We review Chateau Rhianfa in Anglesey and explore the surrounding area, beaches and attractions with our young children
It is not every day you wake up in a castle.
And the spectacular sight from our ridiculously comfortable bed through a large picture window means getting up is not appealing.
We are in Anglesey and our view takes in the waters of the Menai Strait, framed by majestic Snowdonia.
Other families we know holiday in Anglesey yet we had never been so we had decided to visit the beautiful island off north Wales for a half-term break.
Chateau Rhianfa is more decadent than your average venue with its grand decor and tiered gardens sweeping down to the water (click here for our full review of Chateau Rhianfa).
Fans of ITV’s Cold Feet will recognise it as it recently featured in an episode for the wedding of Spanish nanny Ramona.
It was built in the mid-1800s in the style of a French Renaissance chateau as an aristocratic country retreat.
This fairy tale venue is impressive from the outside and fascinating on the inside.
Our children loved exploring the grand drawing and music rooms and were excited to discover cosy cubby holes in turrets.
And we were all happy to find an atmospheric wine cave among the rabbit warren of spaces.
The hotel rooms and suites are lavishly finished.
The Gate Lodge
Or you can stay in equally beautiful self-catering accommodation in the grounds.
We were in the Gate Lodge, a two-storey cottage with arched entrance and miniature turrets, where attendants of visitors to the chateau would once have stayed.
It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen/diner and lounge area.
With the space and the large grounds to enjoy, I could have stayed there all day. But there was an island to explore and two children eager to get going.
We were spoilt for choice for beaches and our favourite was Newborough, a wide sweeping bay backed by sand dunes and woodland walks.
We also liked Lligwys Beach near Moelfre – quiet and good for rockpooling – and the more rugged and windy Rhosneigr which was home to kitesurfers and kayakers.
Our daughter never tired of throwing stones into the water and our son loved hunting for crabs among the rock pools and paddling in the sea.
And we discovered exactly how crashing waves worked through clever replications at Anglesey Sea Zoo.
Everything in this aquarium is found around the British coast, and we found out plenty thanks to the friendly staff as they fed the fish and lobsters.
You can enjoy a feed too at the well-priced cafe and outside there’s a playground, bouncy slide, crazy golf and more.
Back at our castle, trying the food is a must as it has previously won Hotel Restaurant of the Year (Welsh Food Awards).
We had a delicious breakfast on our last morning and also risked our young children in the quiet and refined dining room for an evening meal.
Thankfully they behaved. Or at least, nobody was looking when they didn’t.
It was a small, thoughtfully put together menu. There were no separate options for children. But the chefs were happy to adapt one of the dishes to suit them. And my steak was the best I have ever tasted.
The food lived up to expectations, as did the venue, as did Anglesey itself.
We are one more family won over by its charms.
Have you been to Anglesey? Where do you recommend for children?
RELATED CONTENT: We review Chateau Rhianfa castle accommodation in Anglesey, Wales
(We stayed as guests of Chateau Rhianfa. All views are our own).