The Lleyn boasts a wealth of history and culture which is reflected in a variety of attractions, including galleries, gardens, castles, museums and steam railways.
We've picked out some of our favourite ones for you to save you the trouble. Have a look below at all the great days out you can have on the Lleyn Peninsula.
Brynkir Woollen Mill is one of just a handful of woollen mills still in operation in Wales. It produces its own yarn as well as wonderful tapestries, bed covers, rugs, throws and clothes made from 100% new Welsh wool. You can enjoy a self-guided tour of the machinery and marvel at the intricacies of the caders, spinning mules, hanking machines and bobbin winders. There’s a shop where you can buy some of the beautiful things they produce. The mill is open Mon-Fri, 10am until 4pm.
Stay just down the road in our very own romantic folly - Brynkir Tower - seen below.
Who can resist the romance and excitement of a day out on a steam railway? The Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest independent railway company in the world and its line runs for around 13.5 miles from the harbour at Porthmadog to the historic slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. It’s a stunning journey through beautiful Snowdonia landscapes. The historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains, passing tranquil pastures and magnificent forests lakes and waterfalls on their way. You’ll pass through areas that are completely inaccessible by road, undisturbed by the sights and sounds of modern life. There’s an at-seat buffet service as well as a fully licenced bar featuring locally brewed award-winning beers. Have a wander around Blaenau (it’s a buzzing little mountain village) before you make your return journey. No one comes off the steam train without an enormous smile on their face. A magical experience whatever your age.
Set on a commanding headland overlooking Tremadog Bay, Criccieth Castle's history is deeply entwined in the medieval conflict between Wales and England. Built by Llywelyn the Great around 1230 it was heavily modified when it was captured by King Edward I in the late 13th century. The castle was used variously as a fortress and then as a prison until 1404 when, with the help of a French Naval blockade, Owain Glyn Dŵr – the last native Welshman to hold the title ‘Prince of Wales’ – recaptured it from the English and burned it to the ground. You can still see evidence of the scorching today.
There’s a visitor centre and bookshop where you can learn more about the castle’s turbulent past, and you can enjoy a walk around the castle walls, breathe in the history and atmosphere of the place and imagine the many scenes that have played out right where you stand. The far-reaching views into the wilds of the Irish Sea add to the captivating atmosphere.
This is a proper workshop, rather than a museum, where you can explore the story of slate via an audio tour and a film show. The Inigo Jones Slateworks were founded in 1861 to meet demand for school writing slates, but the product line has understandably since evolved to cater for changing needs and markets. In the shop, you’ll find garden slate chippings as well as an assorted array of architectural and craft products – all made out of the 500 million-year-old rock. Refreshments available at the on-site Welsh Rock Café (goes without saying it’s a ‘hard’ rock café).
This is a magnificent Grade II listed Victorian Gothic manor house which was built to house the art collection of the widow Lady Elizabeth Love Jones Parry in the 1850s. It is now, appropriately, a thriving arts centre and features an ever-changing programme of exhibitions, concerts and performances - some of which take place at the open-air theatre in the ‘Lost Forest’ grounds. The house has a captivating atmosphere. Look out for the magnificent Jacobean staircase and hammer beam roof and galleries as well as Lady Elizabeth’s ghost which is said to sometimes walk the upper landings. An excellent tearoom features locally sourced home cooked food as well as wonderfully uplifting views to Snowdonia and Cardigan Bay.
This fascinating museum at Llanystumdwy, just outside of Criccieth, tells the story of one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century. As Chancellor of the Exchequer and later Prime Minister David Lloyd George introduced the old age pension, led the country during World War I and he gave women the vote. The museum brings to life his childhood with a unique display of objects, a film about his life, astonishing 'talking head' speeches, a Victorian schoolroom and library. Highgate, Lloyd George’s boyhood home, has been recreated as it was when he lived there (between 1864 and 1880), including his Uncle Richard’s shoemaking workshop. The Victorian cottage garden is a pleasure to walk around and Lloyd George’s riverside grave is just a short walk away. An enriching and absorbing day out.
These beautiful Grade I listed gardens are a wonderful place to stroll around and enjoy an unhurried few hours. Eight miles of paths and trails wind you through 70 acres of rare trees and plant species – some of which were planted over one hundred and fifty years ago. The gardens are also a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and are an important habitat to wildlife including rare horseshoe and whiskered bats, otters and water voles. The gardens accompany a statuesque Regency mansion house (built in the 1830s and also Grade I listed) which was originally the seat of Lord Newborough. It is now a wedding venue. You’ll find craft and design workshops, a gallery and shop. There are some lovely picnic areas as well as the friendly Black Cat Café which serves hot and cold food.
This is a delightful Grade II listed 16th-century manor house which sits snug on a wooded hillside overlooking the beach at Porth Neigwl (also known as Hell’s Mouth). In the 1930s the house was rescued from neglect by friends of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis (architect and creator of Portmeirion) – the Keatings sisters. Keen conservationists, they lovingly restored the house and ornamental gardens, finally bequeathing it to the National Trust. Today it is the only organic National Trust Garden in Wales and at just one acre it’s a delightfully Bijoux visit. You’ll find beautiful flowering trees and shrubs, colourful beds framed by box hedges and a careful balance of native and cultivated plants. The views from the grounds and gardens across Cardigan Bay are among the most spectacular in Britain. It’s a delight to visit whatever the season.
Sister to the wonderful Ffestiniog Railway, but by no means in her shadow, the Welsh Highland Railway is the UK’s longest heritage railway. It runs 25 miles from its start next to the awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site of Caernarfon Castle. From there it steams forth into the foothills of Snowdonia passing lakes, forests and stunning mountain scenery. You’ll descend into the pretty mountain village of Beddgelert before swooping through the Beddgelert Forest and crossing the remarkable Aberglaslyn Pass. The journey ends at Porthmadog. The ride is an absolute joy – from the beautifully upholstered period carriages and first class Pullman luxury to the freshly-cooked food which you can have delivered to your seat. Another day out that’s guaranteed to generate big smiles.
Take a look at our full selection of holiday properties in this beautiful and timeless corner of Wales. The perfect place to leave it all behind.
And we don't list any properties we wouldn't be happy holidaying in ourselves so we know you will love where you stay.
Swn Y Gwynt Criccieth, Lleyn "A superbly located cottage, fantastic views, well equipped and excellent facilities nearby to keep you entertained and amused!"
Sleeps : 6
£615 - £1100 per week
Changeover day : Sat
Special Offer Maelgwyn Criccieth, Lleyn "The bedrooms in this fab holiday home feel more like a boutique hotel! There's also a great well-equipped kitchen and you're just a short walk to everything!"
Sleeps : 8
£665 - £1245 per week
Changeover day : Fri