If it’s Thursday, this must be Holyhead! Seriously, I want to pinch myself when I find myself visiting another new place. So much potential for new ideas, new experiences, new people to meet. Come along! It’s port #4 on the Emerald Isles cruise on Viking Sky.
Off the beaten path in Holyhead
Holyhead, located on Holy Island, is the largest town in the Isle of Anglesey county and a major sea port. The town center is built around the medieval St. Cybi’s Church, which is inside one of Europe’s few three-walled Roman forts (the fourth “wall” being the sea, which used to come up to the fort), overlooking Holyhead’s inner harbour.
Holyhead is low-key. Cruise-ship visitors often choose to take day trips through Wales. You can explore on your own by public transit (train or bus) and visit three nearby medieval castle towns. Wander by foot to places off the beaten path in Holyhead.
If you’re up for an adventure in Wales, it might be better to take advantage of Vikinkg’s shore excursion program (or other organized tours) to experience the more distant Snowdonia National Park and the Ffestiniog Steam Railway.
Around Holyhead you’ll find excellent fishing, golfing and, of course, sailing facilities. Couple this with the wonderful scenery, walks and beaches and you can easily lose yourself for the day. Plus, there are plenty of coffee shops, pubs and great local shopping in the town center prepared to add to your time in Holyhead by the friendly service and tales of unique local history.
Cross the fast-flowing Menai Strait via one of the historic 19th-century bridges, and you’ll soon come face-to-face with the greatest network of medieval castles ever built, stark evidence of the English kings’ domination of the Welsh, beginning in the 13th century.
Eight turreted fortresses constructed during the reign of Edward I rise above waterside towns, such as Beaumaris, Conwy and Caernarfon. They are fun to explore, especially as you can climb the towers for views over the towns below and out to sea.
Deeper into the interior, Snowdonia National Park covers over 800 square miles of mountains, valleys, tidy towns and former mining sites, interlaced with scenic one-lane roads, hiking trails and two preserved, narrow-gauge steam railways. Both lines date back to the very early days of train travel. An additional rack-and-pinion railway snakes up Mt. Snowden, the highest peak in Wales.
Whether you stay in Holyhead, or travel farther afield for the day, you’ll love the beauty all around you. Inspiring!
Hasta la bye bye!
Dee Serkin is a travel writer who specializes in destinations, culture, travel tips and advice. She is dedicated to inspiring travel in all and loves to share her adventures with others. Contact her at [email protected] or visit her site at https://travelovers.us