For a good old-fashioned family jaunt, pack up the kids and head to the Isle of Anglesey on the glorious north-west coast of Wales. While not quite abroad, one of the joys of this hidden corner of Britain, with its craggy coastline, stone-clad villages and secret beaches, is that it feels like a million miles from home.
Who is it good for? Children between the ages of 3 and 12 will love staying at Plas Rhianfa, a fairytale château-come-boutique hotel on the banks of the Menai Strait. Despite its obvious glamour, children are happily catered for with interconnecting bedrooms, a fully-equipped games room and excellent children’s menu.
For a day out, pack a picnic and head to the nearby town of Beaumaris, a pretty little seaside resort with a medieval castle and tiny Victorian pier where crabs shimmy up crabbing lines by the dozen. Take a meander along the Anglesey Coastal Path, make sandcastles on the beach but be sure to end up at the Red Boat icecream parlour which serves delicious jelly bean gelato.
The best way to see any island is from the water. Jump aboard a RIB speedboat and take a (literally) hair-raising ride along the Strait to Puffin Island where dozens of smiling seals frolic in the shallow waters.
Back on land shake off your sea legs with a treasure hunt around the hotel’s manicured gardens followed by a proper Welsh cream tea, complete with cupcakes hand-decorated by the children. A
s the sun sets over Snowdonia, kick back with a glass of fine shiraz while the kids indulge in the world’s best game of hide and seek in the nooks, snugs and dark panelled corridors of this decadent Welsh chateau.
Price: Family rooms start from £199 per night on a B&B basis or £310 for two classic rooms with interconnecting doors.
Getting there: Virgin operates direct trains from London Euston to Bangor; from £76 return for an adult.
Travel time: Trains from London to Bangor take 3 hours 30 minutes, it’s then a 10 minute transfer by taxi from Bangor to the hotel. Pictures by Celynnen Photography, Plas Rhianfa Hotel.