The sun promised to shine; computers were in need of a rest, software uploads,downloads ,sideways loads and installations all done. Time to chill out and take advantage of the quiet mid-week roads.
The A55 was clear and we took the old A5 past Penrhyn Castle through the university town of Bangor to cross the Menai Straits on the very pretty and historic Suspension Bridge. (We could have gone to Parc Menai turn off and avoided Bangor but we weren't in a hurry.) Although we have lived in Wales for more years than we care to remember, we had never explored the north east coast beyond Beaumaris with its beaches at Red Wharf Bay.
Stopping off in Beaumaris for coffee and toasted tea-cakes at the Pier House Cafe gave us a chance to stretch our legs and enjoy the view of Snowdonia across the water. Driving past the castle we found ourselves on minor roads which ran along the edge of the sea.
Paying little attention to the map we turned inland to head for Red Wharf Bay and the coast. What a delight! The narrow well-kept lanes were bordered by hedgerows dripping with hawthorn and deep yellow gorse. All at once we were through a tunnel of trees. Then the every changing vista from the undulating land gave us glimpses of fields bordered by clumps of gorse; lambs, sheep and cattle grazing quietly; tantalising glimpses of the sea on one side and the mountains of Snowdonia on the other.
Skirting around the coast to Amlwch, passing ancient burial chambers which are scattered around the island, we turned inland before making our way to the village of Valley. At the charming and friendly Valley Hotel we worked our way through what we thought would be a pub lunch but turned out to be a hearty meal. And cheap!
Taking the road along the side of the hotel we followed the coast, over Four Mile Bridge (where Holy Island is joined to Mon) through Treaddur Bay, into what seemed another land. In fact O2 must have thought we were abroad as it sent us a text message advising us of the cost of calls from to the UK and Europe! This is a dramatic coast, with rocky inlets and twisting lanes. We soon came to Holyhead. In fact I could tell it was Holyhead as a spanking new Morrisons Superstore stood out on the skyline.
I was surprised also to see that there is a big retail park on the outskirts of Holyhead just before the port. For walkers there is the Coastal Country Park and Holyhead Mountain. During our day exploring we criss-crossed the island taking roads at will, finding a cuppa at the Bull Hotel in Llangefni before heading back over the newer Britannia Bridge across the straits to our little pocket North Wales at the opposite side to Anglesey.
(Photos of Beaumaris - taken 2010)