Anglesey, the island which started my love of camping back in 1997, lies just off the north west coast of Wales and is connected to the mainland by the Britannia bridge and the Menai bridge. Low lying and very green, with 'mountains' spaced evenly over the north, the island covers an area of 276 square miles and almost three quarters of its inhabitants speak Welsh. It consists mainly of villages with just a few small towns, one of which has the longest official place name in Europe - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch - and the port of Holyhead where Stena Line and Irish Ferries make regular crossings to Dublin and Dun Laoghaire in Southern Ireland.
The entire coastline of Anglesey is designated an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the 125 mile Anglesey Coastal Path, with its official start and end point at St. Cybi's church in Holyhead, follows 95% of the coast. The path passes through farmland, heath, woodland, salt marsh, dunes, cliffs and foreshore and caters primarily for walkers, although cyclists and horse riders can also use certain sections. The route is divided into twelve sections, and anyone who completes the full 125 miles is rewarded with a badge and a certificate recognising this achievement.
Inland Anglesey is home to a few natural lakes and two large man-made reservoirs which supply water to the island, though rivers are few and small. Wildlife on and around the island includes seals and porpoises which can be seen at various points around the coast, and two colonies of red squirrels. Ellins Tower near South Stack lighthouse is managed by the RSPB and provides a good vantage point for watching breeding colonies of sea birds on the nearby cliffs - binoculars and telescopes are provided.
There are many wide sandy beaches and smaller coves around the island which are ideal for families with kids, and sailing, wind surfing and jet skiing are popular water sports. There are too many attractions and places of interest to mention them all but they include a go-kart circuit, Anglesey Sea Zoo, Beaumaris Castle, model village and gardens, Marquess of Anglesey Column, Pili Palas butterfly and bird house, Amlwch Copper Kingdom, Plas Newydd country house, Anglesey Riding Centre and RibRide boat trips. Places to stay range from small B & Bs to larger hotels, and camping and caravan sites are plentiful across the whole of the island.
So there you have it - a brief guide to Anglesey, and if anyone wants to know why I love it so much then why not check back through the blog archives and look at the photos. Who knows - this post may even have inspired some readers to go there in the near future and experience this lovely island for themselves.