“ Address: Llanfaes, Beaumaris, Gwynedd LL58 8RG „
My girlfriend and I love the sea and if we can, try to get as close to the water as possible if we holiday in a coastal area. For our recent holiday on Anglesey, we found the ideal cottage. 'Blue Sails' is a romantically named, quaint old fisherman's cottage that is, as the picture above shows, right on the shore. The cottage is located only two miles from the pretty seaside town of Beaumaris. Following the B5109 past the castle and out of Beaumaris, a row of stone cottages is reached within a mile and a half. The turning for Blue Sails is immediately after the last cottage. This is a very narrow single lane track and Blue Sails is found at the bottom. There is a large car park here at the head of the cottage's garden. There are steps leading down from the garden to the house. These are very steep and a bit slippery. It is easy to see why the cottage is advertised as 'not for the elderly or infirm'. Once inside the cottage, we realised that the website's description and photos did not do Blue Sails justice. This is a very old house that is simply full of character. Owned as a holiday home for many years, the owners have filled the rooms with personal items, giving the impression that one is visiting someone's home. Nice touches such as quality furniture, books, and extensive maps of the area, give the cottage a real 'lived in' feel. The cottage is deceptively large. There is easily enough room for six people to stay, without getting under each others' feet. The front door opens directly into the dining room. This is reasonably sized, with seating for six at a quality dining table. The room has lots of dark wood furniture, giving a classy ambiance. The kitchen is next; small, but well organised, with a separate wash room. All the facilities that one would expect are here: microwave, washing machine, fridge/freezer, as well as some decent crockery and cutlery. There is a small bedroom next to the kitchen fitted with bunk beds. Lots of children's books line the shelves. The kitchen leads through to the centre piece of the house; the living room. This is the biggest room in the house again with seating for six people. As elsewhere, the furnishings are of a high quality, with some lovely old wooden pieces. There are two main features of this room; the patio doors, and the log burning stove. As we visited in November, the stove came in very handy. Sitting in front of a real fire, snuggled up on the sofa watching the writhing flames consume the logs, was very relaxing and something we looked forward to each night. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a small bathroom. The 'lived in' feel of the house continues upstairs with paintings (some originals), most with a nautical theme, as expected of its location. The beds are comfortable, warm, and cosy. Overall, the cottage is an extremely lovely place to spend time. Its quaint rooms, lovely furnishings, and little welcoming touches left by the owners will captivate visitors who stay here. The cottage does, of course, have one big advantage that most other cottages do not have: the sea! Blue Sails is situated right on the beach overlooking the Menai Straits and the forbidding mountains of Snowdonia beyond. At high tide, the rushing waters lap the garden wall. The patio doors lead to the patio, which is safely paved to seat the chairs and tables made available for use in good weather. In poorer weather, the sitting room provides stunning views: the restless sea can be watched in comfort from inside. Sheltered from the elements, it's possible to enjoy stormy weather, with the waves crashing against the shore, as much as sunny weather, when the patio doors are open to the glorious sea air. All of the bedrooms share this sea view, as does the dining room. Listening to the rising and falling sea in bed is a lovely way to drift off to sleep. The beach here is sandy and open, with walks in both directions for miles. Blue Sails' wonderful location means that visitors can step out of the garden straight onto the beach. The wildlife here is extensive. From the house, the birds of the straits can be seen: eider ducks, mergansers, scoters, divers and grebes can all be encountered. At high tide, some of these pass by just in front of the garden wall, giving superb views: this is a bird watcher's paradise holiday home. It is likely that grey seals will be seen, too; the usual sighting is of a large head, bobbing in the waves, staring curiously at the humans staring back from shore. This is then, a wonderful cottage in an idyllic setting. It is not, however, without problems. As already mentioned, the steps are steep and slippery, needing care to traverse. Once in the house itself, however, care is still needed. The cottage shows its age with low doorways: the bedrooms and kitchen in particular. For someone over five feet six, and a bit clumsy (i.e. me) Blue Sails' doorways can be a bruising experience. I lost count of the times I banged my head because I forgot to duck. Shorter, less clumsy people will have fever problems, I'm sure. The other problem with the cottage is its popularity! Checking on www.cottage-choice.co.uk/cottages-Blue-Sails-JPV.shtml, shows that Blue Sails is often booked up a year in advance. Hiring the cottage for a week costs between £400 and £800 depending on the season. Shorter breaks are available. I can thoroughly recommend this cottage for lovers of old style accommodation, and people who love the sea. This is a wonderful location to stay at any time of the year. Seemingly isolated, yet only a couple of miles from Beaumaris, day to day cares and worries simply melt away when staying here; everyone will enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Blue Sails.