Is there a special somewhere for everybody? A place that tugs at the heartstrings and instantly transports you back to childhood. I’d like to think so. For me, that place is Rhosneigr.
In that small village on the west coast of Anglesey, my grandparents built the cottage that became the location for some of my happiest childhood memories.
In Rhosneir, I learnt to bodyboard and felt like the happiest kid in the world when I flew towards the beach on a wave. I lay on my creaky bed, devouring hundreds of books over the years. We had BBQ’s in the sun, sometimes cooking shrimps that we had caught in rock pools, or walked to the tasty fish ‘n’ chip shop. My parents bought us tiny flags on wooden sticks for our sandcastles and polystyrene glider planes that would snap within minutes. We paddle, sunbathe and repeat the family fable (hi Pete!) ‘Auntie Jean once slipped on moss’ when navigating slippery patches.
On almost every visit, we walk across the beaches until we reach this mound that is just visible from Broad Beach. This mysterious hole in the hill is actually a Neolithic burial chamber, ‘Barclodiad y Gawres’. It’s a really special place for our family to visit for a number of reasons these days but I have so many memories of triumphantly standing on the top, looking down on Cable Bay. The sea would sparkle in an incredibly deep shade of blue while the sand glowed in the sunlight. Nowadays, I ascend the hill towards it with aching legs, wondering how I used to run up it with such vigor!
Having such a familiar place to spend a few days here and there is a gift that I will forever feel lucky to have. There’s only intermittent 3G signal – the lack of internet now feeling freeing, rather than traumatic like it was in my teenage years – so instead, evenings were always spent playing cards or having an evening walk. From sitting on a bench with an ice cream to watching the sunset, it’s easy to look back on those memories and think how utterly perfect those Rhosneigr days were. And, yes, they still are.