Nestled on Anglesey’s north coast, far from the tourist-trodden paths, lies a treasure waiting to be discovered. This hidden gem, with its unexpectedly industrial charm and scenic allure, is where today’s journey into the top 10 things to do in Anglesey begins.
I’ve been lucky enough to live a 90-minute drive from Anglesey, an island connected to the North Wales coast by two bridges, for virtually my whole life. It’s chronically underrated compared to other coastal gems in the area – think bougie Abersoch and Llandudno’s quintessential seaside feel – so I’m really excited to shine a light on some of the best things to do in Anglesey. Let’s dive in.
Poth Wen Brickworks
In the shadows of more renowned attractions, Poth Wen Brickworks stands quietly, a testament to Anglesey’s industrial history.
You’ll catch your first glimpse of the breathtaking coastal views as you take the thin, rocky footpath down towards the site. As always, nature is gently reclaiming its space among the remnants of a brickmaking past, making Poth Wen Brickworks a magical place to spend an afternoon.
Wander in and out of the ruined buildings, set up a picnic on the cliffs overlooking the neighbouring beaches and even kayak out into the bay. You may even see the tents of wild campers spending the night here – an adventure I’m yet to experience but it’s on my list!
To find Poth Wen Brickworks, head for Torllwyn where you’ll find the closest access point to Porth Wen beach. There’s limited parking available in a couple of lay bys on the country road so I’d recommend arriving early to make the most of your day there.
South Stack Lighthouse
Our adventure takes a dramatic turn as we reach South Stack Lighthouse. Perched on towering cliffs, it offers a panoramic view of the Irish Sea and it’s equally beautiful if you’re blessed with beautifully blue skies or moody clouds – let’s be honest, the latter isn’t uncommon in Wales.
It’s undoubtedly a photographer’s (and Instagrammer’s) dream, with rugged beauty, crashing waves and even puffins nestled into the craggy coastline! You can walk out to the island’s lighthouse – although it’s a steep 400+ step stairway so come prepared with flat shoes – and if you visit between April – October, you can even take a tour of the former engine room. It’s not in use any more – the lighthouse has been running using an automated electric lightbulb since the 1980s – but it’s still an interesting thing to do.
Located near Holyhead, South Stack Lighthouse is accessible by car with plenty of parking and picnic benches where you can set up for lunch with a view.
Our next stop is my absolute favourite as we head to Rhosneigr, the town featured in many of my happiest memories. It’s small but has rapidly grown in popularity over recent years, resulting in the quaint 70s bungalows starting to give way to luxurious glass-fronted beach houses.
For couples seeking a romantic stroll along the shoreline, families searching for a classic British summer or friends ready to catch the waves, Rhosneigr is a haven. The best beaches to explore are Traeth Llydan and Traeth Cymyran, as they both have great, shallow swimming and gorgeous views of Snowdonia on a clear day. If you’re into water sports, Traeth Crigyll is where you want to be! Both Cymyran and Crigyll are located right next to RAF Valley so there’s also the chance of seeing (although you’ll hear it first) a military jet take off.
The popularity makes it super busy in the summer months, but with a lovely atmosphere where you can still enjoy an ice cream from Chaplin’s Ice Cream & Coffee Bar, grab a reliably delicious chippy from Scarlett’s (although don’t miss out – it’s only open until 8pm!) or even treat yourself to dinner behind the beach at The Oyster Catcher.
Rhosneigr is easily accessible from the A4080 so if you’re driving around the island, it’s an absolute must-visit.
Barclodiad y Gawres Burial Chamber
Delving into Anglesey’s ancient mysteries, we arrive at Barclodiad y Gawres Burial Chamber. This Neolithic site, with its ancient carvings and mystical aura, transports you back in time. It enjoys stunning views over Cable Bay too, making it a great location for a walk after you’ve spent a day frolicking on the beach.
