Anglesey Road Trip: The Best Things to See and Do on the Island of Anglesey

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If you’re visiting North Wales, a short hop across the Menai Strait to Anglesey is a must. There are beautiful, secluded beaches, places of ancient historical interest, not to mention a mountain whose heart was gouged out by man.

In this article we will share the stories of our road trips around Anglesey in our motorhome, exploring the best things to see and do on the island. And we’ll show you one of the best places we’ve ever wild-camped.

Let’s go…

Anglesey road trip: old map of Anglesey and Holyhead

How to get to Anglesey

Anglesey is a small island off the north west of Wales, accessed by a road bridge over the Menai Strait.

If you want to get away from the tourists of North Wales and Snowdonia a visit to Anglesey must be on your itinerary.

One evening we were just meandering along the A55 coastal road of mainland north Wales when we found ourselves getting closer and closer to the Menai Strait. It was as if our old van wanted to see what was over there, on the other side of the water.

Crossing Thomas Telford’s 1826 Suspension Bridge and following narrow, winding roads toward Newborough felt like entering another world.

Back in 2018 we wild-camped by the Menai Strait, looking across to the mainland and the mountains, giving us beautiful views in the fading light.

ROAD TRIP TIP: Since the pandemic things have changed and we’re not sure you’d be able to wild camp by the Menai Strait now without getting into trouble with the authorities. Best to find a local campsite (see below)

RELATED CONTENT: Is it legal to wild camp in a campervan in Wales?

Wildcamping on our Anglesey road trip by the Menai Strait, Wales
Wild camping in Wales: over-looking the Menai Strait and the mountains of Snowdonia

Standing stones and burial chambers on Anglesey

One of the missions on our latest Anglesey road trip was to discover some of the ancient sites on the island. Inspired by Julian Cope’s epic book, The Modern Antiquarian, we went in search of standing stones and burial chambers.

At Plas Newydd House (owned by the National Trust) we headed straight for the burial chamber dolmen, situated in the middle of a wild flower meadow within the grounds of the house.

Then, just a few miles east and down little country lanes, we found Bryn Celli Ddu – another ancient burial chamber – sometimes referred to as “The Mound in the Dark Grove”.

Originally a henge (bank and ditch) and stone circle, this was later replaced by a burial chamber. As the sun rises on the summer solstice, a shaft of light courses along the corridor and illuminates the chamber.

On our visit a ceremony was taking place inside the chamber. The heady smell of incense drew us toward the entrance then right on in…

RELATED CONTENT: See our page on ley lines, labyrinths and stone circles in the UK

Other ancient sites on Anglesey

There are many other ancient sites dotted around the island of Anglesey such as…

The problem for us was our mode of transport; it’s not easy getting a motorhome down some of the single track country lanes. It will be much easier to find these sites if you’re travelling by car, smaller campervan, or motorbike. Even then, you’ll need to be prepared to walk across fields for some distance. An Ordnance Survey Map would come in handy too.

We traipsed for what seemed like hours in search of the three standing stones of Meini Hirion, all to no avail. Yes, we sighted them in the distance behind an old stone wall but were unable to find a way to get close to them, thwarted by privately owned land and cattle who eyed us suspiciously.

So, we changed tactic and were keen to explore what else we could find on this Anglesey road trip…

RAF Valley and the Red Arrows

Heading north west, we took a wrong turn off a roundabout and ended up driving onto an airbase – RAF Valley. Was that a Hawk T1A on the runway? Sure enough, the Red Arrows were in town, prepping for a display.

They are not usually based here so it was pure luck that we got to see them. We parked the van in the viewing area and spent the day alongside several other plane spotters watching Hawks and Texans fill the sky on their practise flights. The Red Arrows even blasted out their smoke on the final run.

A Red Arrow Hawk T1A, RAF Valley, Anglesey
A Red Arrow T1A Hawk – and our VW T4 Cree!

