There aren't many better places to be than Anglesey. The beaches on the rolling Irish Sea are magnificent and the view of Snowdonia across the Menai Straits is unbeatable. It's a place to really enjoy the great outdoors. But it is Anglesey and it does rain... quite a lot and, as the island caters for rugged outdoor types, it can be tricky to find an activity in the dry. Here are five suggestions for the fair weather pooch.
Beaumaris Castle is one of the greatest of all medieval castles. It was started by Edward I to suppress the rebellious Welsh. Due to a lack of cash, it was never finished. Needless to say this included the roof, so it is not perfectly dry. The fine castle walls offer some protection from the elements and it is an impressive place to visit. Dogs need to stay on ground level. Entry is free to CADW and English Heritage members.
Newborough Forest is a massive area of forest and dunes and is one of our favourite dog walking places on the island. There are plenty of free and P&D car parks to use. The Driving with Dogs team prefer one of the southern car parks near Pen-Lon (LL61 6RS, GPS coords: 53.1566, -4.3550) and then a short walk along the dunes to the forest and beach. It's never muddy and the trees do protect you from the rain. Take time to ponder the great storm of 1331 when sea and sand destroyed the community here. You can still spot ruins poking out of the sand in places. For even greater weather protection, head for the main forest car park (LL61 6SG, GPS coords: 53.1442, -4.3847) where you can find WCs and beach access when the rain stops.
Similar to Newborough Forest, Dingle Local Nature Reserve, also known as Nant-y-Pandy, is a place where you rely on the trees to keep you as dry as possible. Even if you get a little wet, it's worth it. Boardwalks lead you into beautiful woodland, the River Cefni is calming and serene and there is a lake for dogs to discover. Expect deafening birdsong and quieter red squirrels. It's also handy for Asda in Llangefni.
Melin Llynon (LL65 4AB) is a more unusual attraction. It is a restored windmill and is currently in the hands of Richard Holt and his family. You'll find chocolate and donuts available and, as Richard was once Marcus Wareing's pastry chef, expect deliciousness. Dogs are very welcome if they are kept on leads. One of the driest visitor attractions on the island.
Moelfre Lifeboat Station is another place which welcomes dogs inside. This is a good place to stay dry and you'll be able to appreciate the bravery of the RNLI crews. There is also a shop so it is a great place to spend half an hour or so. It's possible that you may see a practice launch of the lifeboat, hopefully not a launch for real. Parking by the lifeboat station is next to impossible so it's best to park at the RNLI P&D car park (LL72 8LG, GPS coords: 53.3539, -4.2343) and walk from there.