Paused for thought

Paused for thought

Monday, 25 May 2015

Postcards from Anglesey - Beaumaris

Last week we took our young family away for what will be our last term time holiday for several years. We chose Anglesey as our destination, having never been before and wanting to explore somewhere new together. There was so much wonder there that I thought a few ‘postcard’ style blogs might be in order to catch some of the beauty and warmth that we felt.

We found a lovely house in Beaumaris to call home for the week. Spread across three storeys with thoughtful little touches like flowers in the fireplace, pretty lining paper in the drawers and a toy cupboard in the children’s bedroom, not to mention the delicate pieces of china that adorned every room. It was suitably cosy but large enough to explore and spread out for some quiet reflection and play.

From this base we set out to explore the town itself. What struck me initially was that it seemed a little but lovingly cobbled together. There are an eclectic mix of buildings and as I come from a town which largely sprang to life in the 1800s with the centre being quite a standard regency town this mix really grabbed my attention. When my husband and I were looking to buy our first home many years ago my one stipulation was that I wanted to live somewhere that wasn’t a carbon copy of the house next door, and I think had we been looking in Beaumaris this would have been a very easy wish to fulfil. The history of Beaumaris is long and interesting, and much remains to tell the tale through the variety of architectural styles, including of course the impressive but not quite finished castle built under direction from Edward I between the late-1200s and mid-1300s. The houses, hotels, and library are other examples of buildings leaving markers in time as the town grew and became established.

If you stay in Beaumaris for longer than a lunch break then the second aspect that may strike you as it did me is just how friendly and tranquil it is. Some of the shops were too small to take our rather large buggy into but it didn’t phase the owners at all to do business at the door, with me asking for items and being passed them in exchange for money. There is an especially lovely little bakery on Castle Street which I would highly recommend if you happen to pass. There are a number of friendly charity shops too, with some marvellous vintage pieces waiting to be discovered.

In Beaumaris there is a real feel of community, something which other towns can only strive to build more artificially but felt very natural here. On my stroll through the town I came across a tree decorated with teddy bears. Sadly there was nobody nearby to question about the meaning of this and I have been unable to locate anything online but it seemed to fit a town full of little but friendly surprises.

My final thoughts on Beaumaris are centred on the pier and the Menai Strait. Our house over looked this and I spent an enjoyably relaxed evening watching sailing boats floating up and down it. There is no marina, instead all moorings are tidal. The pier is busy though, with a variety of boats taking visitors out to Puffin Island and beyond. The views across the Strait are superb, you can see across to Snowdon and watch the dancing lights of towns in North Wales in the evenings shining out across the water.

This clean, tidy and friendly little town will definitely be one to which I will return.

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