Moelfre is a beautiful coastal village found in the east coast of Anglesey, in north Wales. A former sleepy fishing town of time gone by, it gives the feel to visitor that it hasn’t aged much at all from it’s distant past. It has a quaint little harbour, situated between a lime stone escarpments in the centre of the town. With wth a steep but loose pebble shore, facing southwards, its proves very popular for paddlers, kayakers and swimmers alike during the summer months, who come to spend holidays at the beautiful near by beaches, of Lligwy and Benllech further around the coast.
The main town settlement was built by crofters and fishermen, who’s terraced houses line the main Street, they now are in the now centre of the town opposite a sheltered cove. With all the fishing boats pulled high on on the beach and lobster pots on the stacked on rocks, it’s like travelling back in time. Although busy in peak seasons, it returns back to its sleepy nature again in the winter months, where you may see just but a handful of walkers, out on your winter stroll.
Further along the foreshore, It’s lovely coastal inlets make it perfect for water sports and the secluded coves that litter the east coast of Anglesey as a whole, cab be accessed at quite easy reach along the Anglesey coastal path. Sat on top of a limestone out crop Moyelfre, is an exposed place to the strong winter months that batter our shorelines, Steep limestone cliffs rise up from the coastline some 50-100 feet in places, all layered perfectly, as it was laid down many millennia ago.
From a geological perspective, Moelfre’s limestone is a geologists dream, as it has some amazing well preserved fossils inside its many layers all along the coast, which can often be found by exploring the shorelines. I know of a good few locations that you can see many many fossils that lye inside the rock strata. Many clams, bivalves and molluscs are found still intact in the rock which look amazing.
There are also a number of climbs that are around the Moelfre, Benllech and Lligwy region. They are mostly bolted on the limestone and a break down of them cane found at the BMC site here. There is a also a local guide book called North Wales rock which covers most of the good climbs I believe.
An important fishing hub for Anglesey in its past, Moyelfre is still an active fishing spot for fishing enthusiasts, many boats from neighbouring towns at Cemaes come to fish for Mackerel and Bass there. As well as many rod and line fisherman, fishing the entire coast for at the various species that it holds. If your coming to the area to fish then head over to Malcom’s shop ABC Beaumaris, he will give you all the upto date info on the area and whats catching and whats not!
There are a number of Neolithic burial sites within a stones throw around Moyelfre that a worth a visit to get a feel of ancient past settlers that once forged our foreshore. Cadw the welsh site for historical information has much more information about each of them.
The area is a very popular destination overall for walkers, bird lovers and watersports enthusiasts who come to enjoy the pristine nature in the area and relax here in north Wales. Lligwy beach (further down around the cove from Moelfre 1.5km) has become incredibly popular in the summer months, with Lligwy beach cafe organising many parties, music gigs and great summer activities on the beach. They are quite well known for the big tipi on the beach – you can’t miss them! The are very active on Facebook so keep an eye on them for local events.
Moylefre Lifeboat station
Moelfre lifeboat station has become quite well known through the smash hit TV series Saving lives at sea on BBC2. The local lifeboat crew have become somewhat of local celebrities on the Island, and rightly so with them giving up so much of their time for such a great cause. Watch some of their past episodes here.
Moelfre is a wonderful place to come and see the local Welsh archaeology, with six sites in close proximity. With cromlechs, stone settlements and druidic burial chambers dating back to 2000BC, a 4th C Roman settlement near Din Lligwy, and ancient Welsh Chapels round, you can see there are many very interesting attractions, to visit if you love a bit of heritage.
The name ‘Moelfre’ can be traced back to the Doomsday Book of Wales in 1306. Even earlier in 1157 Moelfre was mentioned as a focal point in a sea battle fought between Anglesey seamen and the English fleet of Henry II. As the village grew in the 19th century many and varied tradesmen settled in Moelfre but it was the sea that called most villagers, as fishermen, seamen, mariners and even ship owners. (Moyelfre.org)
Some of the biggest shipwrecks in modern welsh history have occurred along the shores of Moelfre, where ships sought shelter from strong Westerly prevailing winds, only to be caught out as the wind swung around an pushed them shoreward. The most famous of all shipwrecks is the Royal charter, which was on its route home from Australia to Liverpool. Sadly shy of its destination by only 50 miles, it was caught in a hurricane. Here is an excerot from Wikipedia detailing the events below :
“In late October 1859 Royal Charter was returning to Liverpool from Melbourne. Her complement of about 371 passengers (with a crew of about 112 and some other company employees), included many gold miners, some of whom had struck it rich at the diggings in Australia and were carrying large sums of gold about their persons. A consignment of gold was also being carried as cargo. As she reached the north-western tip of Anglesey on 25 October the barometer was dropping and it was claimed later by some passengers, though not confirmed, that the master, Captain Thomas Taylor, was advised to put into Holyhead harbour for shelter. He decided to continue on to Liverpool however. It was a fatefull decision which coat the lives of over 400 people, both crew and passengers.. A few survivors made it ashore in the storm, with winds over 100mph driving huge waves ashore. “
Moelfre is situated in in north east side of Anglesey, it is a sea side town and it has some breath taking seaside beaches. Overlooking the beaches are the rocky headlands which surround the bay.
