Less Straits & More Delights
WELCOME TO MY SECOND PAGE ABOUT MENAI BRIDGE.
HERE ARE THE CONTENTS
THE MENAI STRAITS
PLAS NEWYDD ESTATE & A VICIOUS PIRATE
SHOPS & EATING
MENAI STRAITS EVENING BEAUTY
While you’re in the area why don’t you indulge yourself with delightful walks along the banks of the Menai Straits.
I have created a page with a walk that you can complete in one endeavour or break it down into a few stage to suit your mood and time.
Click Here to enjoy Menai Straits Evening Beauty
YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT
Share Your Favorite Anglesey Restaurant
Where was your tastiest meal?
Share it with everyone at the bottom of this page!
THE MENAI STRAITS
The centre channel essentially runs down the centre of the river at this point.
It is alleged that at the lowest of lowest tides it is, in theory, possible to wade across the then 0.5m deep straits at ‘The Swellies’.
What the theory forgets to highlight is that the speed of the tidal flow in the centre channel at low water is about 9mph.
You’d be washed away and Only a Nut would ever attempt such a ridiculous venture.
From sampling in a boat along the entire length of the Menai Straits, our readings revealed the deepest hole to be in the area of Pwllfanogl.
One of Wales and Britain's greatest artists, Sir Kyffin Willams, used to live in a cottage opposite Pwllfanogl by the Plas Newydd Estate beyond the Britannia Bridge from Menai Bridge.
Syr Kyffin managed on account of his friendship and of the admiration and the generosity of the present Marquess of Anglesey. Bless him.
The tidal flow beneath the Britannia Bridge is formidable and can be ferocious. I used to carry out Marine Surveys between the bridges and I remember having to use three-quarter throttle on a 40 horsepower Merlin-engined Zodiac to stay still while taking readings.
Sampling under the Britannia Bridge at tide’s turn we’d have the bucket bouncing on the surface of the racing water. When the bucket - Sorry, 'Sampling Device' - bit it would drag the boat along with it in the flow.
It's this type of information about the tidal flow that worries me when I consider reincarnation by some religion or other.
The more I think about it I find myself concerned of being re-born as a pig forced to cross the Menai Straits doggie-fashion. This is in addition to my other reincarnation fear of being a Wildebeest approaching the 20 foot crocodile river.
That’s enough about my neuroses. Back to the lovely Menai Bridge.
You will notice a couple of diamond shaped signs on poles at certain points along this stretch up and down from Menai Bridge.
What are these? Well, again I bring my scientific vigour to bear.
On a study of depth flow profiles in the Menai Straits at Pwllfanogl we used to attach the vacuum sampling tube, probes and measuring tape to the anchor and drop it over the side.
With a depth measurement gained we'd probe and sample at fifths all the way to the surface.
On one particular transect point we could not work out why the anchor was so heavy all of a sudden and taking two of us to pull it up.
One of the guys was put on standby with an oar because we'd persuaded each other that there was one monster Conger Eel pulling against us.
We eventually pulled the anchor to the boat but without a Conger in sight.
It was worse, we'd pulled the 50,000 volt DC power cable right into our midst. And it was Humming!
We let go of the cable with big YIPES! and it fell back into the deep and dark depths of the Menai Straits.
Hopefully clobbering a Conger Eel on the way down. We'll never, ever know, will we?
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PLAS NEWYDD ESTATE, ME AND THE PIRATE
Menai Bridge area is a fabulous area to walk in and around. The Anglesey Coastal Path will bring you along the Menai Straits from directly below the Brittania Bridge more less directly into Menai Bridge itself.
Nelson's statue above and below can be reached by driving out of Menai Bridge toward Llanfair PG, allow the Marquess Tower guide you.
Turn down the road for Carreg Mon Hotel and Llanfair PG Church.
Park by the church and walk down through the graveyard to the water's edge.
On the western side of the Britannia Bridge you will note the woodland and house of the wonderfully elegant Plas Newydd estate which is now owned by the National Trust.
The main house was built in the 18th Century by James Wyatt. The history of the estate reaches back more than 700 years.
The estate is open to the public more or less all-year round and I most strongly suggest that you pay a visit, if not to walk around the beautiful gardens then to attend one of the many events that are held there.
It's a very pleasing place to visit to rest your weary soul by the pleasant distraction of organised nature.
For more information may I respectfully direct you to this National Trust link to Plas Newydd
I once fought an 18th Century pirate here who was attempting to steal my wife. I fought a sword duel with him and was killed for my pains, sadly.
