Landscape - Menai Strait

The Menai Strait, or Afon Menai as it is known locally, is the sea channel that separates Anglesey from mainland Gwynedd.  It is connected to the mainland by Thomas Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge and Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge.  The Strait varies in width from about 300m to three quarters of a mile.  The central region (between the two bridges) is known as the ‘Swellies’; this is a unique environment with a strong, reversing tidal flows, rapid currents and swirling whirlpools.  The Strait also has many small, offshore islands, of which there are good views from the bridges. From the Anglesey side, there are lovely views of the Snowdonia and Carneddau mountain ranges, Conwy Bay and the towns of Bangor through to Caernarfon.

The Strait is a major geological fault, forming a transition between Anglesey and the similar-aged, but apparently unrelated, rocks of North Wales.

It was carved by ice.  This unmistakeable feature was formed by glaciers flowing from Snowdonia, and by the Irish Sea ice stream which covered Anglesey during the last ice age approximately 22,000 years ago (www.bgs.ac.uk).

The Strait is also a marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC), with a rich variety of habitats including sea inlets and estuaries, mud and sand flats, lagoons, salt marsh, shingle beaches, sea cliffs and submerged limestone reefs.

Particular highlights along the Menai Strait include the Newborough Warren sand dune complex, the Swellies with the backdrop of Telford’s Menai Bridge and the Carneddau, and Beaumaris, Penmon and Black Point.

For a list of public toilets on the island, please see Isle of Anglesey County Council - public toilets

A list of the toilets available through the Community Toilet Grant Scheme is also available

Other Things to do

  • Beaches


    'There really is nothing better than spending a lazy day at the beach! '

  • Active and Outdoors

    'Active and Outdoors'

    'Making the most of the great outdoors is easy on Anglesey, as the great outdoors is something we have plenty of. '

  • AONB


    'The Isle of Anglesey’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), has one of the most varied landscapes in Britain.'

  • Coastal


    'Who can resist a stunning stretch of coast? '

  • Walking


    'Going for a walk on Anglesey is a pleasure in itself.'

Other Attractions

  • Beaumaris Castle

    'Beaumaris Castle'

    'Beaumaris was the last of Edward I's 'iron ring' of castles along the North Wales coast. '

  • Beaumaris Gaol

    'Beaumaris Gaol'

    'This building is full of sad memories and secrets providing a fascinating insight into the world of the prisoner during the 1800s.'

  • Circular walks on Anglesey

    'Circular walks on Anglesey's coast'

    'A selection of ten circular walks from every corner of the island, from inspiring coastal scenery, to hidden monuments. '

  • Cycle Wales

    'Cycle Wales'

    'Cycle Wales is a company based on Anglesey.'