Anglesey AONB

Thrift, Porth Dafarch, Anglesey AONB, Wales
Thrift, Port Dafarch, Anglesey AONB, Wales ©

The Anglesey – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales. The area was the first designated AONB back in 1966, it is the largest AONB in Wales, in recognition of the qualities of the area and covers 221 square kilometres. The AONB covers approximately one third of the Isle of Anglesey and is well known for its fine coastal landscapes, natural scenery, open spaces, tranquillity and range of wildlife habitats and heritage.

The local population of approx 7,000 people live in local villages and towns located across the AONB such as Holyhead, Llangefni and Beaumaris. The area covered under the AONB designation covers an area starting from close to Amlwch in the north to Holyhead in the west to Newborough in the south to Beaumaris in the west. The area is of national importance for nature conservation and includes of Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI), National Nature Reserve (NNR) and Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

The key features and special qualities of Anglesey AONB include the unspoilt coastal landscape, natural environments including hills, mountains, range of wildlife habitats, cultural heritage and historical sites. The area is important for wildlife and habitats with a number of protected sites including local and national nature reserves. The key features combined with the remoteness, natural beauty and tranquillity makes the area special.

The main industries in the AONB include agriculture and tourism. The area provides a popular place for visitors and attracts visitors for day trips, short breaks, holidays and increasingly for a number of recreational activities. There are a number of scenic historic towns and villages located in the Holyhead, Llangefni and Beaumaris. Main settlements located close by include Bangor, Caernarfon and Conwy.

The area is popular for outdoor activities wildlife watching, wind surfing, water skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, walking and cycling with a range of routes and trails to explore. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery and inland landscapes that are among the very best in Wales.

Quick Facts

Anglesey Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty:

Year of Designation: 1966

Size in square kilometres: 221

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI): 31

National Nature Reserves (NNR): 1

Scheduled Ancient Monuments: 75

Special Protection Areas: 3

Main Settlements close by: Bangor, Caernarfon and Conwy.


The Anglesey AONB is located in the north west of Wales, the AONB also includes sections that are designated as Heritage Coast. Covering just over 30 miles of the coastline the open, undeveloped areas of coastline in the Heritage Coast covers areas around North Anglesey, Holyhead Mountain and Aberffraw Bay. The area is recognised for the its unspoilt natural beauty and landscapes and attracts in excess of 2 million visitors each year coming from across Wales, North West England and overseas.

The location of the Anglesey AONB in North Wales provides visitors with a relaxing getaway in a scenic setting away from the traffic and congestion of the towns and cities. The area is home to a fine naturally scenic coastline and impressive scenery landscapes in Wales and enjoy nature at its finest.

The AONB is one of 5 designated AONBs in Wales and is the largest of the AONBs located in Wales. The area produces a range of local produce that includes chocolate, wines and cheeses; much of the produce is organic. Visitors are drawn to the impressive sandy beaches and coastal landscapes; the area offers open spaces providing a great place to get away from it all. The area is home to Holyhead Mountain that reaches 220 metres (720 feet) making it the highest point in the AONB.

The AONB includes a number of small settlements and villages, the AONB area itself does not include any major cities falling within the AONB boundary, local settlements include as Holyhead and Beaumaris; visitors can discover a number of charming villages in the area.

The Anglesey AONB has a rich history and includes various scenic landscapes and environments for visitors to explore; the area is of national importance for its landscape, ecology and geology. Local towns located close to the AONB border include Bangor and Conwy to the east and Caernarfon to the south. The local towns provide convenient places from which visitors can tour the Anglesey AONB and surrounding areas in north Wales.

The Area of Outstanding Beauty area enjoys a similar level of protection given to National Parks meaning commercial development in the AONB area has been limited in order to help protect and maintain the special qualities of the area. The area offers plenty for visitors to see, do and enjoy, the proximity of the Isle of Anglesey to nearby Snowdonia National Park to the south east and the Llŷn AONB to the south means time permitting visitors could explore all three in a trip to the area.

The location in the south of Wales means the AONB is easily assessable from across Wales, the Midlands and north west England. From Newcastle, Durham and much of north east England the area is 4 to 4 hours 30 minutes by car, from Leeds it is 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours by car, from Birmingham and much of the Midlands it is 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes. From Liverpool and Manchester it is approx 2 hours.

From Cambridge and much of the East of England it is 4 hours 30 minutes to 5 hours by car. From Cardiff and South Wales it is 4 hours to 4 hours 30 minutes by car. From London and much of southern England it is 5 hours to 6 hours 30 minutes drive by car.

The Tourist Information Centre is located at Llanfair PG (Llanfairpwllgwyngyll) in the AONB. The tourist information centre can provide visitors with useful information, help, advice and tips on the AONB area and the surrounding areas.

The tourist information centres have knowledgeable staff with valuable local knowledge with information on local attractions, places of interest, things to see and do, along with local advice and tips. A visit to the tourist information centres provides a good first port of call for visitors helping to better plan and organise trips in and around the local area. At the centres visitors can find out about local events, public transport options and accommodation facilities.

