The beautiful island in Wales an epic 5 hours from London with gorgeous beaches named the best staycation spot in the UK

Debbra Szafryk

It can be difficult to find a staycation spot not overrun with tourists, but the UK can’t help being so gorgeous, can it? From the idyllic beaches and coastlines of Cornwall, to the hilly mountains of Scotland, it’s no wonder intrepid travellers want to see every inch of it all!

Which? Travel revealed that in summer 2021, the population of Cornwall increased by a whopping 40 per cent, beachgoers in Bournemouth left behind 33 tonnes of rubbish and there was even congestion at the top of Mount Snowdon. The publication shared its list of hotspot locations where holiday rentals fill up like there’s no problem.

Topping the list was the Isle of Anglesey, with 2,094 listings on Airbnb and Vrbo, and saw a year-to-year occupancy rate of 73.9 per cent. So what makes the tiny island off the north Welsh coast so attractive?

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Cemaes Bay is just one of the many shores of the island


© Getty Images
Cemaes Bay is just one of the many shores of the island

It’d be near impossible to list all of the incredible attractions and sites on the Isle of Anglesey, but they do boast some of Tripadvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards best bits for 2022. If you’re on the island, it’d be rude not to visit some of its impressive beaches.

Cemaes Bay Traeth Bach Beach is ranked number one of the best ‘Things to do’ on Anglesey. Translating to ‘Little Beach’ it’s the lesser known of Cemae’s two beach, boasting a mix of sand, pebbles and rocks, making it perfect for children to explore.

Families can build sandcastles, collect shells, explore the rich life of the rockpools or just clamber over the rocks. The beach all but disappears at high tide, but you can still discover Samson’s Rock – a focal point of local folklore.



Newborough Beach is where you can find miles of golden sandy beaches, rugged coastline and one of North Wales’ most photographic lighthouses - Tŵr Mawr Lighthouse


© Getty Images
Newborough Beach is where you can find miles of golden sandy beaches, rugged coastline and one of North Wales’ most photographic lighthouses – Tŵr Mawr Lighthouse

At Llanddwyn Beach, beachgoers will see a shore backed by impressive sand dunes, and boasts spectacular views of Snowdonia National Park, Caemarfon and the Llyn Peninsula. Newborough Forest backs onto the beach, so you get the best of both beach and woodland.

There’s also Newborough Beach, where you can find miles of golden sandy beaches, rugged coastline and one of North Wales’ most photographic lighthouses – Tŵr Mawr Lighthouse. The lighthouse was constructed in 1845 and is a Grade II listed building, thought to be inspired by the design of Anglesey’s windmills.

There is also a second lighthouse on Llanddwyn Island; Tŵr Bach Lighthouse which is thought to have been built in the early 1800s, prior to Tŵr Mawr and is still used as a functional lighthouse to this day.



You'll have to walk down 400 steps to get to this lighthouse


© Getty Images
You’ll have to walk down 400 steps to get to this lighthouse

Another iconic lighthouse of the island is South Stack Lighthouse, located on an even smaller island which can only be accessed by 400 steps down steep cliffs. A smaller lighthouse can be found at Penmon Point, where you can see across the mainland and Puffin Island. If you’re looking to get across to Puffin Island, Penmon Point is the quickest way to get there by kayak.

For a little bit of history, head to Beaumaris Castle. A great fortress created by Edward I back in the 13th century, it details the island’s history with the king.

This is just a smidgen of what Anglesey has to offer, so if you want a jam-packed staycation, make sure you check out absolutely everything you possibly can. And while you’re off on your adventures, you’ll need something to eat.

The island is packed with top rated restaurants, such as The Quays café in Amlwch, serving up an incredibly good value breakfast, delicious sandwiches and “superb” chips. Or for something seasonal, the Catch 22 Brasserie in Valley is the perfect place for families.

Find fresh fish such as baked local crab Mornay, Grilled black sea bream, or go big and get the Fish Platter for two with local crab Mornay, battered haddock, grilled bream, crispy calamari, prawn and crab muffin, grilled sourdough, C22 chips and aioli.

Which? Travels’ top 30 places where holiday rentals fill up the fastest:

Location

Listings

Occupancy Rate

Isle of Anglesey

2,094

73.90%

Gwynedd

5,152

71.70%

Lake District

7,900

71.60%

Scarborough

3,662

71.30%

Conwy

3,562

69.20%

Peak District

4,599

68.60%

Cornwall

20,181

68.30%

West Yorkshire

7,131

66.80%

East Yorkshire

2,276

66.70%

Mid Wales

3,306

66.60%

Devon

16,037

66.60%

Norfolk

7,983

65.70%

Dorset

10,847

64.30%

West Wales

9,761

64.10%

Highland

11,420

63.60%

North East England

9,040

63.60%

Somerset

5,373

63.50%

Isle of Wight

2,789

63.50%

Bristol/Bath

5,220

63.30%

Argyll and Bute

3,296

63.20%

Salop/Herefordshire

8,191

62.80%

Salisbury/Winchester

4,214

61.80%

Southern Scotland

4,620

61.70%

Gloucester/Cheltenham

5,948

61.70%

Edinburgh

10,005

61.50%

Perth/Dundee

2,841

61.20%

Brighton & Hove

5,565

61.20%

Stirling

3,981

60.80%

Suffolk

4,105

60.60%

Cambridge

3,141

60.40%

How to get there

You can catch a train from London Euston to Bangor, before taking a bus over to the island. Or if you’d prefer a scenic drive, it’ll take you around five hours.

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