Beaumaris is a delightfully picturesque seaside town located adjacent to both the Anglesey Coast and the waters of the Menai Strait. The fact that this is a particularly beautiful part of Wales is indicated by the name Beaumaris itself. Literally translated from the French, it means “beautiful marshes” and was the nickname given to the area by the French builders who constructed Beaumaris Castle in 1295. The marshes are long gone, but the beauty still remains.
Accommodation in Beaumaris
The fact that Beaumaris sits in such a beautiful location, with the Welsh hills to one side and the glistening sea to the other, is the main reason why visitors flock to it in huge numbers year in and year out. Consequently, the infrastructure to cater to these tourists has grown up, and this includes a high number of art and antique dealers as well as a selection of shops selling winningly bohemian clothing and shabby chic items of furniture.
Another side effect of the number of tourists is the range of accommodation on offer in Beaumaris, running from hotels to bed and breakfasts and traditional inns. Whether you want a boutique spa break in a secluded spot or a cosy guesthouse in the heart of the town you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. When you have, what’s more, you’ll be ideally placed to start exploring.
Attractions within Beaumaris
Although the imposing figure of the castle dominates the town it is by no means the only historic edifice worth exploring. A quick stroll around the village centre will uncover the Tudor Rose, one of the oldest surviving timber-framed structures in the UK, and St Mary’s parish church, which dates from the 14th Century.
It is the castle that draws the most visitors, however, and rightly so. Sitting at the end of Castle Street, offering views back over the Welsh countryside in one direction and out to the glittering sea in the other, it as a hugely impressive building and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The History of Beaumaris Castle
The construction of Beaumaris Castle was originally started in 1295 as part of Edward I’s plan to conquer Wales. It was intended to be one of a line of fortified defences built along the north Wales coast, alongside Conwy, Harlech and Caernarfon, but before it could be completed money and supplies ran out. When work was stopped, some £15,000 had been spent – a fair amount today but an absolute fortune back then. The fact that the structure was never completed and was then allowed to fall into some disrepair, before being partially restored, somehow only adds to its grandeur.
In particular, the unfinished nature of Beaumaris Castle provides a fascinating insight into the four layers of defensive fortifications which were to go into its construction. The “walls within walls” design was highly innovative in its day and meant that when the moat and other fortifications were taken into account, any invader might have as many as 14 lines of defence to get through.