To the windmill: Melin Y Bont on Anglesey presses all the right coastal buttons

In southwest Anglesey, a mere whisper away from beaches where almighty gusts whip off the Irish Sea and the dunes seem to roll to infinity, is the escape of your wildest childhood fantasies – but with a grown-up’s love of style and comfort. This chicly converted 19th-century windmill has immediate wow factor, with big views, round rooms, pretty pastel interiors and space and light to dream away.

Why we love it

Hear the word windmill and you might imagine something more rudimentary than this Grade II-listed, four-storey conversion in the small settlement of Tŷ Croes. Built in 1825 (as the only combined wind- and watermill on the island at the time), its sails were removed in 1930, and then it was gutted by fire in the 1970s. Fastidiously restored by the Bodorgan Estate in 2006, it is now a fabulous self-catering retreat managed by Boltholes & Hideaways, offering ‘unique spaces and hidden places’ in Anglesey and Snowdonia.

We loved the breezy, stick-of-rock pink-and-white colours and shell table in the living room – an ode to happy days spent at the seaside – not to mention the terraces gazing peacefully out across the countryside, the beautifully crafted oak floors and beams, and the spiral staircase twirling up to three double bedrooms. But the real clincher was the master bedroom, with its spectacular vaulted ceiling and rafters projecting into a starry night sky. Here we listened to the gulls drift in from the sea in the morning, and winds hammering the sailless mill, making its beams groan, by night.

The vibe

The look and feel is understated beach chic – stylish, but not so much so that you can’t turn up in muddy boots or sandy bathers. There’s even a washing machine and tumble dryer in the basement if you need to clean up your gear. The kitchen is properly fitted out with every appliance you’ll need to cook, too, making this a great self-contained choice during these socially distanced times. And in summer you can eat out on the picnic table or fire up the barbecue.

The welcome

We arrived just as the last flare of sunset lit the horizon, with all the joy of seeing the mill by daylight yet to come. It is self check-in at the moment, with everything meticulously cleaned and Covid prepped. A welcome bottle of wine was a thoughtful touch, and there was plenty of information on what to see and do and where to eat on the island, as well as some print-outs of suggested walks. The Boltholes & Hideaways team pride themselves on their local knowledge and gave us some excellent tips on how best to spend our week on Anglesey.