Exploring Llyn

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.

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We arrive at Abersoch Beach
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Sails in the distance
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Looking across Cardigan Bay
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Abersoch
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I love my zoom lense
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The mountains of Snowdonia, still sprinkled with snow
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The St Tudwal’s Islands

We headed back to my car and set off to our next destination, the edge of the world.

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At 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.

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Bardsey Island remains an important pilgrimage site, with records of a monastery existing on the island as far back as 516 AD
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Bardsey’s long religious history has led to several numerous claims including that its is the burial place of King Arthur and the famous Albion of Arthurian legend
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The cliffs of Llyn
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Looking back along the Llyn Peninsula
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The hills of Llyn can be seen far in the distance and beyond them the mountains of Snowdonia

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.

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A peninsula on a peninsula
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Looking over Nefyn
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A fine place to golf…I assume
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The Bay of Nefyn
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Looking towards the hills of Llyn
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…and our next destination

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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Nant Gwrtheyrn Beach
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The mines of Nant Gwrtheyrn
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Dark clouds converge on the sun
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Wild goat!!! sorry for the blurriness
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The sun disappears from view
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Gold and black clouds form above us

If you enjoyed this tale feel free to write in the comments, or leave like and thanks for reading.

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9 Comments

  1. The Llyn is one of my favourite places in the world, where we used to go on holiday when I was a child. It still feels out of the way and away from it all and some very photogenic locations. You forgot to mention (or forgot to visit 🙂 Porth Iago and Whistling Sands.
    Anthony

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was only so much we could view in one day (it was actually more like half a day) but Porth Iago looks beautiful. I also want to see the cliffs of Porth Ceiriad which look fantastic

      Like

  2. A beautiful place – used to go on holiday here! Played the golf course at Nefyn several times, and lost many golf balls into the sea on the left. Back in the day, a golf course used to be the only place you could buy a beer on Sundays in that area, it was a dry county – has that changed?!

    Liked by 1 person

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