This weekend we explored the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales as a Birthday Weekend treat. We arrived late on Friday in time for an evening walk along Llanbedrog - a beautiful beach overlooking Cardigan Bay and the Snowdon mountain range beyond. This is the place to come for Dark Skies;giving us the best night show either of us have ever seen. But be careful of the Jelly Fish, which were washing up on shore in their hundreds. This is not the place for a late night swim!
Llyn is full of stunning beaches, each quite different in terms of composition and aspect. On the south-side beaches are sandier and calmer, relative to the north coast where they are rockier and more exposed (as you would expect).
When we're not on the mountain itself, we tend to camp in established sites - whilst wild camping is fun at height, we feel that supporting the local economy is important when you can. This beautiful little site owned by a local family was perfect for us. It was a bargainous £6 per person per night (we stayed 2 nights), well looked after and suitably quirky. In view of our tent were 7 bird boxes, a dove cote, 2 horses (1 real, 1 plastic) and all sorts of garden knick-knacks. It also overlooks the sea.
We spent much of the weekend walking the welsh coast path. As it was only a brief stay we chose a couple of sections covering south and north coast, including the not-to-be-missed section around Porthdinllaen. It was a foggy, misty morning when we got there and the views out to Caernarfon bay were stunning. We have spent a lot of time in the Highlands, and when I was a kid we went to Dorset every year, and so I immediately fell in love with this peninsula which feels like a little Cornwall, crossed with the West Highland Islands.
And of course I can't go anywhere without finding a hill or mountain to climb. Llyn is overlooked from all sides by Yr Eifl (or The Rivals) a trio of small peaks which give 360 degree views of the bays, the Irish Sea and Snowdonia range (as above, peaking out of the cloud)
Finally before home we squeezed in another coastal section on the north side of the Peninsula - the perfect area for bringing our Kayaks next time we visit. Here the coast is rocky and more dramatic, with the hills falling straight into the sea.
As I say, we've never been to the Llyn before, and given the fact I have spent so much time around the mountains in North Wales I'm not sure quite how we achieved this oversight. But I am so glad we have found it now. I was blown away by the combination of scenery and things to do; how it has a cornish feel, but with all the understated welsh charm. I adore it here, and on this occasion the summer-like weather helped us greet a new place at it's best. At 3.5 hours from Nottingham it's on the cusp of what is achievable for a weekend, but given how it felt that time had stood still for us so that we could pack in so much exploring, I think it's worth the travel time on friday and sunday nights. It's also a real bargain as a weekend away; utterly achievable on a tight budget. As with all our weekend adventures we camp, take lots of food with us, and spent most of the time exploring on foot at no cost. The main expenditure as always goes on petrol.
I have included more pictures on my Beautiful UK Pinterest board should you wish to see more sweeping blue skies and white sand!