WALESIs­land AN­GLE­SEY,

Food and Travel (UK) - - British Isles -

Formed from some of the old­est rocks in the UK, this epic is­land off the north-west coast of Wales is steeped in his­tory and in­trigue. Its past is a sto­ry­book filled with saints, princes (Wil­liam), princesses (Kate), pi­o­neers and more re­cently stand-out co­me­di­ans; Dawn French is its most fa­mous daugh­ter.

Un­til a bloody mas­sacre by the Ro­man army in 60AD, it was the last strong­hold of the Celtic druids and they’ve left their mark all over the is­land. From the Bodewryd Stand­ing Stone to the Tŷ Newydd Burial Cham­ber, its fer­tile pas­tures hint at an­cient mys­ter­ies, adding in­ter­est to coun­try walks.

If more re­cent his­tory is your thing, 150 recog­nised mon­u­ments scat­tered through­out An­gle­sey’s 714sq km make for fan­tas­tic days out. Beau­maris Cas­tle is con­sid­ered by some as the most ar­chi­tec­turally per­fect in Bri­tain, Aml­wch was one of the big­gest cop­per mines in the world and for­ti­fied much of Nel­son’s fleet at Trafal­gar, while the ru­ins of St Dwyn­wen’s Church is one of the most ro­man­tic spots in the UK. Built on the tidal is­land Ynys Lland­dwyn, just beyond the vil­lage of New­bor­ough, it is named after a 5th-cen­tury princess who be­came the Welsh pa­tron saint of lovers fol­low­ing a nasty spell of heart­break. The Blue Flag beach has views over the Me­nai Strait and peaks of Snow­do­nia, and is backed by a pro­tected for­est where red squir­rels and ravens can be spot­ted ma­raud­ing in the coun­try­side.

You’ll need to book weeks ahead to bag a ta­ble at Sos­ban & the Old Butch­ers at Me­nai Bridge. Al­though its open­ing hours are as lim­ited as a vil­lage shop (Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day evenings and Satur­day lunch) and it has just 16 cov­ers, it was awarded a Miche­lin star in 2016. There is a sin­gle set menu avail­able daily.

The Bull in Beau­maris is a quaint, sea­side coach­ing inn that counts Charles Dick­ens among its for­mer guests. Ex­pect orig­i­nal beams and brightly pat­terned wall­pa­per. Dou­bles from £90. bull­sheadinn.co.uk

Vir­gin has di­rect ser­vices from Lon­don Eus­ton to Holy­head on An­gle­sey from £88 re­turn. Typ­i­cal travel time is un­der four hours. vir­gin­trains.co.uk

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