PHOTO: Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey. (photo courtesy of Visit Wales)
As fans of the film and New York Times bestseller, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” know, a mystical island off the coast of Wales is the setting for the magical goings on that have made legions of fans of the story, including film director, Tim Burton.
In real life, Wales, the country, is home to myriad mystical, magical and particularly peculiar places, ones that you can have an adventure to.
The island of Anglesey, similar to the one in the book and film, is home to some majestic places that seem to exist beyond the bounds of time.
The entire island, off the North Coast of Wales is said to have been the last place that the Druids lived while fighting the Romans for survival. They were said to have taken their special brand of Celtic magic with them to this beautiful island and you can feel that goosebumpy feeling of specialness all around you here. On Anglesey, you can visit the fairytale castle of Beaumaris — a huge fortress built by Edward I. You can also stay in the Chateau Rhianfa, Grade ll-listed Chateau on the Menai Strait with breathtaking views overlooking Snowdonia with a long history reminiscent of Miss Peregrine’s school.
Wales is also home to many sites that are connected with famous fairy tales and the magical world of childhood.
Mount Snowdon, the highest peak south of the Scottish border is said to be the last resting place of King Arthur. You’ll see the magnificent mountain in the upcoming Guy Ritchie film on King Arthur in 2017 but why not visit before and immerse yourself in the mist-enshrouded mountain’s atmosphere and beauty. Mount Snowdon was the peak Sir Edmund Hillary used to practice for his legendary trek to the top of Mount Everest. If you’re looking for a more leisurely way to explore the mountain, there’s a single-gauge railway that can take you to the viewing platform at the very top.
And for lovers of the peculiar magic of “Alice in Wonderland,” what better place to visit than the seaside resort town where Lewis Carroll met his inspiration, Alice Liddell?
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The town of Llandudno looks very much as it did in the 1800s when the famed Oxford maths professor met little Alice Liddell and her family who were vacationing here. Llandudno is home to charming Victorian seaside hotels that line the crescent beach where Alice herself played. There’s also an old time vintage “Punch and Judy” show on the white sands, Victorian shopping arcades and a rail train up the Great Orme mountain, overlooking the ocean and this gem of a Victorian town out of time.
Finally, we can’t think of anything more magical or “peculiar” in that special and wonderfully memorable way than the “Great Little Trains of Wales.”
These vintage narrow gauge steam trains comprising railways like the Ffestiniog Welsh Highland Railway, the Vale of Rhiedol Railway and the Brecon Mountain Railway among others will take travelers through the enchanted landscape of Wales.
There’s a reason why the peculiarly perfect tales behind “Thomas the Tank Engine” were conceived in Wales — it’s because Wales is home to some of the world’s last original examples of these magical modes of transportation.
You can have a peculiar adventure, if you wish. Tour operators specializing in Wales can customize a trip highlighting all of these places and more. Find one on the Visit Wales page today and begin your adventure to Wales, the setting for the book that inspired the movie, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”