The joy of the Llyn Peninsula and Wales

The Llyn Peninsula in North Wales extends 30 miles into the Irish Sea south west of Anglesey and past Caernarfon. It originally was travelled extensively as the last leg of a medieval pilgrim route to the Abbey on Bardsey island close to Aberdaron and there are many wells along the route dating from pre-Christian times. It has beautiful sandy beaches, small coves, surfing beaches and bracing headland cliffs all preserved and maintained by the National Trust. It is here we are going to spend our summer.

Abersoch is where we stay in a house that belongs to my husband Chris and his sister. It’s a 10 minute walk out of the village, 5 minutes to the beach and perfectly placed for a quiet relaxed holiday. We are very fortunate to have somewhere to go in the pandemic when we can’t travel abroad so easily.

We bought an old motorbike this year which now lives here so one of our first trips out was to Aberdaron opposite Bardsey Island and about as far as you can go along the peninsula.


It was exciting to get down some of the smaller lanes which criss cross the peninsula and are too small for our normal transport, a big van! I feel so much more connected to the surroundings on a bike and see much more, pretty farmhouses tucked away and life in general, not just stuck in an air conditioned tin box. It’s a beautiful rural, rolling landscape. It took us 30 minutes from Abersoch. It’s a pretty town with a lovely 12th century church, St Hywyn, whose origins go back to the 5th century and very connected to the abbey on Bardsey.

Just out of town on the headland are old naval gun emplacements and a lookout from WW2 on a bracing and windswept cliff top with fantastic views. The main trade in this area was fishing and mining. Old lead, copper and tin mines are evident all over the peninsula. The small lane to our house was an old narrow gauge railway which took copper off the headland during the 19th century.

We also visited friends Wendy and Claire in Morfa Nefyn which is a very pretty beach with a great pub on it called the Ty Coch. The house is right on the beach with a perfect, panoramic sea view we had drinks and snacks and a lovely afternoon chatting and catching up.

Abersoch is a great place for water sports, a lot of people have boats of all varieties, paddle boarders, jet skiers, wind surfers all love it. It’s a very sheltered bay perfect for boating and swimming.

We have a boat and love to go fishing. When we catch fish, mostly mackerel, we fillet and smoke them. I make fish cakes and pate which always goes down well.

On one of our fishing trips Chris caught a gurnard, bull huss and a thornback ray. He always flattens the barbs on the hooks so they are easily retrieved and they were all gently returned to the water. We only keep what we will eat. It was an interesting days fishing and we always come home tired, windswept and feeling good.

There are a lot of visitors to our garden. We have had 4 generations of pheasants who visit daily bringing their latest brood every year. Phil, Fred, Fernando ( can you hear the bells) and lastly Finlay. There is a theme here…

Young woodpecker and parent

In the garden we have owls, woodpeckers, green finches, goldfinches, various tits, a pair of ravens ( Ron and Rosie) and Steve the seagul who knocks on the back door occasionally and many other varieties of birds. We see buzzards and then there are all the aquatic birds a lot of which roost on the islands and cliffs off the coast. Not to mention the numerous dolphins, porpoises and seals. It’s a fantastic place for wildlife

There are foxes and hedgehogs and even grass snakes, adders and slow worms in the compost heap.

Slow worm

Chris has built a nature camera out of a raspberry pi so it’s not just daytime we can see what’s wandering about the garden but at night too.

Bear Grylls the TV celebrity ex army survival man has bought one of the 2 islands just off the coast in Abersoch. It is the island with the lighthouse on, which are now all unmanned.

He purchased it a few years ago and comes every year for the school holidays with his wife and 2 boys. At the moment he is having a new ramp fitted to the edge of his island, at enormous expense, so he can drive his amphibious boat straight out of the water onto his island. The construction platform ( like a flat barge) was towed out and the four legs were lowered down to the seabed and the platform raised out of the water to work on.

The divers, engineers and workers get shipped in and out daily. He paid £90,000 for the island and has probably spent way way more on the work he’s having done. You do see him around occasionally in the village and when he gets flown in by helicopter. Friendly by all accounts.

The other island next to Bear’s was bought by Carla Lane, the writer of Bread (and lots more) in the early 90’s. The previous owner had put deer and sheep on the island but they had no access to water. It wasn’t long before the deer attempted to swim back to shore and many of them drowned. Carla Lane purchased the island and handed it over to a wildlife group who shipped water in and looked after it but eventually they brought all the remaining sheep and deer off the island. It’s still owned by Carla Lane’s family.

The adventure continues….

5 thoughts on “The joy of the Llyn Peninsula and Wales

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s