Anglesey is an island off the north-west coast of Wales. The majority of Anglesey’s 70,000 residents are Welsh speakers and call their island by its Welsh name, Ynys Môn.
Anglesey is easily accessible from mainland Wales via bridges that span the Menai Strait. With its sandy beaches along its east and west coasts and dramatic cliffs interspersed with small bays along the northern coastline, historical towns and a packed programme of festivals celebrating food, music, culture and the outdoors it’s a popular holiday location. It’s also home to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the longest place name in Europe.
British Iron Age and Roman sites have been excavated on Anglesey and coins and ornaments discovered. The 13th Century Beaumaris Castle built by Edward I (a World Heritage Site) and Thomas Telford’s impressive suspension bridge, the once booming Copper Mine at Amlwch and ancient burial mounds like Barclodiad Y Gawres are all on this 276 square mile (715km2) island.
The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers 95% of the coast, passing through farmland, coastal heath, dunes, salt-marsh, foreshore, cliffs and a few small pockets of woodland. A number of the habitats in Anglesey have greater protection than the AONB designation including 6 Special Areas of Conservation; 4 Special Protection Areas and a National Nature Reserve. These protected habitats support a variety of wildlife such as harbour porpoises and marsh fritillary.
The geology of Anglesey is notably complex and is frequently used for geology field trips by schools and colleges.
Anglesey has a mild humid temperate climate with warm summers.
Much of Anglesey is used for relatively intensive cattle and sheep farming. Holyhead is the main area for industry, though aluminium smelting has declined significantly in the last decade. The island is also on one of the major routes from Britain to Ireland, via ferries from Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire and Dublin Port.