Lleyn Peninsula Top 10 Places to VisitPosted: 2010-10-06
I just got back from a lovely couple of weeks in north-west Wales. I'd spent time on Anglesey and Snowdonia before, but this time I had the pleasure of staying for a full week on the lovely Lleyn peninsula. What a wonderful area! The scenery is fabulous, with gorgeous beaches, countryside walks, and plenty of history to enjoy. I thought it might be fun to share my top tips for enjoyable places to visit - keeping in mind my predilection for historic and scenic places! Just for fun, I split them up into 5 scenic and 5 historic places. So without further ado, here are my top 10 places to visit on the Lleyn peninsula.
1. Criccieth Castle - One of the most wonderful sights you will ever see is your first glimpse of Criccieth Castle, rising above its rocky headland, when you come around a corner on the road from Porthmadog. It's a jaw-dropping vision.
2. Tre'r Ceiri - this wonderful Iron Age hillfort is one of the largest and best-preserved in Wales. The location is marvellous, with great views in all directions, and the remains of the huts are very extensive. I can't imagine what it was like to live there, though!
3. St Cybi's Well - A bit off the beaten track, this ancient holy well is dedicated to St Cybi, who is said to have lived locally, though it seems likely that the well predates the Christian era.
4. Uwchmynydd - Located at the very tip of the peninsula, this was the last stop on the mainland for pilgrims bound for Bardsey Island. A solitary standing stone stands on top of the cliffs, and the foundations of an ancient church look across to enticing Bardsey, where 20,000 saints lie buried, according to legend. The clifftop scenery is simply wonderful, and there are lovely walks to the top of Mynnydd Mawr.
5. Aberdaron Church - The church at Aberdaron was a stopping off point for pilgrims on their way to Bardsey. Within the church is a pair of carved stones found in the region, commemorating a couple of early Celtic priests. One of the main appeals of this Norman building, however, is the wonderful location atop a cliff.
1. Whistling Sands - the small beach at Porth Oer is commonly known as the Whistling Sands, for the sound the beach sand makes under your feet at certain times (it really does, I tried it!). Its a small beach, with clifftop paths in both directions. It can be crowded at times during the day, but come at sunset and try not to feel glad you did!
2. Trefor - Park by the pier at Trefor and take the path along the cliffs, westward, through an area of lad owned by the National Trust. There are sea stacks below the cliffs, and wonderful views to the peaks of The Rivals.
3. Mynnydd Mawr - The very tip of the Lleyn peninsula has seen the arrival of pilgrims for over a thousand years. The views are utterly fabulous, and paths lead to the top of Mynnydd Mawr for even better panoramas in all directions. Stroll along the cliffs at sunset and watch the sun set over Bardsey Island. Magical.
4. Criccieth beach - this one is a no-brainer choice - Criccieth Castle is so beautifully situated, with sandy beaches to the east of the castle headland and more rocky beaches to the west. And as you walk along the beach the castle is always there, looming over it all.
5. Llanbedrog beach - a path leads from the lovely sandy beach at Llanbedrog onto the cliffs overlooking the village. Atop the cliff is a fascinating statue made of iron, replacing a 'Tin Man' statue that stood here for years (and still appears on the OS map of the area)
I had a wonderful time visiting the area; I can highly recommend it. If you travel with a family, there are plenty of beaches to keep your children entertained, and plenty of interesting historical places to visit as well. I haven't even mentioned the Cadw medieval house at Penarth Fawr or the National Trust property at Plas yn Rhiw!