High street shopping in Beaumaris

Beaumaris on the isle of Anglesey is a year-round destination where you can have a picnic on the beach, tour its medieval castle, or just potter around the shops<br/>Words by Polly Berkeley Photography by David Billington

Pretty pastel painted houses, a seafront that is dotted with little boats and the Victorian pier are just some of the charms of Beaumaris. It’s such a lovely place to relax and enjoy a stroll along the seafront, or delicious food in a cosy pub.

And who doesn’t like to wander around the shops while on a break? Beaumaris has lots of independents to keep things interesting and not just jolly seaside fare but pretty windows filled with smart interior pieces and high-end ladieswear. Well, it does have its own yacht club and caters accordingly.

In the town it is possible to find freshly baked bread and deli delights too and once the shopping is done there are lots of tearooms and restaurants to relax in.

However, the wonderful character of the place has been hard won. This is a place with an impressive history – some of it quite infamous.

The worst battle of the English Civil War was fought here and – could this be true? - historians claim it could even have been the capital of Britain had the cavaliers won because Charles I had been invited to rule his kingdom from here by a local landowner.

During the 18th century Beaumaris went through a ‘bad boy’ phase and was notorious as a hangout for pirates and many lived in this leading Welsh port where tobacco from Maryland and ginger from the Caribbean were imported.

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These days thankfully, the town is far more genteel and tempts visitors with a wide range of places to stay, from a luxury hotel to a comfy guesthouse, award-winning food and a range of events, some of which like the live musical extravaganza Concert in the Castle and New Year fireworks, centre around the magnificent castle, built as part of Edward I’s masterplan to conquer Wales.