Sunday, 23 March 2014


Believe it or not, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll is the shortened version of the name of this large village on Anglesey near the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Strait.  The full version of the name, which describes the location of St Mary's Church, is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, making it the longest place name in Europe and one of the longest in the world (the longest, since you ask, is the 105-letter Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateahaumaitawhitiurehaea-
turipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu in New Zealand).  Most visitors to the village head for the railway station, where the full version of the name is stretched out on a sign just begging for its photo to be taken with whoever swings by.  Tourists can also pick up a novel souvenir of their visit by getting their passport stamped in a local shop.  The other big draw in the village is a 27-metre high column dedicated to the Marquess of Anglesey Henry Paget, who lost a leg at the Battle of Waterloo.  There are steps to the top from where there are stunning views of Snowdonia and Anglesey.  The Britannia Bridge was built by Robert Stephenson, who designed it for carrying rail traffic across to the island, as well as road traffic via the A55.  Near Llanfairpwllgwyngyll is the National Trust owned Plas Newydd, a country house and gardens which is home to the Marquess of Anglesey.  The 18th-century property is set on the Anglesey shore of the Menai Strait and offers wonderful views across to Snowdonia.  Attractions for visitors include gardens and an arboretum, as well as a military museum.  The woods in the grounds are home to the elusive red squirrel, and there are guided walks available with a red squirrel expert.

Map of the area.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Photo by Adriao, via Wikimedia Commons.

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