05 September, 2007

Peidiwch a Trio Hyn Adref! Holiday Notes Part 1

Some holiday notes from a week on the island of Anglesey, where posh Scousers and those mad enough to like driving behind caravans on the A5 congregate to enjoy sitting on a windy beach with a view of Snowdonia. Hence title of today's post in Welsh (over 60% of those on Anglesey use it as first language)....this is taken from the website of the Ardudwy Knights reenactment group (Anglesey is big on reenactments, of which more later), who entertained us at Beaumaris castle, all for charity. The translation is "don't try this at home!".

The journey from London is 4.5 hrs according to the AA, which calculates to 6 hrs when breaks for "i need a wee wee" and "the sweets have run out" are factored in. The first "are we there yet?" was after approx 5.5 miles. To break the journey an overnight stop was made near Oswestry (the children could not believe they had sat in a car for 3.5 hrs and were not yet in Wales), in the Fitzwarine House B&B at Whittington.

The advantage of staying here is that it is opposite Whittington Castle, (pictured) which may be the only English castle owned by the local community on a 99 year lease. They have a new tea shop courtesy of the Heritage Lottery fund, and there are useful info boards describing the role of the castle as a border stronghold in the 12th and 13th centuries. It was held by both English and Welsh lords at various points, and also figured in the Civil War before falling into disuse. There are also interesting Iron-Age earthworks adjacent to the castle.

No doubt in an effort to attract more tourism, the castle claims links to Dick Whittington, Robin Hood, and of course the Holy Grail. After a strenuous exploration of the ramparts, the adjacent White Lion pub does a decent pint of Bass.

Next installment to follow...

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