An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Distance: 157 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Method: Road cycling
Wow Factor: 8 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: North Wales
  • Size: 71,480 ha
  • Terrain: Mostly minor roads
  • Access: Road bridge
  • Height gain: 2691 metres
  • Map: Explorer 262 & 263
  • Starting point: Castle car park, Beaumaris (LL58 8RA; GR 53.265531, -4.088120)
  • Accommodation/food:

    There is a full range of accommodation and food throughout this route

  • Island Summary:

    Anglesey is the largest island in Wales, has the second highest island-population in Britain and is stacked with vast beaches, rugged coastline, forests, ancient history and delicious local food. There are a number of real highlights on this route including Menai Bridge, the first modern suspension bridge in the world; the historic copper exporting port of Amlwch; the world heritage site of Beaumaris Castle; the water sport mecca of Rhosneigr; along with a number of glorious beaches and seaside villages.

  • Look out for:
    • Exploring the old port of Amlwch
    • Finding the lost lanes of Anglesey
    • Stretching your legs alongside the swirling waters of Menai Strait
    • Cycling the lanes through the dunes near Aberffraw
  • Route description:

    This is a full circumnavigation of the island mostly using tranquil and quiet island lanes. Most routes published by others use the main roads which can get very busy and fast. The route keeps as close as possible to the coast and stops at various picturesque ports and villages, with plenty of opportunities to sample local fare, enjoy the beaches and explore the numerous points of interest.

    It is possible to start at any point on this route, or to split it into two days. Our start point is from Beaumaris with a ride along the quiet lanes to the picturesque fishing village of Moelfre. It rounds the northeast tip past the historic industrial port of Amlwch before dropping into beautiful Cemaes Bay.

    Heading south on the quiet lanes to Valley, the peace is often disturbed by low flying jets and it can be quite a buzz cycling alongside the runway. The route continues to the impressive sands and water sports mecca of Rhosneigr and on through the dunes behind the beach of Aberffraw. Using the small lanes the route goes through Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll (boasting the longest name for a rail station in the UK) and on to Menai Bridge. This makes a good place for a stop to walk to the base of the suspension bridge and watch the turbulent waters running through the Strait.

    The last leg again uses the quiet lanes to return to Beaumaris.

  • Getting there:

    The A55 North Wales Expressway links Holyhead with the UK motorway network; there are regular express trains from Holyhead; fast ferries link Dublin and Holyhead; and a scheduled air service from Cardiff

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