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Visitors to the Isle of Anglesey will find the lovely town of Beaumaris on the east coast, just across the Menai Strait from Penrhyn on the mainland. The town is famous for its castle, Georgian architecture, sea front and pier. It also has many good restaurants, cafes and arts and crafts shops making it the perfect destination for a quiet and relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of city living.

Beaumaris has a long and interesting history as a town. Although not founded properly until the end of the 13th century, there was originally a Viking settlement on the site, which was called Porth y Wygyr, or Port of the Vikings. The town later began life after Edward I of England completed his conquest of Wales, with the construction of Beaumaris Castle beginning in 1295.

This is how the town got its name – the workers on the castle were mostly French, and they referred to the marshland of the area as les beaux marais, “the beautiful marshes”. Beaumaris Castle, like many others that were constructed under the reign of King Edward, was designed by the master stonemason, James of St George. It is another of his famous concentric castles, though this one is widely regarded as the finest example.

The castle was under construction, on and off, until 1330. Unfortunately, it was never completed – funds were diverted to help finance Edward’s invasion of Scotland and, after a period in which building was recommenced after fears of a rebellion, the construction was eventually halted indefinitely.

Beaumaris Castle fell into ruin during the 17th century, but the 1800s saw it become part of a local stately home. Since the 21st century the property has been under the management of Cadw, ensuring that it is kept in the best possible condition and is open to tourists.

It is the main tourist attraction of the town nowadays, and for good reason: the castle is in a beautiful state, and is itself entirely magnificent, a true symbol of architectural majesty. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, part of the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd site, for its “outstanding universal value”.

Beaumaris also has a beautiful Victorian pier that offers a lovely seaside walk – why not take a picnic and enjoy a sandwich whilst looking out over the sea? The pier offers a number of boat excursions, too, including pleasure cruises and fishing trips along the Strait.

Known as the Anglesey Riviera, the area around Beaumaris has some truly fantastic beaches. The main beach is a long, sandy one, perfect for families and games, though dogs are restricted from May to September. Fishing opportunities are good here, with crabs being the most popular catch.

From Beaumaris, the rest of the lovely Isle of Anglesey is just a short journey away. With miles of beaches and some impressive castles, it’s a great place for a week or two’s holiday. Take a cruise out to Puffin Island and you’ll surely see that cute seabird, as well as – if you’re lucky – seals and dolphins. Click here to see our accommodation options on the Isle.

Location

Situated in the south east of the island of Anglesey it is easily reached from the 2 bridges joining Angleey to the mainland by following the coast road.

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