 3 hours in February. It is raining a bit less than in autumn, however, you need to still expect wet weather. The temperature might drop to 3°C so it can get really cold during winter.

Weather in spring

April and May have the lowest average rainfalls which makes spring a great time of the year to visit the island. You can expect 7 hours of sunshine in May. However, the sea temperature is the coldest this season. Nevertheless, if you plan to visit the island in spring there are still plenty of amazing things to do in Anglesey.

To sum up, the best seasons to visit this amazing island are definitely summer and spring. If you love swimming in the sea, visit Anglesey Isle in July, August, or September. Between April and July, you can enjoy a lot of dry days on the island. May and June with the longest hours of sunshine during the day are great months to explore Anglesey Island in North Wales.

Campsites in Anglesey

Brynteg Glamping

There are no hotels or campsites at Ynys Llanddwyn island. If you want to stay nearby choose Awelfryn Campsite. In just 10 minutes you can get to the beach and island car park. On the other hand, one of the most unique campsites on the island is Brynteg Glamping which is 40 minutes drive from Holy Head or Ynys Llanddwyn island.

The glamping pods offer an amazing stay for those that want to combine picturesque views with a bit of luxury. The site is pet-friendly so it is a great spot to relax with dogs. All of the pods have private bathrooms and outdoor hot tubes.

Anglesey hotels

Château Rhianfa

This is the most famous hotel on the island in the small town of Glyngarth. The Grade II listed Victorian mansion has a private beach set in the beautiful scenery. You can enjoy views of Snowdonia National Park or the shallow waters of the Menai Straits.

The Bulkeley Hotel

This hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the Beaumaris Sea Front. It is a perfect location for exploring castles in North Wales and admiring beautiful Anglesey Island. The Bulkeley Hotel is pet-friendly and has a lot of character as it dates back to 1832.

Tre-Ysgawen Hall & Spa

If you want to relax at the spa during your holiday visit a hotel in the heart of Anglesey Island. It has a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, and gym. You will also be able to enjoy delicious food in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant. The peaceful location of the hotel makes it a great place to unwind.

Anglesey private accommodations/cottages

Dafarn Newydd Studio

If you are looking for more privacy and want to feel like you are at home, book your stay in Dafarn Newydd Studio. Due to its central location, you will be able to get to Holyhead, Ynys Llanddwyn, or Beaumaris in less than 30 minutes.


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