It’s an unusual claim to fame, but The Bull in the Anglesey seaside resort of Beaumaris has the largest single hinged gate in the UK.
It hangs at the entrance to the pub’s sizeable courtyard garden. Inside the main building it is warm and comfy, with numerous nods to its long history as a former coaching inn.
The bar is lined with antique weapons and an 18th Century ducking stool.
Cosy: Lizzie Enfield dined at The Bull’s restaurant, Coach, a ‘spacious contemporary extension’
A busy social and trading hub in the late 15th Century, The Bull served as headquarters of parliamentarian General Thomas Mytton during the Civil War.
Almost a century later, in 1733, it was put to more peaceful purposes as one of the first Quaker meeting houses on Anglesey and the venue for the Beaumaris book society.
Well-read guests will spot that The Bull’s 12 bedrooms are all named after Dickens characters – the writer, at that time a reporter, stayed there when covering the shipwreck of The Royal Charter off storm-ravaged Anglesey in 1859.
Inside one of the bedrooms, which are all named after Dickens characters as the writer famously sojourned here
These comfortable and expensively kitted-out rooms offer lots of cosy nooks, oak beams, Welsh textiles, toiletries and Paned Pen Llyn Fairtrade tea and coffee.
All is calm and snug inside Mr Stiggins, our deluxe double named after The Pickwick Papers’ unsavoury evangelist.
Here an antique writing desk and chest of drawers contrast with the modern velvet headboard and matching chaise lounge. Pretty Celtic-patterned bowls and slate coasters adorn bedside tables, while the vast en suite with separate shower and freestanding bath feels distinctly un-Dickensian.
The buffet breakfast is pastries and cereals with compotes served in glass jars, or there’s a full Welsh complete with black pudding and cheese and laverbread scones.
That set us up for a day exploring Beaumaris, with its World Heritage-listed castle, elegant Victorian terraces (designed by Joseph Hansom, of cab fame) and clutch of cafes, bars, art galleries, gift and antiques shops. A windy walk along the Wales Coast Path takes us to Penmon Point, Anglesey’s eastern tip which looks out to Puffin Island bird sanctuary (boat trips available).
The hotel is located in Beaumaris, which has a World Heritage-listed castle (pictured) and a clutch of cafes, bars, art galleries, gift and antiques shops
Lizzie took a windy walk from the hotel along the Wales Coast Path to Penmon Point, Anglesey’s eastern tip. Pictured is Penmon’s lighthouse
Returning to The Bull’s beautifully preserved bar, a gin and cask ale beckoned before dinner in the Coach restaurant, a spacious contemporary extension. Expect pub classics with a dash of fine dining and an emphasis on local produce and seafood.
We ate spicy tomato soup with cave-aged cheddar dumplings and sticky pork belly followed by guinea fowl with wild mushrooms and slow braised lamb shank.
With historic charm, stylish rooms, gourmet grub and a great location, The Bull has a lot more going for it than just a big gate.