It’s located near the village of Aberffraw on the southwest coast, although you can enjoy a beautiful walk there across the beaches from Rhosneigr in just over an hour which is usually how I visit. It holds a special meaning to my family but will add a touch of mystery to anybody’s Anglesey adventure.
Next up, enchanting pine forests give way to Newborough Beach, arguably the most stunning part of Anglesey’s coastline. For any Scousers reading – it’s the Formby of Anglesey.
Newborough Forest is a nature lover’s paradise – keep your eye out for red squirrels – and the wide expanse of golden sands overlooking Snowdonia is absolutely perfect for a summer’s day out.
Make sure you check the tide times before visiting: walking out to the lighthouse on Ynys Llanddwyn (Llanddwyn island) is an absolute must-do. It’s a narrow stretch of land that makes for a fantastic picnic spot, not to mention the ruins of St Dwynwen’s Chapel – she’s the patron saint of lovers who marks the Welsh equivalent of Valentine’s day – and the incredibly photogenic lighthouse.
Of all the things to do in Anglesey, this is undoubtedly one of the best.
RibRide Adventure Boat Tours
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, RibRide offers a thrilling nautical escapade. Hold on tight as you speed over the waves, exploring the rugged coastline and sea caves with plenty of fun facts to learn about the area too. They even zip up to Ynys Seiriol, or Puffin Island, but I’ll save more details on that for later!
It departs from Menai Bridge and you’ll speed up towards Beaumaris – as the area’s famous for racing, it’s a particular treat if you’re onboard around that time for a spectacular view of all the boats from the water.
RibRide is easily accessible by car or public transport so why not add a splash of excitement to your Anglesey adventure?
For a touch of grandeur, Plas Newydd beckons. Surrounded by lush gardens and overlooking the Menai Strait, this National Trust property offers a taste of Anglesey’s aristocratic past. Whether you choose to stroll through the opulent interiors or enjoy a picnic in the sprawling grounds, Plas Newydd is a stunning trip to make while you’re in Anglesey for the view alone.
We visited during the pandemic so I’ve only experienced the beautifully landscaped grounds but I can’t wait to go back to check out inside one day.
It’s situated near the town with the world’s longest name – that’s Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – or alternately, you can get to it easily by car, as with everywhere else on your Anglesey to-do list. Look left as you drive across the Britannia Bridge and you’ll see Plas Newydd there!
Stepping back in time, we arrive at Beaumaris Castle – a masterpiece of medieval architecture. Honestly, I’m not one to go inside every castle I see but this is one that’s really worth a visit to explore the rich history within its stone walls.
I visited Beaumaris Castle one weekend in April when they were hosting a medieval festival in the grounds which added to the experience even more, but even without it’s well worth a visit!
Beaumaris is located on Anglesey’s South East corner, making it super accessible by road from both bridges.
Red Boat Ice Cream
A short stroll from the castle leads us to Red Boat Ice Cream, my favourite place to treat my sweet tooth in Anglesey. Red Boat Ice Cream is so good that it’s sold all over Wales and they change up the flavours all the time: my top recommendations include Biscoff, Jelly Baby (trust me) and even Ginger Nut!
Take your cone to sit on the waterfront – it’s the ideal place to relax and savour the moment, as well as the ice cream.
Penmon Point/Puffin Island
As we conclude our circular journey around Anglesey, we find ourselves at Penmon Point with Puffin Island in the distance. The serene beauty of the point and the possibility of spotting puffins make it a fitting end to your Anglesey adventure – although I’ve got to say, it catches the morning sun beautifully too.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or simply seeking a peaceful moment, Penmon Point delivers. It’s a short drive from Beaumaris, so you can tie it into a complete day trip if you don’t have much time to spare.
Are you looking for a place to stay in Anglesey? The whole island is easily driveable by car so pick the area with the facilities that work best for you. I book most of my travel accommodation via Booking.com!
And that’s it, all of my absolute best recommendations for things to do in Anglesey – have a wonderful trip! If you have any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them.