The village is full of beautiful scenery, some small shops and amenities that run seasonally.
There are numerous Neolithic burial sites in an around the area, the burial sites and stone circles which are quite special.
Beaches and Coast
There is one large beach called the Traeth Llingwy in Moelfre. The beach is covered by white and golden sand. During low tides, you can see is clear waters and small rock pebbles across the foreshore. Its a great beach for dog walking, fishing and some rock pooling! Furher around the coast, the land is characterized by the ancient stone settlements of Din Lligwy. The homesteads were purely made of stone, with thatched roofs most likely, these ancient dwellings on the door step on Moelfre gives a wonderful historic feel to the area. Moelfre has many overhanging sea cliffs which are home to various species of birds. The uniqueness of Moelfre has been heightened or promoted by the presence of these costal birds, great potential for twitchers and ornithologists.
Moelfre is a coastal town, there are a number of sea side things that you do while spending your holidays here. The town has a strong maritime history, so boating and sailing are very popular past time. Its also very popular for other watersports such as surfing (with the right swell direction) and kitesurfing with the right wind direction. With the presence of various archaeological sites, exploring what nature presents here is number one priority. Fishing is also another major activity. There are a number of ancient fish traps, created by the monks along the beach and during low tide.
Here are some of the main things to do here at Moylefre and the surrounding areas
Food and Amenities
Some of the more popular places to eat out are listed below:
Things to do when you stay at Moelfre
Rib Ride through near by Menai Bridge.
Sandy beach at the Traeth Lligwy sit and bask in the sun and listen to sounds of the sea rolling in
Visiting the RNLI Moelfre Lifeboat Station and experience some of the maritime heritage of the local Island
Near by Benllech Beach is a beach that is laced with beautiful scenery
Places to see and do
How about seeing the ancient ruins at the Din Lligwy; see how the monuments and statutes were strategically places.
Go hit the hiking trails of Mynydd Bodafoneven from a distance in case you are not interested in hiking.
Go and see the near by copper mine of Parys Mountain.
Places to stay in Moelfre
Stay at the breath taking Lligwy Caravan Park next to the beach
Spend your night at the Ty Dderwand
Camp at the Dafarn Rhos Caravan and Camping site.
Other accommodation in Moyelfre
What we love to do from a local’s perspective
My day trips over to Moelfre are normally sport focused, by that I mean that they revolve around doing something active like Climbing or fishing. I love to fish at Moelfre, (many of you already know how much I love fishing!). In the summer months Fishing can be really good off Moyelfre for Mackerel and the past three seasons it has been exceptional.
I normally head over to Beaumaris ABC fishing tackle stores in Beaumaris early on in the day and get an idea of whats being caught by Malcolm, he is basically the hub sport for all things fishing on Anglesey, one of the most knowledgeable men on the water I have ever met. Wonderful chap. Anyhow after a ten minute chinwag I drive around the coastal route to Moylefre and over to Lligwy beach. Honestly this place is a hidden gem I love it. I prefer evening fishing trips here and often head over to the left of the beach and walk the coast around to Boston reefs and either spin for bass or something a bit further down towards Afon Goch and soon for sea trout and bass there. Thats more a mission though and can be a 40 minute walk. But its a stunning spot and very good fishing if you time it right.
When I used to have a camper van I would often buy some potatoes from the road side in Pentraeth and what ever I caught I would cook them alfresco in the camper and spend the night on the beach there.. it was bliss!
I like to have a small beach fire (responsibly ) and sometimes I go and forage some mussles and cook them on the fire, in a pot of fresh water. There is a good reef over to the right of Lligwy beach, that you can walk around onto and at low water its quite a good foraging ground for molluscs and what not..
Beach style Packing list
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We hope this blog is useful for you if your heading to Moelfre on your hols or maybe just doing some research on north Wales and its gems overall.. If you think there is something to add drop us a comment below and tell us what your favourite things are to do in Moelfre on your stay!?
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Front cover Image by : Holidays Anglesey
Bit about the blogger : My names Nick Fraser and I’m a local Marine Geologist and Oceanographer. I have moved back to the island of Anglesey for the past four years having grown up here and moved away. I am a passionate outdoor lover with a penchant for all things natural. When I’m not blogging in ofter found climbing or out in the wild in and around north Wales.