From the gleaming waters of the Menai Straits to the bright blue skies of Beaumaris, the island of Anglesey off the Welsh coast sparkled in the Spring sunshine. It was great to be back on Ynys Môn to give the island it’s Welsh name. Or Mam Cymru (Mother of Wales). Anglesey is also currently home to Prince William and Kate Middleton – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
I’ve been visiting the island one way and another for many years now. We used to sail from a mooring further round the Menai Straits out past Beaumaris and beyond Puffin Island. These are some of the most treacherous waters in the UK. The renowned 17th century English poet, John Milton, wrote an elegy called Lycidas, in memory of a close friend who’d drowned in an accident here.
Beaumaris has some beautiful properties and the small town is undergoing something of a quiet renaissance. Palm trees testify to it’s mild climate. It even has a castle – the last of the great Welsh fortresses built by King Edward I and begun in 1295.
Still only April and some of the shots I was taking were more reminiscent of the Greek Islands rather than North Wales.
Further around the coast was the tiny headland of Penmon with it’s ancient Celtic Priory and stupendous views over Puffin Island.
Before taking a look at those views, here’s a look out across the Menai Straits from one corner of Penmon.
The great American artist, Edward Hopper, known for his iconic paintings of lighthouses, would surely have relished this shoreline.
This next shot shows the lighthouse, strategically situated to prevent vessels from entering the treacherous passage between Puffin Island and the Anglesey shore.
Now for a close up of the lighthouse itself standing proud in the Irish Sea and guarding the shipping lanes to Liverpool. Hard to believe that busy port city is only a 90 minute drive away.