What’s going for it? Ynys Môn likes to keep its distance, as well it might. People have long come to these shores to take things. The Romans slogged all the way from the Med, sniffing out Anglesey’s raw materials. Nowadays, second-homers come in search of its views, sandy coves and relative isolation. Thomas Telford’s beautiful Menai suspension bridge may have long leapt over the tricky waters of the strait, and its neighbour, the Britannia Bridge, carries mainline trains chuffing off to the ferries at Holyhead; but the island still has a sense of a world apart. Its distance has kept even those savage incomers, grey squirrels, at bay. Ynys Môn has thriving colonies of red squirrels, and so many puffins it’s named an island after them. The greatest survivor, though? Welsh culture. Today, about 70% of islanders speak Welsh and make sure the island is a thriving crucible of contemporary Welshness.
The case against If you are going to move here, move here; don’t pillage. Wylfa nuclear power plant was proposed for the north, but has just been scrapped. Following the closure of its aluminium smelting industry a decade ago, the local economy needs some good news.
Well connected? Trains: the line from Holyhead to Bangor on the mainland and beyond passes to the south of the island, with several stops; it’s about 30 mins to Bangor from Valley. Driving: the A5 is the mainline; the airport has planes to Cardiff twice daily; Holyhead, on neighbouring Holy Island, takes you to Ireland.
Schools Primaries: many, mostly “good”, says Estyn, with Rhosybol “excellent”. Secondaries: David Hughes, Uwchradd Bodedern and Syr Thomas Jones are largely “good”.
Hang out at… There’s rather a food renaissance on the island, with fascinating restaurants such as Freckled Angel and Sosban & The Old Butcher’s in Menai Bridge, The Loft in Beaumaris, and the intriguing Marram Grass in Newborough.
Where to buy Heaps of historic, often unusual properties, from yet-to-be-converted stone barns to mansions. Beaumaris is your straight-up, delish Victorian seaside resort, pastel-painted townhouses, pier and all. People pass through the town of Menai Bridge, but it has some lovely wiggly lanes of old buildings down by the water. Amlwch up in the north is remote, but has charm. The real star, though, is the beautiful coastline, beachy bays such as Red Wharf, and, especially, the wonderful Menai Strait, with its views to north Wales. North and east quieter. More affordable in the interior. Large detacheds and townhouses, £350,000-£2m. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £150,000-£350,000. Semis, £100,000-£400,000. Terraces and cottages, £70,000-£325,000. Flats, £125,000-£550,000. Rentals: a one-bedroom flat, £350-£450pcm; a three-bedroom house, £450-£900pcm.
Bargain of the week A three-bed detached house, with views of Snowdonia, in Llanddona, £219,000, with tppuk.com.
From the streets
Jo Tierney “Hooton’s Homegrown cafe and farm shop. Great beaches.”
Nigel Peacock “Menai Bridge is a thriving university town.”
Wendy Williams “Pet hate: often left off the map of the UK! Lack of employment, and most people supported Brexit.”
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