Hidden behind the rugged peaks of Snowdonia, and edged by the waves of the Irish Sea on one side and the calm waters of Cardigan Bay on the other, lies the Llyn Penninsula. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It remains unspoilt by the ravages of the modern era and is rich in charm and character. It is a coastline that is popular with sun seekers, walkers and those that get their thrills out on the water. Bardsley Island which was once the site of ancient pilgrimage is now a wildlife haven brimming with life.
This is very much a family friendly resort with a whole host of attractions for all of the family. It is also a landscape with a history. The coastline is at times wild and rugged due to the long extinct volcanoes which shaped the landscape, and across the rolling green hillsides you will find the remains of ancient Iron Age forts. However, it is the beaches that draw the majority of visitors to the area, especially during the summer months. The towns along the southern core of the peninsula are the most popular with visitors, with Abersoch, Pwllheli and Criccieth drawing return visitors year upon year.
Criccieth, Pwllheli and Abersoch
These three seaside resorts are where visitors to the Llyn Penninsula come to stay. All three towns have strong links with the sea and you will find many water based activities to be had at both Pwllheli and Abersoch. Criccieth is the town with a battle scarred castle which is perhaps one of the main draws of the town itself. For Pwllheli it is the massive marina that is the draw, with more than four hundred available berths it offers access to the waters of both Cardigan Bay and Anglesey.
Arrive during the summer months and you will be caught up in the festival spirit, as this is when ‘Wakestock’ comes to the region. This is a big festival which combines the water based activity of wakeboarding with the best of the world of pop music, in July. August sees the return of the Abersoch Regatta with boat races and crab catching and sandcastle making competitions.
This tiny island has been a site of pilgrimage for Christians since the sixth century, the time when St Cadfan established a monastery here. You can sail to the island from either Pwllheli or Aberdaron. Very little of the monastery remains aside from a few sacred stones, yet the site is special now for a whole different reason. Now you will find grey seals basking at the water’s edge, and more seabirds than you can identify including guillemots, fulmars and shearwaters. Make sure that you select a boat that actually stops on the island rather than sails around it and you will be able to watch the wildlife from one of the specially built hides installed on the island. Boat trips to the island run between Easter and October offering a wonderful escape to a natural, peaceful haven.