Amlwch is a community and the most northerly town in Wales. It is situated on the north coast of the Isle of Anglesey, on the A5025 which connects it to Holyhead and to Menai Bridge. The town has no beach, but it has impressive coastal cliffs. Tourism is an important element of the local economy. At one time it was a busy port, with boats sailing to the Isle of Man and to Liverpool. A number of the houses date from the 19th century and add to the atmosphere of the town.
The local newspaper for northeastern Anglesey is Yr Arwydd ('The Sign'). Yr Arwydd is the local Welsh name for Mynydd Bodafon, the paper covers the area surrounding the mountain, and has an image of the summit as its logo.
The name Amlwch – a reference to the site of the town's harbour, Porth Amlwch – derives from Welsham ("about, on or around") and llwch (an old word meaning "inlet, creek" - similar to the Gaelic word "loch" for a body of water).
According to legend in the Middle Ages, the town developed on a site that had a harbour but was not visible from the sea, which helped to reduce the chance of Viking attacks.
It grew rapidly in the 18th century near what was then the world's biggest copper mine at the nearby Parys Mountain. By the late 18th century, Amlwch had a population of around 10,000 and was the second largest town in Wales after Merthyr Tydfil. It was at this time that its harbour was also extended to accommodate the ships needed to transport the ore. At the 2011 census the Community had a population of 3,789
In the 1970s, Amlwch had an offshore single point mooring - Amlwch Oil Terminal - which was used to receive large oil tankers which were unsuitable for the Mersey. Reception tanks were located ashore and the oil was pumped from there to the refineries on the Manchester Ship Canal. The terminal closed in 1990.
When copper mining began to decline in the mid-1850s, shipbuilding became the main industry with many people also becoming involved in the ship repair and other maritime industries. The town was home to a brewing industry and also had tobacco works, producing the famous Amlwch Shag Tobacco - "Baco Shag Amlwch". Even after the decline of the copper mine some chemical industries remained and in 1953 a chemical plant to extract bromine from sea water (for use in petrol engines) was built but this closed in 2004.
At the peak of the copper mining, it is believed that Amlwch had a record of public house to person ratio, with there being one pub for every four people. Today the ratio is nowhere near that mark but you can find pubs such as the King's Head, the Queen's Head, the Mariner, the Dinorben Arms Hotel and the Market Tavern in the town, and the Liverpool Arms and the Adelphi Vaults down in the port area. It also used to have a station, the northern terminus of the Anglesey Central Railway which was open between 1864 and 1993. There are some that would like to see the line restored, including the County Council's Economic Development Representative and consultants English Welsh & Scottish, believing that it would be beneficial for the local tourism industry as well as providing further public transport, linking the town with Bangor via rail.
Attractions in Amlwch include its restored port, the Anglesey Coastal Path which passes through it, its watch tower containing an exhibition by Geo Môn, maritime and copper mining museums, St Eleth's Church (which dates from 1800) and the reinforced concrete Catholic church Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Winefride, built in 1937. The town's leisure centre is one of the few on Anglesey and has a swimming pool, sports centre and squash courts. It is situated on Anglesey's 125-mile stretch of coast that is designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the coastal walks and heritage walks provide for unique and spectacular views.
The town also has two football clubs, Amlwch Town F.C., who play in the Welsh Alliance League, and the Adelphi Vaults F.C., a Sunday League pub team currently playing in the My Scaffolding League Division 1.
Amlwch has a sea rowing club based in Bull Bay, Trireme Ynys Mon Rowing Club. The club is the most successful rowing club in North Wales, and competes in the Welsh Sea Rowing Association League.
It is also home to the local secondary school, Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones which Lemmy attended, and the town also has a primary school. The high street is home to a number of small private businesses, many with a unique and boutique feel.