The name Beaumaris comes from the French phrase for ‘beautiful marshes’ and stems from the nickname given to the area by the French builders who constructed Beaumaris Castle in 1295 on what was then a marsh. Anyone visiting today will be bound to agree that it’s a description which aptly fits, as the town sits adjacent to the Anglesey coast and the waters of the Menai Strait.
Beaumaris CastleThe castle was intended to be part of a chain of defences along the north coast of Wales, including Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech, but money and supplies ran out before it could be completed. The remaining edifice is still hugely impressive, however, and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In architectural terms alone, the castle is one of the finest surviving examples in the UK, being constructed along completely symmetrical lines with an imposing four layers of defensive fortifications. The setting, at the end of Castle Street, is no less impressive than the building, offering wonderful views back over the rolling Welsh hills or directly out to the sea.
Architecture of BeaumarisThe castle isn’t the only fascinating building in Beaumaris, a place which boasts more than its fair share of architectural treats, alongside a compact village type layout which makes it the perfect place to explore on foot. Other notable buildings include a courthouse which was built in 1614, St Mary’s Parish Church, which dates from the 14th century and the Tudor Rose, one of the oldest surviving timber framed structures in the UK. Another glimpse into the sometimes turbulent history of the area is provided by the fact that the hill leading out of town is called Red Hill, a macabre reference to the blood that was spilled there during the English Civil War.
Shopping in BeaumarisThe shops on offer in Beaumaris include an unusually high number of arts and antiques dealers, with as many as 10 shops and galleries within the centre itself offering a range of prints, glassware, contemporary art and the chance to engage in hands on craft workshops. Other outlets run the gamut from traders offering locally produced food and drink to designer boutiques and shabby chic furniture retailers.
Places to ExploreBesides the beauty and historical fascination of Beaumaris itself, it offers the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding countryside and some of the other attractions of Anglesey. These include the Baron Hill Golf Club, a nine hole moorland course lying just south of Beaumaris itself, Anglesey Sea Zoo, the largest marine aquarium in Wales and, right on the doorstep, the chance to enjoy fishing trips and leisure cruises departing from the 570 ft long Beaumaris Pier, which leads straight out of the town itself and into the sea.
Accommodation in BeaumarisPlaces to stay in Beaumaris come in all shapes and sizes, and can meet every budget and requirement, from a caravan and camping park to cosy city centre bed and breakfasts and delightful self-catering country cottages.
Beaumarisoffers tranquil relaxation to those seeking it, but provides excitement and activity right on the doorstep. From rolling hills and ancient buildings to glittering seas, it lays out the very best of Wales and tempts visitors to take their pick.