If you love plane spotting put RAF Valley on your Anglesey itinerary. But it’s not just planes you’ll see here; follow a footpath by the viewing area and you’ll soon find a secluded beach overlooking Cymyran Bay. Perfect for a picnic or stroll.

RELATED CONTENT: Love planes? See our page on RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk

Holyhead mountain

Next day, after exploring and relaxing for a couple of hours at the beautiful Trearddur Bay, we followed the coastal path and at South Stack signed up to join the RSPB. We’d had no intention of becoming members but, once again, this island seemed to be weaving some kind of spell on us.

Thousands of Gannets noisily clung to the cliffs whilst we continued all the way up Holyhead mountain, some 700 feet above sea level. From the top we had panoramic views out to sea and inland (and with binoculars could see the planes coming and going back at the RAF base).

Anglesey road trip: things to see and do on the island of Anglesey: Holyhead mountain
Hobo Trudi atop Holyhead Mountain (with the ferry terminal in the background)

Heading back to the van, we stumbled upon an old wooden sign that would once again take us back in time, some 2500 years…

South Stack hut circles

Wandering just a short distance through the grass, we found the remains of an Iron Age settlement – the South Stack Hut Circles – scattered on the hillside.

For the next couple of hours as we explored these stone huts an ancestral spirit took hold, giving us a sense of what life must have been like on this harsh wind-swept island

We’d entered a liminal space and for a while lost track of time. Anglesey does that to you anyway, but here we felt it even more viscerally.

Circle Huts at South Stack, Holy Island, Anglesey
Hobo Trudi in one of the many Iron Age hut circles

Campsites on Anglesey

There are campsites dotted all over Anglesey. Some are open to anyone, others require membership of either the Caravan and Motorhome Club or the Camping and Caravanning Club. We prefer the smaller sites that allow only 5 units.

On our visits we’ve stayed at two CL sites: Bunwerth Farm (near Trearddur Bay) and another small site called Gorphwysfa (at Tregale near Camaes Bay). At the latter we had a sumptuous full English breakfast, provided by the site owners, Sue and Phil. Well worth a stay, if only for that!

Related content: Read our advice about campsites in the UK

In the village of Cemaes, the most northerly village in Wales we enjoyed a relaxing evening, eating out in the village centre and wandering around the bay.

Next morning, just before we left, the campsite owner suggested we visit the nearby copper mine. Stoked with curiosity, this Anglesey road trip was about to get even better…

Parys Mountain – requiem massive

As we approached, along the A5025, we could see some reddish-coloured rocks on the horizon. Before long Parys Mountain loomed large. (Although the car park has a height barrier you can park a motorhome in the layby opposite).

We had been vaguely impressed by what we’d read in the leaflet, but nothing prepared us for the experience to come…

Walking amongst rocks coloured gold, purple and copper, we were ore-struck. Yes, a dreadful pun but fully intended…

We were immersed in the beauty of the natural rock, the colours like autumn leaves or the embers of a fire as the sun came and went.

Dr Who and other TV dramas have been filmed here on Parys Mountain and you can see why; the terrain is not of this world. It is bleak yet beautiful, like a rocky planet orbiting another star.

Anglesey road trip: things to do and places to see on Anglesey: Parys Mountain
The other-worldly landscape of Parys Mountain

Then we saw the hollowed-out remains of the mountain, like an animal killed and gutted, left to bleed and rot in the wind by its satiated predator, its life blood staining what was left of its arteries and veins.

A huge wound on the face of the earth, we descended into the carcass, the beautiful innards of this decaying body…

And found total peace.

Timelessness and silence on Anglesey

Little grows on Parys Mountain. Plant life is sparse and few creatures seem to venture in. There is a silence (like we experienced earlier in the burial chambers), a silence which emphasises the magnificence, yet mourns the mountain.

The silence stilled our thoughts, a stillness touched by an unease at the devastation visited upon this gentle giant. Mankind is a cruel race.

