Llyn Peninsular Guide - Criccieth - Pwllheli - Abersoch - Bardsey Island Coast Guide
The Llyn Peninsular is a spit of land that extends out some thirty miles into the Irish Sea from the Welsh coast; Cardigan Bay lies to the south and Caernarfon Bay lies to the north. The land is rather wild and windswept and it has a rugged coastline with some great beaches and a some interesting seaside resorts. It can be reached via Porthmadog in the south and via Caernarfon in the north.
Criccieth is located on the south side of the peninsular some 3 miles from Porthmadog it is a small seaside resort with nice sandy beaches on either side. A ruined castle sits on the headland above the town and offers great views along the coast. The castle was built by Llywelyn the Great in 1239 as a refuge for the towns people but it was captured by Edward I troops in 1283 who then added to the defences with new gate towers. In 1404 Owain Glyndwr recaptured the castle for the Welsh and then wrecked it to stop invaders from using it. The castle is now maintained by Cadw and there are exhibits on Welsh history inside the site. Today the town is popular with visitors who come for the sandy beaches, it is also popular with sea anglers and surfers. The towns has several hotels and restaurants along the sea front.
Pwllheli lies around six miles to the west of Criccieth and is also a small seaside resort. Most of the town dates from the Victorian era when the railway was extend to the town. The town is the renown as the place where Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party was founded in 1923. Welsh is widely spoken in the town but visitors will have no problems with speaking English and are sure of a warm welcome. The town has the usual tourist facilities and the main attraction is the large sandy beaches which extend for a couple of miles on either side of the town.
Further west along the coast lies Abersoch which was once a busy fishing village but is now a popular tourist resort. The town has a couple of gently sloping sandy beaches and is popular with families
Located some two miles off shore from the western tip of the peninsular lies Bardsey Island and surprisingly the island was the main reason for visits to the area for more than 1500 years. The island has been a place of pilgrimage for Christians since 516 when Saint Cadfan built a monastery there. The monastery was demolished in 1537 on the orders of Henry VIII but the island retain its attraction for pilgrims. Today the island is known more for its environmental qualities, it has a rugged landscape with few buildings on it and it is particularly popular with bird watches. Grey seals can also be seen along the coast and sometimes dolphins and porpoises as well. A ferry service operates in the summer months from Porth Meudwy and Pwllheli but it is subject to local weather conditions being right as the crossing can be tricky due to strong currents. For more information see - www.bardsey.org
Places to visit in the Llyn Peninsular area
Beaches - great beaches at Porth Neigwl (Hell's Mouth) and Aberdaron Bay both on the south coast and popular with surfers.
Snowdonia National Park - lies just to the east of the peninsular.
Portmeirion - lies just outside Porthmadog and is a fantasy village of different architectural styles.