A bright spring day in Wales saw me and my house mates heading down to the Llyn Peninsula on a little road trip of our own.
The Llyn Peninsula extends roughly 30 miles into the Irish Sea from North West Wales, while mostly consisting of flat pasture, there are some impressive pointed hills in its north region. However Llyn is most famously known for its beautiful, long coastline, which consists of golden sandy beaches, tumbling hills and huge sheer cliff faces.
Our first stop was in the town of Abersoch, your quintessential seaside resort, consisting of little shops, beach huts and most importantly ice cream stalls! After consuming our fair share of the sweet treat we headed down to the beach. Unfortunately the temperature didn’t quite match our sunny surroundings and the wind soon brought a spot of rain down on us. Nevertheless it was a lovely place, with the view stretching all the way back to the still snow-capped peaks of Snowdonia.
We headed back to my car and set off to our next destination, the edge of the world.
We parked at the top of Mynydd Mawr, a hill top over looking an area of Llyn known as Pendraw’r Byd which means ‘far end of the world’. Its at this point when Llyn ends and north and south coastlines join together, beyond lies the Irish Sea and little Bardsey Island, a famous pilgrimage site also known as ‘the island of 20,000 saints’. We took our time to explore the hill and admire the view over the vast expanse of the sea, though sadly we weren’t able to see Ireland or any of the area’s famous wildlife such as dolphins and porpoises.
Leaving Mynydd Mawr, we began our journey back up the length of Llyn, following its northern coastline to our third stop, the town of Nefyn. Nefyn was a bit of a personal choice for me as I recalled reading about it during research for one of my last essays. Over 700 years ago Edward I conquered Gwynedd, the last independent kingdom of the Welsh and decided to celebrate his conquest by holding an Arthurian style tournament near the village of Nefyn, known as a ‘Round Table’. During these tourneys an actual round table would be constructed and knights would take on the identities of the legendary knights of King Arthur’s Court. An existing Round Table dating from Edward’s reign can in fact be found in Winchester Castle. Any remains of this tourney though now lie hidden in the earth, so we made do with traversing the local golf course, which offered great views over the bay and the hills.
It was getting rather late in the evening as we reached our last destination, which lay hidden among Llyn’s hills. Tucked between mountain and beach is Nant Gwrtheyrn, once a mine it now serves as a Welsh language and Heritage Centre, providing lessons for anyone wanting to learn Welsh as a second language. Oh, also it does weddings. We found that out when arrived in the midst of a party, everyone was wearing their best suit and dress, and we were a bunch of worn-out students dressed in our coats and dirty walking clothes. Can’t say we blended in seamlessly. Not wanting to get in anyone’s way we headed down to the beach to quietly watch the sunset. On our way down we encountered a pair of wild Welsh mountains goats, an animal I hadn’t seen since my first visit to Snowdonia in 2005.
So there we are, our lovely day in Llyn came to a close with the four of us, plus two goats, watching the sun sink slowly over the Irish Sea, though I’m sure we’ll be back soon, those hills do look tempting.
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