I got £30 for the filming, £3 going to my 'agent' and was nearly killed for real as we fought our duel during the night on the green lawn that literally falls down and away from the main house.
The wigs we wore were appalling and one of the sword blades snapped to fly up into the darkness when I tried to belt him one.
It sailed up into the darkness beyond the scope of the film lights. You've never seen a film crew scatter so quickly in your life.
Sadly, the Universal Law of Comedy did not come into play and we were not presented with a sword blade coming down to stick in the earth with a comedic twanging. It sort of cluttered pathetically. Much like the production.
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MENAI BRIDGE SHOPS & EATING PLACES
I really like Menai Bridge's main street as it has a couple of good cafes, a bistro and a fabulous Indian restaurant called ‘A Taste of India’ run by my friends Ali and Hussain. The warmest of welcomes with an easy smile from Ali who's your usual Maitre D'
Menna and her husband, John run the highly regarded butcher Swain's situated in the Menai Bridge square.
And I heartily encourage you to pay a visit to the Evans hardware store.
Evans' feels stuck in the forties somewhere and can’t - or won't - find its way back. An Aladdin's cave of small drawers everywhere and a warm welcome to all customers.
It's lovely to see quality clothing shops along the Menai Bridge main street.
There's Baffino, which used to be located in the Deiniol Centre in Bangor many years ago.
My Mother and Father used to be convinced that it was my brother and his friend Mike D who kept them in business.
Both Cel and Mike D were regarded as the sixth and seventh Jackson Brother in the Llangefni discos.
Nonetheless, it's great to see the shop still going here in Menai Bridge. Not far from it you'll find Elsa. I don't do ladies clothing, but I know quality when I see it.
Without being disrespectful or neglecting my solid Welsh heritage, the town exudes a pleasant Middle-England ambience because of the lovely clothes shops and well-presented antiques shops.
I'm certain that I'll upset someone or other with my list of eating places.
After all I haven't visited them all, so I'll generalise as much as I can without consciously diminishing any.
I've already mentioned A Taste of India on the main street.
Let me direct you to the environs of the bridge and the roundabout where you'll find the Anglesey Arms Hotel, which serves good sunday lunches and pretty fine good-sized sandwiches with your tea and coffee.
Across the road and by the bridge you'll find The Bridge Inn,which used to be called Jodies.
In Welsh that's Tafarn y Bont. ('Tafarn' being 'Inn' and 'Y Bont' being 'The Bridge').
This is the sister pub to the wonderful Ship Inne at Red Wharf Bay. Check out my Benllech Page for 'The Ship'
You can sit in its large conservatory restaurant and look out over the bridge. Or you can sit out with your pint on a warm evening.
Nothing raises envy more than driving past someone with a large glass of lager in front of them.
Some of you may remember that there was a pub across from The Bridge Inn. Anyway, my Dad, Uncle Ken and William Gibson were once perambulating the area during the annual Menai Bridge Fair in October every year.
All three reported back about one heck of a fight outside the old pub between a local 'lady' and a fairground lady.
What impressed the friends is that the fairground lady was giving as good as she got while rolling on the floor. What was even better was that she managed to keep the clay pipe puffing smoke as she sought to tear hair and soul apart. There's dignity, Aye?
An excellent eating pub is The Liverpool Arms by the pier, same for the Victoria Hotel on the hill.
Then there's the Cafe, Wine Bar & Bistro on the main street.
A nice european feel and great for a lunctime meal or tea and cake after a bracing walk.
I don't think that there's a single cafe on the main street that's not worth visiting. They've been there for years and that says all you need to know in this fickle age we've created.
I have received excellent family reports about the Jade Garden Chinese restaurant just down from the fabulous Waitrose.
Say a jolly Hello! to my friend Albert, who is the security guard there and my occasional personal shopper.
LET US ALL KNOW YOUR FAVOURITE ANGLESEY RESTAURANT
OR EATING PLACE
Share Your Favourite Anglesey Restaurant
Where was your tastiest meal?
Share YOUR favourite with everyone by Clicking Here!
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SKIP TO MORE MENAI BRIDGE ARTICLES
As I wrote at the top of this page, I had to split the Menai Bridge into two webpages, otherwise you'd get cramp in your index finger.
Soooo... Ever concerned for your wellbeing I have provided you with an easy means to move from item to item.
I'm certain that you'll remember which page you're on.
Here are links that will take you to the respective articles on the first Menai Bridge page. Just CLICK BELOW and a further world of knowledge will be opened to you.
Isn't That Marvellous!!
PROMENADE WHILE THINKING OF MOTHER THERESA
THOMAS TELFORD'S BRIDGE
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