Outward Bound Sea School
Sent here by my employers Southend Constabulary during late Fall of 1963. A great character building school, although a month here in the dark, cold and wet of a November did not at the time, seem to have been such a good ideaRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- Sailing and Boating
Din Lligwy ancient settlement
Most intriguing, this place. You walk across fields and then up a wooded slope to find the walled remains of what was certainly a Romano-British defended settlement, and quite possibly an Iron Age settlement before that. It's particularly fascinating as it includes both round and rectangular buildings (there were no corners in the UK until the Romans arrived); excavation suggests that the rectangular buildings were workshops, the round ones homes.
They weren't poor folk. Excavation of one hut found Roman pottery, coins, a glass jug and a silver ingot (so it's suggested it was the chieftain's hut, of course). One of the rectangular buildings was used for smelting iron; perhaps that was how they made their income?
There's a Neolithic tomb nearby, though I didn't manage to find it before my time ran out.
Good parking at the side of the road, but access for people with mobility problems isn't possible; it's the stone steps over a wall thing again.
Details and directions on the BBC . The site is signed from the roundabout on the A5025, SW of Moelfre.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Bryn Celli Dhu
A Neolithic site of many phases, this. Originally a 'henge', a band-and-ditched circle, then a passage grave built within, then finally a cairn (though not completed). It reminded me very much of Maes Howe on Orkney.
What you see is restored to some extent, of course. and the decorated stone at one end(spirals) is a replica (the real one is in the National Museum of Wales). But it's still a fascinating and atmospheric place (and I was pleased to see flowers laid inside, as is so often the case in such monuments nowadays).
There's a nice 5-minute walk through fields alongside a stream to get there (on a surfaced path) but there's no access for people with mobility problems; you have to climb over a wall (with stone steps) to get to the path. Might be worth taking a torch on gloomy days too, because it's dim inside. Free 24-hour entrance. Details of how to get there on weblink, but is signposted off the A4080.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
This priory has remains dating back over 1000 years. Tucked away at the furthest point of the NE coast, it used to be a place of peaceful exploration for me. Now it's better-known, but the tiny lanes leading to it at least stop too many coaches and cars getting there.
The monastery is supposed to have been founded in the 6th century by St Seiriol (whose holy well is within walking distance).
In the 16th century the landowners enclosed the land to make a deer park (huge walls still remain) and built a rather good large dovecote. This provided both eggs and meat; rather fascinating to see how organised the inside nesting areas were.
Worth a visit though, sadly, the local landowner now charges 2GBP for the privilege of parking (and access to the point itself). That's why there's a man in the far distance of one photo looking at me rather crossly (because I wouldn't pay, turned round and just stopped up the road for the photo).Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Parys Mountain..as seen on Dr Who!
Weird place this, worth an hour or so of exploration. The mountain has been mined for copper ever since the Bronze age (recent archaeological exploration in the tunnels found further evidence of this) but it really took off in the 1770's. It's an eerie landscape of strange colours (hence featuring as a location in Dr Who and other TV programmes/films) with an enormous 'hole' in the middle where old tunnels collapsed.
It;'s fascinating for industrial archaeologists, of course, but worth wandering round anyway because the strange chemical effects on the soil have created a specialised area for both flora and fauna. Some of the pools are highly acidic (sulphuric acid), and those inside the workings are extremely dangerous so inside is not somewhere you should consider exploring. But there are trails and footpaths, with a leaflet available in a box in the main car park.
Parys mountain is near Amlwch.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Presaddfed chambered tombs
Once at least two Neolithic chambered tombs stood in this field. One has entirely collapsed, and the other has been supported by a wooden stilt (which, when I visited, was no longer supporting anything so beware!).
Nice to visit some of the less well-known prehistoric sites, and this one certainly isn't well-known. It was once very important though, and is worth looking for ...... a nice wandery trip round the badly-signed Anglesey lanes will eventually get you there.
Parking is easy, as is access along a drive and then a grassy field.
