I have so many happy memories of family holidays on the Llŷn Peninsula (sometimes spelt Lleyn Peninsula) and I know I’m not alone – it holds a special place in many people’s hearts and if you haven’t been it really is a place you need to visit! October Half-Term is fast approaching so if you’re looking for somewhere for a last-minute week away you really need look no further!
The Peninsula is located in the North-West of Wales and stretches out into the Irish Sea for 30 miles. Much of it is designated as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” and it’s certainly not difficult to see why! With its rolling hills and mountains, green fields, historic stone walls, dramatic cliffs and gorgeous beaches it really is a beautiful part of the world, whatever the weather!
OUR TOP 5 BEACHES ON THE LLŶN PENINSULA
Abersoch is probably the most famous village on the Llŷn Peninsula and definitely one of the most popular tourist spots. If you’re not into crowds don’t head there in the middle of Summer, but off-peak the town becomes much quieter and you can enjoy a much more relaxed atmosphere. It’s a go-to destination for water-sports such as dingy sailing, wakeboarding and power-boating and the village hosts its own family-friendly regatta in early August. The village has a number of bars, restaurants, cafes and shops and it’s main beach is sheltered with great views!
This is my absolute favourite place on the whole of the Llŷn Peninsula. It has certainly become much more popular over the past 30 or so years since my childhood, but again if you visit out of season or head there early in the morning or in the evening you can often be the only people there!
Porthdinllaen, owned by the National Trust since 1994, is a small former fishing village and home to the Tŷ Coch Inn, one of the top beach bars in the world!
The views of Yr Eifl and Snowdonia on a clear day are absolutely stunning and sitting on the beach watching the fishing boats bobbing in the bay whilst sipping a gin and tonic as the children build sandcastles is a truly wonderful experience.
You can’t get to the village/beach by car unless you’re a resident but you can either stroll over the cliffs across Nefyn golf course or along Morfa Nefyn beach, both of which are lovely walks. (I’m letting out a secret now, as most people just stop and the village, but if you walk a little further round the cliffs you end up at Porthdinllaen Lifeboat Station which is on a lovely, small and quiet beach with golden sands, but sssssh…don’t tell everyone!!)
Another lovely beach managed by the National Trust is Llanbedrog. The beach is sheltered and sandy with shallow waters perfect for paddling! It’s bright and colourful beach huts were a striking feature of the beach, in contrast to traditional pastel coloured huts elsewhere, but unfortunately Storm Emma in early 2018 took away a lot of the sand on the beach (and 50 tonnes of buried waste) so the beach huts have been relocated to the car park for the time being as there was not a safe enough place for them on the beach. Their future will apparently be decided in 2019.
There are a few cafes and pubs in the village and the “Siop y Plas” opposite the National Trust car park sells coffee, local ice-cream, beach items and crafts. Activities such as sea and river fishing, sailing and boating and pony trekking are all on offer in the village and the “Plas Glyn-y-Weddw” arts and heritage centre is well worth a visit!
This former fishing village, although small, has lots to see and there is a large sandy beach to explore. It was awarded a Seaside Award in 2008, it’s coastal waters are designated as a Special Area of Conservation and the area has been designated a Landscape of Historical interest. Around April time the village celebrates the arrival of puffins and it is a great spot for bird watching all year round so Bean’s new pair of binoculars will come in useful next time we visit!
Since 1974 Bardsey Island (the Island of 20,000 Saints) has been included in the community of Aberdaron and you can get a boat trip across to the island from Porth Meurdw, near the village, following the route of many ancient pilgrims. Remains of a thirteenth century abbey can be seen and the island is also known as the Island of 20,000 Saints as it is reported to be the burial site for many Christian saints and pilgrims. The island is also a National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation for its wildlife, as well as a Special Protection Area because of the breeding birds.
Criccieth is a small coastal town very near the boundary of the Llŷn Peninsula, with two blue flag and seaside award beaches (a mix of sand and pebble with rockpools at low tide), cafés, pubs, restaurants and some lovely independent shops. Criccieth is known for its spectacular views across the Peninsula and mountains of Snowdonia, so it’s no wonder that the town was dubbed “The Pearl of Wales on the Shores of Snowdonia” by its Tourist Association back in the 1970s!
There is one thing, however, that sets Criccieth apart from all the other beaches on this list – it is watched over by its own Medieval castle! Not many beaches can boast that! Granted, it is a ruin, but if there’s anything my children like exploring almost as much as a beach, its a castle, ruined or not, and Criccieth doesn’t disappoint! Originally built by Llywelyn the Great, taken over by Edward I and eventually captured and burnt by Owain Glyn Dwr in the early 1400s, whilst it was being used as a prison, the castle is steeped in history and now mainted by Cadw. Mandi at “Big Family Little Adventures” has written this lovely post on her family’s day out, “imagining the past” at Criccieth Castle which sums it up perfectly!
Have you ever been to the Llŷn Peninsula or has this post inspired you to visit? I love to read your comments! Please feel free to leave a comment below and don’t forget to Pin the image below for later! Also remember to tag all of your Instagram photos with #sandytoedkids (enjoying the beach, whatever the weather!) for a chance to be featured.
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