There is something about the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales (also known as Llŷn) that stirs the soul and is instantly enchanting. The minute you arrive here for your holiday - whether it’s for a short break or a longer stay - we’re pretty certain you’ll be utterly captivated.
It’s home to what was recently voted one of the world’s best beach bars (the Ty Coch Inn at Porthdinllaen near Morfa Nefyn), vibrant water sports communities, and some of the UK’s most spectacular golf fairways. The Lleyn is a place of contrasts where you can lose yourself in the buzz of fashionable boutiques and beachside bistros of Abersoch one day and the beautiful birdsong of quiet country lanes the next.
Wherever you are on the peninsula, you’re never far from the call of the sea. Glorious sandy beaches and sheltered bays are perfect playgrounds for windsurfing, waterskiing, sailing, paddle boarding and surfing: the beautiful coastal waters are a mecca for seasoned water sports enthusiasts and families alike. The Lleyn is home to plenty of marine and water sports centres that will help get you off to a good start - whether you’re dipping your toes into the water for the first time or just in need of a bit of a refresher.
If you’d like to inject a bit of adrenalin into your holiday then you’ll find no end of opportunity. From coasteering and canyoning to rock climbing and sea kayaking there are plenty of activity centres and schools which will loan you equipment and give you expert tuition.
Glasfryn Parc near Pwllheli is a brilliant day out for all the family, with go-karts, quad bikes, archery, wakeboarding, clay pigeon shooting and plenty more besides. And budding adventurers can have a go on a fleet of Segways or put their survival skills to the test at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy near Criccieth.
Families with young children might prefer to find their holiday adventure in rock pooling, medieval castles, boat trips, steam railways or just by packing up a picnic and heading out for a day of fun and exploration. Take a look at our family-friendly activities page here for some more inspiration.
And if you're a fan of beautiful gardens, art and architecture then you shouldn't miss the Grade I listed gardens at Parc Glynllifon near Caernarfon or the gothic manor house and galleries at Oriel Plas Gly y Weddw near Llanbedrog.
The Lleyn is crisscrossed with an abundance of beautiful cycle trails and quiet country lanes that take in beautiful white-washed farms and picturesque villages. If you’d like to hire some wheels for your stay we can point you in the right direction for cycle hire and information about routes. And there are plenty of recommended riding centres if you’d prefer to explore on horseback.
Just be warned: you might move more slowly than usual as it’s hard to go too far without stopping to take in the stunning views!
One of the most magical ways to explore the Lleyn Peninsula is to walk its coastal path, which is part of the Wales Coastal Path. You might not manage the full 95 miles in one visit but you’d be hard pushed to find a better way to spend a sunny afternoon. And there should be plenty of opportunities - thanks to the Gulf Stream the Lleyn enjoys a unique microclimate and is one of the sunniest places in the UK!
The Lleyn Coastal Path works its way from magisterial Caernarfon (where the medieval fortress castle is a World Heritage Site and played host to the investiture of the Prince of Wales) along the rugged north coast of the peninsula to the beautiful seaside town of Aberdaron. From there it runs south to Porthmadog, taking in cliff tops and sandy beaches, with stunning views across Cardigan Bay to the Rhinog mountains.
The coastal path is partly based on an ancient pilgrimage route to Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli) which lies off the western tip of the Lleyn and is a historic 5th-century Christian shrine. Legend has it that it is the final resting place of King Arthur himself.
A unique and peaceful wilderness, the Bardsey Island is now more often visited for its varied wildlife and wonderfully rugged scenery. It is home to a bird sanctuary and is a great place to watch grey seals, dolphins and porpoises playing in the sea. Regular boat trips run out to the island in the summer months.
Exploring the coastal path is a great way to take in some of the history of the Lleyn: from the unique iron age hillfort at Tre'r Ceiri to the medieval ramparts at Criccieth Castle. You’ll find the remains of ancient standing stones, churches, monasteries and wells dotted right across the peninsula.
There are so many unique and wonderful beaches to explore on the Lleyn - from Whistling Sands at Porth Oer - so named for the sound the sand makes under your feet - to Trefor with its sea stacks and Mynydd Mawr with its knock-out panoramic views over Bardsey Island. Hell’s Bay is regarded as one of the best surfing beaches in the UK.
Many of the Lleyn’s beaches - and our Menai Holidays Cottages - are dog-friendly. The Lleyn is an ideal place for the whole family to have fun - two-legged or four! Check out our pet-friendly cottages if you’d like to come on holiday with your dog.
If you like heritage then you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Inigo Jones slate works Inigo Jones Slateworks, a proper workshop rather than a museum, where you can explore the story of slate via an audio tour and a film show. And the Lloyd George Museum near Criccieth, the boyhood home of one of the UK's greatest statesmen, is an enriching and absorbing day out.
The Lleyn Peninsula is one of Wales’ best-kept secrets and most beautiful and inspiring landscapes. We think you’ll leave with only one thing on your mind. How soon you can come back.