On the map, you cannot miss the Lleyn Peninsula – it is the crooked finger pointing into the Irish Sea. With so much Celtic history and heritage, and a stronghold over the Welsh Culture and language, this stunning coastline is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is packed with coves & beaches, and has something for everyone. An 84 mile stretch of coastal path follows the curves of the peninsula, through fields, over kissing gates, passing by coves, cliffs, churches and beaches. Popular with watersports enthusiasts and with some of the most beautiful scenery, fauna and wildlife, there is bound to be the perfect place for you and your family to visit. From trendy cosmopolitan villages perfect for people watching, to sleepy laid back villages where you get the friendliest welcome, the Lleyn Peninsula is a firm favourite of visitors of all ages to North Wales. There are too many places to list them all, however the following villages & towns are all popular places to visit!
Abersoch – Could be considered the coolest place on the Lleyn Peninsula! Designer & popular branded shops including Fat Face, Crew Clothing & Jack Wills, ideal for a holiday treat – go on, you deserve it! Contemporary restaurants including Manana’s (a very popular mexican restaurant serving huge portions) & Venitia (a great, stylish Italian restaurant), & cocktail bars a plenty – Fresh bistro & bar has a cocktail menu to cater to every taste and occasion & the steak night is well worth a visit! Popular with watersports enthusiasts, the boating fraternity and those that love people watching, Abersoch is a busy little village in the main season with lots going on, from running & sailing events to Jazz weekends and music festivals. Abersoch is also the base for six circular walks ranging from less than a mile to over 9 miles! Dogs are allowed on most parts of the beach, however there are a few areas with restrictions.
Did you know ? Born survivor Bear Grylls owns St Tudwals West Island which you can see from Abersoch! You will often see Bear out and about in the area!
Llanbedrog – Is a pretty little seaside village between Abersoch & the larger town of Pwllheli, and is home to Plas Oriel Glyn Y Weddw, art centre & gallery. The lost woodlands at Plas Glyn Y Weddw make for a stunning walk, taking in a stunning array of wild flowers. The best bit is, you can then head from here off to the beach and stop at the cafe where dogs are allowed outside (you wouldn’t want to go inside anyway with views like this). The beautiful pet friendly beach owned by The National Trust is one of the most photographed beaches in the area due to the stunning backdrop of the headland and the charming painted beach huts.
Did you know? In 1980, The landmark Iron Man which sits proudly on the headland was created by a local sculptor called Simon Van de Put to replace the original figurehead from a ship, which was sadly vandalised!
Criccieth – Is a charming seaside town where you will always receive a friendly, warm welcome. Criccieth has a nice selection of cafes, pubs, restaurants on the High Street, try Dylan’s, the Tir A Mor & Poachers for a lovely evening meal. The Tea Rooms on the High St welcome dogs if you want to stop for a delicious cake & cup of tea. The castle proudly sits overlooking the town and you can take your dog here too! The pebbly beach is popular with families (the beach has areas with dog restrictions so please be aware). The lifeboat station is on the sea front and has its practice session every Thursday evening – well worth watching! Criccieth has lots to do both in the town and close by. You can try your hand at mini golf at the pitch and putt, crown green bowling, or visit the Rabbit Farm where they have much more than just rabbits! The fair comes to town once a year, on 23 May and 29 June, unless these dates fall on a Sunday, in which case it is held the following day.
Did you know? Disaster struck Criccieth in October 1927; a great storm in the Irish Sea stopped the tidal flow, causing a double high tide. High seas and strong on-shore winds destroyed houses at Abermarchnad, the pressure of the waves punching holes through the back walls; the houses subsequently had to be demolished and the occupants rehoused!
Pwllheli – A marina town with lots going on at the entrance to the peninsula! The ‘hub’ of the Lleyn, popular with visitors to the numerous sailing events. A good selection of restaurants, bars & shops & even one late night venue for the younger contingent! The weekly market is held on Y Maes – ‘The Square’ on a Wednesdays and also on Sundays in the summer months. Two lovely golden sand beaches, and a long promenade to stroll along & the marina with a fabulous array of boats & yachts to admire.
Did you know? For many years a holiday camp operated a few miles from Pwllheli. During the Second World War it became a naval camp, HMS Glendower, and it operated a hospital for wounded servicemen at Brynberyl on the Pwllheli to Caernarfon road two miles out of town.
Porthmadog – Set against a backdrop of Moel Y Gest mountains and the Glaslyn Estuary, Porthmadog is the gateway to the Snowdonia National Park. This bustling town has a busy High St filled with individual shops, restaurants, pubs and of course the Welsh Highland & Ffestiniog Railway!, Plenty to do whatever the weather. Ideally placed for exploring and visiting many of the North Wales’ most popular tourist attractions, getting out and about for a walk, or spending the day on the beach – Black Rock Sands is a dog friendly beach, although like many other beaches, there are some restrictions in place so keep an eye out for the signs
Did you know? Kerfoots, located in a Victorian building on Stryd Fawr, is a small department store established in 1874 and contains a unique spiral staircase, chandeliers and slender cast iron columns which support the upper floors.
Borth Y Gest – Borth Y Gest is a pretty little harbourside village on the edge of the Glaslyn Estuary, lined with pastel coloured houses that remind us of Balamory! There are public loos, a car park, small shop and cafe, although the larger town of Porthmadog is nearby.
Did you know? Ships were built here before Porthmadog was established and houses, still known as “pilot houses”, were built at the mouth of the harbour so that pilots could keep a watch for ships needing them.
Nefyn & Morfa Nefyn – A seaside village with a harbour & maritime museum on the North side of the coast. The Pilgrim’s Path may be of particular interest to those who enjoy a historical and spiritual walk! The fabulous beaches here include the stunning Porth Dinllaen, which when the weather is kind is rivals anywhere in the med, complete with the wonderful Ty Coch Inn as your taverna! This has officially been listed as the third best beach bar in the world, so be warned when the sun is out it can get very busy, but what an atmosphere! You will often see kayakers bobbing around on the water, exploring the coves and bays of this fabulous coastline. For golfers, there is the world famous Nefyn linx golf course.
Did you know? The history of the area can be traced back to 300 BC with the Iron Age Hillfort of Garn Boduan overlooking Nefyn. The remains of 170 round stone huts and ramparts are still visible on top of the 917 feet (280 m) hill.
Aberdaron – A quaint former fishing village at the tip of the Lleyn and the last stop on the Pilgrim’s Path. In fact, you can join in on the organized Pilgrim’s Walk in September from St Hwyn’s Church! You can take a boat trip across to Bardsey Island to visit the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey and see the isle of 20,000 saints. Aberdaron is home to many regatta sailing events throughout the season and dolphins & seals are frequently seen if the weather conditions are right.
Did you know? Y Gegin Fawr ( The Big Kitchen) was built in the 13th century as a communal kitchen where pilgrims could claim a meal on their way to Bardsey Island. Aberdaron was the last place on the route for rest and refreshment and pilgrims often had to wait weeks in the village for a chance to cross the treacherous waters of Bardsey Sound!