Finding a small cave we sat for… well, we cannot say how long.

We love mountains – they have a personality to us. The crater at Parys Mountain is indeed a beautiful place…yet it is the exposed belly of a beaten and beheaded behemoth, lain to waste. 

For the umpteenth time on our visits to this enchanted island time stood still. Amidst the depths of this crater, contemplating what humans had done, the clock stopped for us just as it had for this mountain when her coppery heart was dug out.

Before we end this article we’d like to cover a few other things you might like to know before you visit Anglesey. Plus there’s an extensive list of the best things to see and do on Anglesey and Holy Island.

What’s motorhome parking like on Anglesey?

If you’re touring Anglesey by motorhome it’s good to know where you can park. Our research shows three council owned car parks with height restrictions (which is no good for RVs and campervans)…

Menai Bridge – Coed Cyrnol – 6ft 6inch.

Trearddur Bay – Lon St Ffraid – 6ft 6inch.

Trearddur Bay – Fron Towyn – 6ft 6inch.

For the most part, you’ll be able to find car parks without height barriers so it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Can you wild camp on Anglesey?

Unless specifically allowed, overnight sleeping/cooking/camping in motorhomes is generally banned in car parks and laybys throughout the whole of Wales, including Anglesey.

A lone van which isn’t causing any problems is usually ignored by passing police and locals. But it’s a risk you have to take.

When we wild-camped by the Menai Strait back in 2018 the world was different. Pre-pandemic, it was easier. Now authorities have clamped down.

Over the last couple of years signs have been put up at just about every car park and layby, forbidding overnight parking or sleeping in motorhomes.

However, recently authorities have been unable to force motorhomers to move on because many no-overnight camping signs have been vandalised or removed entirely! We’re not condoning vandalism but it just goes to show how strongly people feel about it.

RELATED CONTENT: Read our top tips about wild camping in a motorhome

On our latest visit we chose to stay on CL campsites rather than wild camp (at an average price of £20 per night, including electric hook up).

Other things to see and do on Anglesey

This is a list of other places we haven’t mentioned in the article above. It is arranged in an anti-clockwise coastal route (heading along the north east coast) from the Menai bridges onto Anglesey. It is not guaranteed that a motorhome will get you close to all of these. Where we know that there is parking, we have mentioned it. We would expect the modern attractions to offer parking big enough for RVs.

Although we have used the 160 mile coastline as our guide, some of the places listed here are inland.

Llanfair P.G. – short for Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – “The church of St. Mary in a hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and near St. Tysilio’s church by the red cave”. An imaginative village name – coined in the 19th century for the tourists. It works!

Pili Palas Nature World – indoor and outdoor play areas, a cafe…and loads of wildlife! Perfect day out for the kids.

Plas Penmyndd – the place (if not the actual house) where the Tudor dynasty began.

Beaumaris Castle – work commenced on this castle in the 1270s by Edward 1st as part of a line of defences against Scottish invasion after he defeated the Welsh princes but it was never finished. (Projects going over budget is not just a modern problem, it would seem). The castle still looks like a proper castle and will delight the kids! The castle car park accepts motorhomes. Beaumaris village has plenty of facilities with an old gaol and a courthouse. There is also a pier with boat trips during the summer.

Pant y Saer – Neolithic burial chamber near Benllech.

LLanddyfnan Standing Stone – easily spotted from the B5109 between Pentraeth and Talwrn.

Red Wharf Bay

Continuing along the coastal road heading north…

Holy Penmon – Penmon Priory – a collection of Holy buildings including St Seriol’s monastery, St Seriol’s Well, two Medieval High Crosses housed in the church, a Dovecot built in around 1600, views of Ynys Seriol – Seriol’s Island (Puffin Island) where further monastic buildings were erected.

Red Wharf Bay – a stunning part of a beautiful coastline!