Local Accommodation includes a range of hotels including historic and contemporary, B & B’s, Inns, Guest Houses, Self Catering houses, holiday homes and cottages. Local accommodation is available in Holyhead, Beaumaris and Llangefni. Towns located in the area including Conwy, Caernarfon and the city of Bangor, provide good access to local facilities and accommodation from which to explore the AONB and the surrounding local areas.

The Anglesey AONB provides a place for visitors to enjoy a quiet scenic haven along with panoramic views where it is possible to get away from it all. There are a number of small settlements in the AONB, many of the villages in the AONB have preserved their proud history, traditions and heritage remaining quintessential Welsh. The villages and surrounding areas include with a number of local attractions and places of interest to discover.

Local Towns and Villages include Holyhead located in the west of the AONB area. Holyhead is the largest town in the AONB, although it is not located on the isle of Anglesey with is located on Holy Island that is connected to Anglesey via the Four Mile Bridge. The town has a long history with evidence of Roman settlement and settlements dating back to prehistoric times with standing stones and circular huts.

Holyhead Port is a major local port and s popular port for ferries to and from Ireland. Local facilities and amenities include a choice of local shops with cinema, theatre and a choice of pubs and restaurants. The local facilities including a choice of accommodation makes Holyhead a popular place for visitors o base themselves from when exploring Anglesey.

Anglesey Farmers Market is held at Menai Bridge in the east of Anglesey. Held on the third Saturday of each month, visitors can find a wide range of food producers all in one place selling a range of food and drinks including fruits, vegetables, flours, cheeses, confectionery, condiments and more. There is a range of locally grown and organic produce. A visit to the market offers the best in local food and drink from enthusiastic local producers.

Anglesey Sea Zoo is the largest marine aquarium in Wales. The aquarium and conversation centre is located close to the village of Brynsiencyn in the south of the island approx 10 miles south of Llangefni. The aquarium is home to over 150 species of marine life, visitors can see daily feeds along with informative talks; there are live diving displays too.

Other attractions include the Pirate's Playground, the Cannon Blaster, Gator Swamp Boats, Bouncy Castle and Crazy Golf. Sea Safaris are available where visitors can go with a local expert guide on a voyage on the well known Menai Strait Swellies. Visitors can spot local mammals including seas, seabirds, and dolphins along with seeing some inspiring scenery.

Food, drinks, snacks and main meals are available at the Lighthouse Bistro that includes a choice of starters, main meals and desserts using fresh locally sourced ingredients. The Gift Shop sells pearls along with a choice of books, jewellery, local foods and a choice of souvenirs, gifts and mementos. A visit to the Anglesey Sea Zoo offers a fun and educational day out for the whole family.

Anglesey is well known for its Blue Flag sandy beaches with a great coastline and natural scenery; there is plenty of fun and adventure for the whole family fro traditional seaside fun, picnics and plenty of opportunities for water sports. Benllech Beach is located on the east of the island and is one of the most popular beaches in the area benefiting from fine golden sands and clear blue waters that are ideal for paddling and bathing.

Rhosneigr Beach is located in the west of the island; the area is known for its sandy beaches including Traeth Llydan and Traeth Crigyll and has established itself as a popular water sports centre. There are sand dunes and rocky outcrops whilst the natural environment makes it a great place for walking on the beach.

The Menai Strait is the narrow submerged valley that separates mainland Wales from the Isle of Anglesey. It is approx 15 miles long from Trwyn Penmon to Abermenai Point, there are sandy beaches, marine reefs and sea lifts along the route.

The area is part of the Menai Strait and Conwy Special Area of Conservation (SAC); the conservation status gives protection of special habitats and species at European level. The area is home to a number of wildlife species, the area has unique ecology and geomorphology.

Beaumaris is a town located in the east of the AONB, the seaside town is well know for its appealing mix of Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian architecture. The town includes a number of pubs, cafes and restaurants serving a choice of cuisines; there are a number of interesting independent shops in the town.

Visitors can explore the town by foot including walking along the seafront and pier where visitors are rewarded with views that stretch across to Snowdonia and the Menai Strait. The town includes a number of charming, picturesque cottages famous for their pastel colours. village located 4 miles to the south west of Pwllheli in the Anglesey Peninsula. Beaumaris Castle is one of the most popular attractions in Anglesey attracting many visitors to see the historic world heritage site.

Beaumaris Castle is located 13 miles to the east of Llangefni the AONB. Dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries the castle is part of the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd World Heritage Site. The castle is considered a prime example of 13th and 14th century military architecture and has been referred to as one of the most technically perfect castles in the UK.

Visitor highlights include the Towers, the Outer Ward includes twelve turrets that are surrounded by a moat. The Inner Ward includes thicker walls than is the case for the outer walls and includes the North and South Gatehouses.

