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