Wales' Island Wildlife Haven, Natural Britain
The Isle of Anglesey is to be found off the North West coast of Wales on the edge of Snowdonia and is joined to the mainland by two bridges – The Menai Bridge and the Brittania Bridge.
Best known for its port and link with Ireland at Holyhead there is also Beaumaris and its Castle for those who wish to unearth a little history, whilst Red Wharf Bay offers surfers the chance to enjoy the incoming tides which can provide some spectacular waves. The Menai Straits offer local sailors a truly exciting trip around the island especially when the tides are in full run.
Modern rail and road links have established Anglesey as a popular tourist resort, but it was to the Indusrtial Revolution that Angelsey owes its success. It was copper and travel to Ireland that were instrumental in creating the wealth of the area, albeit it was centred on Holyhead.
Parys Mountain in the North West of the island had been a site for copper mining and is was the 1700’s and 1800’s that saw large scale increase in demand for copper for guns, coins and shipbuilding.
In respect of Holyhead it was during the 18th century that it emerged as the main port because of its proximity to Ireland. Before the port of Holyhead existed travel to Ireland was form the mainland and involved negotiating the Menai Straits where the currents could sometimes prove treacherous. The Union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1800 increased the need to make this route easier to travel and in 1810 Thomes Telford was commissioned to design and a build a new road across to the Island of Anglesey – The Menai Bridge as it is today. With the roads now having acces it was some 40 years later before the rail link was built – The Britannia Bridge designed and built this time by Robert Stephenson.
These two events were to transform Anglesey, today there are regular commercial flights from Anglesey to Cardiff, travel to Ireland via Holyhead is at its height, the RAF have bases on Anglesey and the Red Arrows regularly practice their routine from their base on the island. Tourism continues to thrive and the towns and villages of Anglesey are benefiting from these improvements..