Porth CeiriadAbersoch, Llŷn Peninsula
Porth Ceiriad beach on the Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales
Porth Ceiriad is a National Trust beach. It is sheltered by high cliffs used to access the beach, that drop away to reveal the stunning golden sand. On the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula, this south facing beach is a real gem that gets the sun all day long.
The joy of Porth Ceiriad is that even though it’s only a mile from the centre of Abersoch, the beach itself rarely gets very busy and its sheltered location, between two high sandstone headlands, make it perfect for sunbathing or trying something more active. It also sits on the Wales Coastal Path route.
Porth Ceiriad is a wonderful golden, sandy beach. It is perfect both for relaxing as well as those wanting to get in the water. There’s a fantastic wave to surf and the sheltered bay is great for kayaking, bouldering, wakeboarding, and sailing.
The sheltered beach makes it great for children as the chilly tideline breeze is kept to a minimum. In the summer months, Porth Ceiriad is a great spot to snorkel, dive or swim. The water is crystal clear and there is a huge variety of underwater life. The sheltered nature of the bay also means that it’s popular with pleasure boats who often anchor up, so if you are snorkeling it might be worth investing in a signaling buoy or flag.
Halfway down the cliffs on the eastern side of the beach is an incredible “secret” 30ft rockpool that appears from mid tide down. It can be accessed on foot at this time and is like you very own saltwater swimming pool!
Porth Ceiriad sits on the Wales Coastal Path route and so is a great place to stop on route.
The geological features on the beach are pretty spectacular. The rock face shows millions of years of evolution in angled black and green layers.
The western end of the bay offers up glassy calm water when the wind is right and great to ski, wakeboard or ringo.
You can often see dolphins feeding in the water from the beach.
The cliffs are home to the rare Chough bird with its distinctive red legs and beak.
If you use the barrier, make sure you don’t lose the barrier token on the beach!
There is a loo on the lane that accesses the beach at Nant y Big Farm. Otherwise, facilities are limited due to the location.
There are two parking places for Porth Ceriad.
Either you can leave Abersoch following the road to Sarn Bach. Turn left signposted Bwlchtocyn. Follow this road for three-quarters of a mile and then take the right turn (near Cim Farm) which is signposted to Porth Ceiriad and Traeth/Beach. Car parking is in a field. They operate a Pay and Display system, which uses CCTV and the charge is £3. There is a half a mile walk to the beach.
Or you can park at Nant y Big Farm and Campsite, which is a little further on from the turn off for Bwlchtocyn. It is marked on the left with a “no through road” sign. Turn down the lane and follow the bends to the barrier. Parking costs £3 per vehicle.
The beach is well worth the walk and the small fee! Both paths to the beach pan out to reveal the stunning bay below you.
Yes - dogs are allowed on the beach throughout the year.
Yes - the caves around the headlands are great to explore on a paddleboard or kayak.
Yes - the sheltered bay is easily accessed by those launching from Pwllheli or Abersoch and so makes a great spot to anchor up and enjoy a leisurely lunch.
Yes - the boulders on the sea bed are great for wildlife
Yes - it’s sheltered and the water is clean and clear, however care must be taken when there is swell as some of the waves can be pretty big.
Yes - there is great fishing off the beach, the rocks or from a boat. The best fishing of the beach is during the 2 hours either side of low tide and the same at high tide, especially during the spring when the tides are at their biggest. Fishing at dusk and dawn is the best time. Shoals of fish are given away by the diving birds hovering overhead. The winter months can also offer up some great cod and whiting off the rocks on the headlands. Trawling a popper behind a boat off the eastern side of the bay sometimes throws up a nice sized sea bass.
Yes - there is a great wave at Porth Ceiriad. When the conditions are right and the swell direction comes from the south, the wave hits the eastern end of the beach forming some incredible barrels, however, it’s not a wave for a beginner.
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Always follow advice from relevant authorities, including HM Coastguard and any lifeguards present on the beach. Swimming flags must always be adhered to. Currents can be strong enough to drag even a strong swimmer, and rocks and unexpected shallow or deep water may not always be obvious. Swimming should only be done in calm conditions when supervised from land, ideally by a lifeguard on a flagged beach. Avoid swimming around boats, jet skis or surfers. Check the weather forecast and tide timetables in advance of a visit to a beach. Always pack water and appropriate clothing. Be aware of the risk of sunburn and wear a high-factor sun-cream. Children and pets should be supervised at all times, and dogs should be kept on a lead.
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