The link has more detailed info, but the tombs are just off the B5109, NEE of Bodedern.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Crossing the Menai Strait onto Anglesey over either of the bridges, you will notice to the left and west a large, slender tower rising to the sky. I had seen this column before on television when I visited the island, and decided to head towards it to see if it was possible to ascend to the top, as I had been led to believe. Parking on a grass embankment near the base of the column by the roadside, I could see that the column was set in a small copse, and a little cottage was set nextdoor. Walking up to the cottage, we were greeted by a Welsh couple, and asked for a small fee to climb the 'Marquess' Column'. We agreed, and having looked around their beautiful little garden, with its courtyard brimming with blooms and little fountains, we walked across a lawn to the entrance at the base of the column, up a few large steps. Inside, it was difficult to see in the semi-darkness, but on reaching the top, a panorama of the southern segment of Anglesey, the length of the Menai Strait and the nearest peaks of Snowdonia beyond beckoned. The balcony at the top was rather precarious, made of some rather weak looking metal, and was suffering badly from rust, but I'm sure it was perfectly safe really, despite its wobblings and creaks every time one of us so much as spoke. Apart from the uncertainty at the top, the view makes it all worth it, and if not that then the tour of the little cottage garden! The column is situated, as is visible from anywhere nearby, near Plas Newydd, and was erected in 1816.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Remains of the extensive auxiliary fort built to guard the entrance to the Menai Straits. The buildings included barracks, graneries, workshops, stables, a bath-house and an underground strong-room. They are National trust property, there is a museum on the site containing finds from the excavation. The ruins are on the south-eastern outskirts of Caernarfon.
We trekked dutifully, on a hot day, across the treeless island of Anglesey to this rudimentary pyramid, thinking of cold drinks and shady woods.After all it was not a great castle we were heading for- only a prehistoric burial mound! But this small and isolated ruin is a sacred place almost as compelling - to anyone who is not afraid of alien religion - as any altar of Christendom. This is the best example in England and Wales of megalithic passage graves. It qualifies as a ruin because it has been excavated and restored, and is no longer in the state intended by its builders. The round cairn itself is surrounded by a circle of stones and a ditch. At the entrance to one end of the chamber there is a standing stone on which it is still possible to detect inscriptions in forms of wavy lines and spirals, both symbols of life. Inside the chamber, built of upright stone slabs infilled with rubble, there is a smoothly dressed monolith, which may be a phallic symbol. It is impossible not to feel here an intimation of pagan sanctity. he New Stone Age men buried there dead here more than 3 thousand years ago with just as much sombre ritual as attends the lowering of Christian corpses into the earth.Related to:
- Historical Travel
This is looking across the bay...
This is looking across the bay to Little Orm. At the town end there is a nice pier and some shops, pubs and restaurants. Nothing so outstanding as to deserve a 'must see', but quite nice and fairly quaint.
From here you can get to Great Orm. This is the large mound behind the town. You can get to the top of this via a cable car, a tram or by walking up 'Happy Valley', a landscped garden. From the top there are great views as far as Snowdonia and apparently the Lake District - 'twas a tad cloudy when we went! There's also a childrens petting zoo on Great Orm.
The North Wales coast has more...
The North Wales coast has more than it's fair share of dismal and tacky seaside 'resorts', but there are some good ones too. Pride of place goes to Llandudno, which has avoided that 'run-down' and 'cheap' feeling that some of the other resorts have acquired. Set on a very picturesque bay between the mounds of Great Orm and Little Orm, the promenade at Llandudno is lined with some fine 19th century hotels. Back a couple of streets the high street has some nice shops, including all the major chains (when we were there they had 2 Marks & Spencers!).
... at the head of the Pier...
... at the head of the Pier (so the land end) there was a cafe Pulcinella with some nice outdoor tables. And they served some good vegetarian food and some good beer too. And we could sit here and eat and drink, watch people strolling up and down the pier, and see across to Anglesey. Now THAT part of Bangor was really nice. Nowadays there is also Herbs vegetarian restaurant on the high street too!
Bangor is the home of one of...
Bangor is the home of one of Wales' most important and oldest universities. It's near to the crossing to Anglesy and has a lovely pier, but other than that their is little about the place. It's not a bad place, but I didn't find much to keep me here, except...
Llanberis is in the heart of...
Llanberis is in the heart of the Snowdonia national park. It is the setting off point for the railway up Snowdon, the only funicular railway in Britain. It's also a lovely place in it's own right, with a lovely lake (Llyn Padarn), a ruined castle (Dolbadarn Castle) overlooking the lake, the Dinorwic hydro-electric power station (worth a visit, REALLY!), the National Slate Museum and the Llanberis Lake Railway and a variety of other attractions. It's also got shops, pubs, hotels and restauarnts.
Swallow Falls lie between...
Swallow Falls lie between Betws-y-Coed and Capel Curig. They are one of the most famous falls in Wales and lie in a deeo wooded ravine. Close to the falls is 'The Ugly House' (Ty Hyll), built from large rocks of irregular shape and size. Also close by here is the great pub Bryn Tyrch (see earlier on this page).
From A @ M Evans Wrexham This is an extremely well run hotel which is done by David an Louise...more
The Quay Hotel and Spa is part of a development build in 2007, overlooking Conwy Marina. I stayed...more
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