Visitors can enjoy exploring the narrow passages and spiral tower, visitors are rewarded by seeing some wonderful scenery across the Menai Strait. The castle has plenty of history, charm and character offering an interesting day out.

Llangefni is the county town of Anglesey and the second largest settlement after Holyhead; located 15 miles east of Holyhead, it is centrally located on the island. The town is the main farming and commercial town on the island a coastal town that is located 7 miles north west from Pwllheli in the north of the Anglesey Peninsula.

The town includes a number of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants and the town plays host to open air markets on Thursdays and Saturdays where visitors have the chance to grab a bargain. The town offers visitors with a choice of accommodation facilities and its central geographic location make it a popular base for visitors when exploring the Isle of Anglesey.

Local attractions include Oriel Ynys Môn, an art gallery and museum. Visitors can see the history gallery and learn more about the history, environment and culture of Anglesey including the industrial heritage of the area and number of archaeological discoveries over the years. The museum recreates the island's history using artefacts, sights, pictures, sounds, reconstructs and audio-visual aids.

The art gallery includes a changing programme of exhibitions that cover drama, social history, sculpture and arts and crafts. Permanent exhibitions include a collection of works by Sir Kyffin Williams; a local artist and works from the internationally renowned painter Charles Tunnicliffe.

Walking offers visitors one of the most cost effective and environmentally friendly ways to discover the AONB and the surrounding areas, there are a number of popular walks in the area for visitors to try. The Anglesey AONB includes a choice of landscapes and terrain offering shorter and longer walks for walkers of all abilities. The routes pass through some of the most scenic and prettiest villages in the AONB and include a number of routes covering Heritage Routes, Geo Trails and Wildlife Walks.

The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path is 125 miles in length covering 95% of the coastline; the route passes through salt marsh, farmland, coastal heath, foreshore, cliffs and woodland. The route is divided into 12 sections starting from Holyhead and passing through 20 towns and villages directly. Highlights include Holyhead Mountain, Menai Suspension Bridge, South Stack Lighthouse and Cemlyn Nature Reserve.

Cycling provides a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to explore the Anglesey AONB. There are a number of quiet country lanes, bridleways, tracks and flat terrain to far more challenging terrain making the area suitable for cyclists of all abilities. The Lon Las Cymru NCN 8 is a 250 mile route that begins in Holyhead and includes sections that go through quiet roads on the island providing visitors with a great opportunity to get up close with a range of local wildlife and enjoy some great views.

Visitors to the Anglesey AONB in North Wales can enjoy a quiet, haven away from the crowds; the island is a place where visitors can explore a number of historic Welsh villages and towns in and around the AONB. A visit to the Anglesey AONB offers visitors a charming getaway that encompasses some of the finest landscapes, natural scenery and coastline in Wales.

How to Get There

Anglesey AONB is accessible by both car and public transport.

By Car:

The county town of Llangefni is centrally located close to the AONB; providing a convenient located from which to explore the area with a choice of accommodation, facilities and local amenities. Located approx 280 miles from central London. From London take the A40, then the M40 until junction 3A, then take the M42. From the M42 take the M6 until junction 20 and exit on to the M56 towards Chester & North Wales. From the M56 take the A494 and A55 and A5114 that goes to Llangefni. The approx journey time is 5 hours to 5 hours 30 minutes
depending on traffic and time of day.

By Train:

From London Euston station there are regular services to Holyhead train station. The journey time is approx 3 hours 40 minutes to 4 hours depending on service, connections and time of day. Services from London Euston to Holyhead are provided by Virgin Trains.

By Bus/Coach:

There are regular coaches available from London Victoria Coach station to Holyhead. The approx journey time is 7 hours to 7 hours 30 minutes depending on connections, time of day and traffic. Coach services to Pwllheli are provided by National Express

Contact Details

Anglesey AONB
Environment and Technical Services Directorate
Council Offices
LL77 7TW

Telephone: +44 (0)1248 752428 / +44(0)1248 752138

Website: Anglesey AONB


For Local Search and Directions see: Anglesey AONB Map

Tips & Other Considerations

The weather and climate can be unpredictable, there can be elements of all four seasons in one day. Ensure you check the weather forecast before you travel and have the correct clothing and footwear including comfortable walking shoes, fleece, raincoat and umbrella.

Follow travel advice and remain alert, vigilant and aware of your belongings at all times especially your wallet/purse and valuables and ensure they are hidden away from public view. If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to the Anglesey AONB in north Wales ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Use the journey planner for door to door directions. Check traffic updates before you travel.

If you are looking for car parking in and around the AONB, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking. The rules & regulations can be complex & confusing if you are unclear, it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, trams, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Disclaimer: The information given in on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If there are any discrepancies in no way do we intend to mislead. Important travel details and arrangements should be confirmed and verified with the relevant authorities.
Copyright © 2024 Essential Travel Guide Ltd. All Rights Reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced in any form or by any means without our written permission.