Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Anglesey

This village with it's famous railway station is known to the tourist as the longest official place name in Europe and possibly second longest in the world. As the name presents it's own problems, it is often shortened to Llanfairpwll or as I refer to it ... Llanfair PG. In that sense the meaning of the Welsh translation (St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave) is a little lost !

For obvious reasons, it is not one of my favourite places but I felt that blog readers would like to this curiosity a lot more than I would want to publish this tourist only post ! It was thought the name originated in the 1860's as a publicity stunt by an unknown shoe repairer in a nearby village. His plan worked !

Although the railway station is on the main Crewe - Holyhead ( North Wales Coast ) line, most people arrive here by road transport as only local trains stop here.

The other station ..... !!
 In case you wondered whether people just came to see the railway station and the occasional small corner shop in the village, you would be quite wrong in thinking that. Someone in their great wisdom decided to open a tourist venue at the other end of the railway station car park. It is unfortunate in my opinion that this shop has the overall feel of a Scottish Woollen mill dressed up in "Welshness". To be fair some of the products are made in Wales but a lot originates from over the Scottish border.

Where more people sit on the other platform !! ..........
... thinking about destinations that "Arriva trains Wales" will never take you too !!
During Roman times, the Island of Anglesey was invaded possibly for the agricultural and fishing elements but the soldiers withdrew to fight against the army of Boadicea. Agriculture continued to be a major force in the local economy down the centuries where the residents worked on farms and in more recent centuries as tenants. Following the building of the two bridges across the Menai in the 19th century, traders arrived and business increased.

The Marquess of Anglesey's column
 The Marquess of Anglesey was a title given to a member of the Paget family following bravery in the Battle of Waterloo and apart from overseeing some of the farms at that time, there was a monument built in his memory.

Time to ascend the steps inside and .......

....see the building where I paid my entrance fee......

.... and see the main road/rail entrance into Anglesey... or ... The floodgates of tourism and industry are open !!
The Britannia Bridge lived without much incident from it's construction in 1850 ( by Newcastle upon Tyne bridge builder Robert Stephenson) until 1970 when it suffered a serious fire. The bridge had originally a large box tubular structure containing a railway line but a fire seriously damaged it and as it was part of the integral structure, the bridge had to be virtually rebuilt with the arched supports sitting in the Menai. A road was later constructed on the upper deck to ease congestion on the Menai Suspension Bridge. There are still four huge stone lions that stand guard in each corner.

(As a point of interest, Bangor is to the left of this picture, my accommodation was in the centre of the picture on the slopes of the small foreground hill and I did one mountain walk which was the peak on the  far left horizon.

I returned later in the week on Friday as I had no success on my last full day in searching for boxes of biscuits to take home as souvenirs. .... How do you know it's friday.... because all the coach tours are on there way home ready to pick up the next batch of tourists !! ....

The other empty friday platform to match the real one !
....and I have the whole shop to myself so as I can choose whatever I want ..... well, within reason ...


  1. I really thought your title was a typo when I first read it. A box of biscuits does sound pretty good!!

  2. I sure wish I could pronounce that. I came across it a few years back when I was in my wanting-to-learn-Welsh phase (which was rather short lived, I'm afraid).

    All great photos, as usual, but my two favorites are the train station clock and the photo of the bridge, the water, the mountains, the fog. Too beautiful. I try to put myself inside the picture and look around.

    Is there anyone who doesn't love shortbread?? What were the shapes? The last shortbread I bought was Walker, and until I looked it up, I'd had no idea just how remote the village is where it is made in Scotland!

  3. I don't know how you manage it but manage you do.I avoid places that are so incredibly awful that they have to resort to the world destination and distance sign post. You have once again made the place interesting a very sympathetic treatment, thanks.

  4. Such a long name for a place. First time for me to read about this. Talking about learning new everyday. Thanks for this.

    ...and I love your photos.

  5. Hi Jay,

    Perhaps the tourist venue should team up with the makers of Alphabetti Spaghetti?! Of course, you'd need a family sized tin to contain the name....

    kind Regards


  6. Sorry but I had to laugh when I read the title of your post in the link, my first thought was, Yeah but can you say it? You most likely can. Fun place for a visit even though I was a little disappointed to find out later that it is not the longest town name in the world. Nice pictures as always

  7. An interesting village, even if it would be only its name! The bridge is nice too, and the landscape around.

  8. My first visit there was when I was a youngster. The ticket office was still open and you could buy a souvenir ticket to say you had been on the station.

    When I went back I found they had added a visitor centre and closed the ticket office and ruined the atmosphere of the place.

  9. Wow, what a name! Great photos. I really like the bridge. You mentioned the Crewe-Holyhead railroad line. I live near Crewe, Va. - a railroad town which was named after your Crewe.

  10. OMG, what a name! A place or post with such a long, intricate name immediately intrigues us.

    The railway station looks nice, so do the Britannia Bridge, and the souvenir box of local shortbreads.

    I hope, someday to visit the interesting and charming island of Anglesey.

  11. Oh I've been to that place!!! don't remember if you knew me then,and Dad has been up them steps, mom wouldn't go up he took a photo of her just in the same place you have from the top. Small world:) You are putting me in the mood for my holiday, we are going back in July :) thanks for another great post.


    Have a good week
    See yea George xxx

  12. Your text is so informative and your pictures are stunning! My congratulations dear friend Jay!

  13. Congratulation, Jay!
    So very informative as always..

    The next week I am leaving for Epirus (north/west
    of Greece) very near to Albanian.
    To have a nice rest on a boat, swimming and snorkeling...
    Wish you a lovely week!

  14. You are a walking encyclopedia--you know your history well. Lovely shots from the top of the monument--I love the old bridge and the beautiful view of the countryside. The stairwell and the stonewall also make an interesting photo. What a name!!!!! Have a nice week. Mickie :)


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