Holyhead, Wales, United Kingdom
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 3¾ Hours
Meals not included
Explore a 13th-century stronghold of Edward I, then take an independent stroll through an ancient town. You'll travel across the island of Anglesey to the enchanting small town of Beaumaris.
The nearby Beaumaris Castle is an unfinished masterpiece -- a member of the "iron ring" of North Wales castles built by the English monarch Edward I. The purpose of the castles was to stamp his authority on Wales and the Welsh people, but this castle was never finished. Money and supplies ran out before the fortifications reached their full height. Beaumaris is nonetheless an awesome sight, regarded by many as the finest of all the great Edwardian castles in Wales -- the most perfect in terms of design. The stronghold stands at one end of Castle Street, inextricably linked with the history of the town. This was the beau marais (fair marsh) that Edward chose for a castle and garrison town. From the outside, the castle appears most handsome -- it sits contently in a scenic setting overlooking the mountains and the sea, partially surrounded by a water-filled moat. Imagine yourself as a 13th-century courtier as you cross the moat via the drawbridge and enter Beaumaris Castle for independent exploration. If you had ever felt you wanted to see a "real" castle, then Beaumaris is it. In pure architectural terms Beaumaris is the most technically perfect castle in Britain with few equals. Its ingenious and perfectly symmetrical concentric walls design, involving no less than four successive lines of fortifications, was state-of-the-art for the late 13th century.
The town of Beaumaris, looking out across the Menai Strait to the mountains of Snowdonia on the North Wales mainland, was founded in 1296, after Edward I decided to build the castle here. The town became one of the most important ports in Wales -- a center farming, fishing, seafaring and piracy. During Victorian times Beaumaris' economy shifted to tourism as the first steamships brought visitors to the town. A stroll through Beaumaris is a journey through history, complete with medieval fortifications, old inns, elegant Georgian and Victorian townhouses, churches and chapels.