Benllech – a pretty village where a motorhome can restock and refresh. And we have heard of a car park in the village without “No Overnight Parking” signs. If this is still the case, give Benllech your love and custom and #leavenotrace!

The Dingle (Nant y Pandy) Nature Reserve (inland) a 25 acre wooded valley.

Moelfre to Amlwch

Lligwy Cromlech – a Neolithic burial chamber. This is down a small side road off the A5025 from LLanallgo village. Footpaths lead to Hen Capel Lligwy and Din Lligwy ancient settlement.

Parys Mountain – The Copper Kingdom – yes, we’ve spoken about this above but had to include it on this list. You must go!

Amlwch – a gorgeous port and beach. And parking. Somewhere to stock up the provisions.

Dynas Gynfor near Llanbadrig – the site of a hillfort, now a site of special scientific interest.

Cemaes to Holyhead

Cemaes Bay – a lovely village with a romantic bay with rock pools, smooth sand and walks along the coastal footpath. There are pubs and shops and parking.

Mein Hirion – LLanfechell We know now that Mein Hirion means standing stones! These three 6′ tall giants are also known as the Llanfechell Triangle. We saw them from a distance but couldn’t find the right way to get close to them.

Holy Island

Holy Island Ty Maur Huts – Celtic Iron Age Huts. Often referred to as Cytiau’r Gwyddelod – Irishmen’s Huts. Open all year round, parking in conjunction with South Stack. For the historian, the field systems in this area are well worth studying.

Holy Island South Stack bird reserve and lighthouse – Anglesey’s most westerly point. Views of the Llyn peninsula and Bardsey Island are the icing on the cake. The 1809 lighthouse is open during the summer only and there are lower height restrictions for anyone wanting to climb the tower. The RSPB manage much of the cliff area and the wardens are always delighted to point out the birds and nests.

Holy Island Ffynnon Gwenfaen – St Gwenfaen’s Well, an early Medieval Holy Well.

Ty Newdd to Plas Newydd

Continuing south from Holyhead…

Presaddfed Burial Chamber – on the southern shores of Llyn Llywenan, Anglesey’s largest natural lake. The site comprises of two Neolithic chamber tombs.

Ty Newydd Burial Chambers – Neolithic with faint art work on the cap stone.

RAF Valley – if you love plane spotting, you’ll love this place. And if you’re lucky like we were, you might even get to see the Red Arrows!

Barclodyad a Gawres – a reconstructed cruciform burial chamber, akin to Newgrange in Ireland with similar spiral markings on some stones. Access is only available with prior permission of the site owners due to vandalism.

Bryn Celli Ddu – we’ve covered this above but here’s more info about “The Mound in the Dark Grove”.

Anglesey Model Village – on the A4080 between Newborough and Dwyran. A lovely day out for adults and kids alike.

Tacla Taid – transport and agricultural museum and cafe.

Bodowyr burial chamber – off the B4419. Another Neolithic burial chamber well worth a visit.

Anglesey Sea Zoo – a small aquatic zoo with a cafe and gift shop. A great day out for the kids.

Foel Farm Park – a petting zoo with tractor rides and bouncy castle. Highly recommended for youngsters according to our research.

Plas Newydd – a country house dating from 1470 set in gardens, parkland and woodland. Owned by the National Trust and, as we mentioned above in the main article, you’ll find an ancient burial chamber/dolmen in the grounds.

More great places and road trips in Wales…

We hope you’ve found this page entertaining and informative. Have you been to Anglesey? Have you visited any of the ancient sites? What about wild camping in your RV? Please tell us your story via email.

If you love Wales as much as us read our other road trip stories: the Horseshoe Pass, the West Coast of Wales and the Llyn Peninsula, and the spectacular drive from the Brecon Beacons to the Elan Valley.

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Want to make your road trips more epic? Read the stories of our 7 road trip pilgrimages in Meeting God in a Motorhome – our new ebook out now…

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