Anglesey National Landscape / Tirwedd Cenedlaethol Ynys Môn

The coastline of Ynys Môn, the Isle of Anglesey, hosts a great variety of fine coastal landscapes, reflecting the island’s varied underlying geology and diverse mixture of marine and terrestrial habitats. These overlap with three stretches of Heritage Coast to assure almost the entire 201 km coastline of the Island is designated as an AONB.

(c) Ray Ewing Anglesey NL - Wiwer Goch Red Squirrel (c) Ray Ewing

Wiwer Goch / Red Squirrel

From the low ridges and shallow valleys of Anglesey’s sea-planed plateau to the county’s highest point, Holyhead Mountain (219m), local geology is a dominant feature of the AONB and is recognised as an UNESCO Global Geopark. Jagged headlands, alternating with coves, pebble beaches and tucked-away villages, line the island’s northern shores. The east coast’s sheer limestone cliffs, interspersed with fine sandy beaches, contrast with the south’s wilderness of sand dunes that roll down towards Aberffraw Bay. Meanwhile, inland, drystone walls and hedgerows weave in and out, providing the stitching in the fabric of this dynamic and diverse landscape.

(c) Wiliam Stockwell Anglesey NL - Ynys Lawd South Stack (c) Wiliam Stockwell

Ynys Lawd / South Stack

Varied habitats, from marine heaths to mudflats, give the AONB a high level of marine, botanical and ornithological interest. The dunes of Newborough National Nature Reserve are a noted example of this complex habitat, while the iconic South Stack cliffs are an especially important nesting site for chough. Anglesey is also of significance to archaeologists, with protected sites ranging from Mesolithic burial chambers to medieval castles, such as World Heritage Site, Beaumaris Castle. With no sizeable towns within the AONB, night-light pollution is much lower than the UK average, making it the perfect place to explore the night sky, as well as benefiting nocturnal wildlife and the health of local people.

(c) Dylan Owen Anglesey NL - Bracken Bruising Rocky Coast (c) Dylan Owen

Bracken Bruising Rocky Coast

The AONB’s rural economy is traditionally based on small-mixed-agricultural holdings, although tourism now plays a significant part in the rural economy, largely centred on static caravan sites. The AONB is also an important recreation area both for local people, for day visitors from across North Wales and for urban north-west England. The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path is a popular route to discover and explore the AONB, with kayaking, sea fishing, or rock climbing offering alternative perspectives on the landscape.