Nant GwrtheyrnPwllheli, Llŷn Peninsula
Nant Gwrtheyrn is a restored Victorian village, now home to a Welsh Heritage and Language centre, near Pwllheli on the glorious Lleyn Peninsula. It lies in the place of a former quarrying village along the North Coast, boasting breathtaking views of both mountains and sea. Here you can discover the fascinating history of the attraction, as well as walk along part of North Wales’ coastal path for a fun-filled day out with the family. The steep road down to the centre is not for the faint-hearted!
At Nant Gwrtheyrn, known to the locals as ‘The Nant’, you will be able to explore several pathways running along the coast, through the valley and down to the beach. On the way you can step back into the life of the quarryman who once occupied the Period Cottage, visit Meinir’s tree and take a few Welsh sentences home to try out after taking a Welsh learners course on site! This fantastic attraction brings over 30,000 day-visitors a year, so why not take a look for yourself to see what makes this one of the most popular villages in North Wales!
Nant Gwrtheyrn was an abandoned village in the 1970’s following the closure of the quarry but was later restored to its former glory when it was bought by the Nant Gwrtheyrn Trust. Since then it has been dramatically renovated, having had around £5 million worth of repairs and improvements made. This includes the construction of a new wedding venue and conference centre, facilities for Welsh lessons, cafe, shop and plenty more to come in the next few years!
The heritage centre opened in 2003, and there you will find several displays depicting the history of the village and its development as well as a wealth of fascinating information about local Welsh culture. Through periods of agriculture, mining and quarrying, the land has managed to sustain life and provide income to the inhabitants living there and has successfully done this for millennia. This is just one of the many reasons why it has become so important locally, and why holidayers are encouraged to visit the village when in the area!
The period house is a definite favourite among guests when they visit as it gives a true indication of the lives once spent here, and beautifully details the conditions of the quarrymen’s homes at that time. It has been constructed to show the appearance as it would have been in 1910. There are two rows of terraced houses in the village, all of which were built in 1978 when the quarry company decided that more permanent accommodation was needed. Their houses were aptly named Trem y Mor (Sea View) and Trem y Mynydd (Mountain View).
Another feature to be seen while at Nant Gwrtheyrn is Meinir’s tree. Folklore says that this tree is symbolic of Meinir and her love, Rhys. The two were childhood sweethearts and had spent their lives in Nant Gwrtheyrn, and the place where they would often meet was the old oak tree. They decided to get married, and according to tradition, the bride was expected to set out on a quest, and ‘run away’ on the morning of the wedding to wait to be found by her husband to be. So this she did, and she waited and waited but after looking for months, Rhys never found her. One stormy night, Rhys took shelter at the old oak tree when suddenly a lightning bolt struck! It split open the tree to reveal the corpse of his bride in her wedding dress! Visitors say they can still see the ghosts of the two lovebirds holding hands walking along the beach - their love still strong!
Last but not least, the several walking routes are a sure way to keep everyone happy! The natural paths vary in distance and difficulty, all in and around the valley, so there is a walk to suit everyone including novice and pro walkers, cyclists and horse riders! Why stop at one? With so many extraordinary views to see, you can spend the morning walking along the coast with the sea-salt air flushing your cheeks, stop for a cup of tea and a scone at the cafe before heading out for the afternoon with a walk around the countryside. Then you can end the day at the shop where you will find a selection of paintings, prints, books, cards, local crafts, and more!
There is plenty to do, see and enjoy while Nant Gwrtheyrn, and is definitely a place to tick off your bucket list!
The site is open daily throughout the year from 10am to 4.30pm.
The cafe/restaurant is open from 10am until 4pm.
Phone number: 01758 750 334
The cafe has a terrace outside with seating where a picnic can be enjoyed.
There are two car parks. The main one is in the village itself but is used by visitors coming for a course, by those staying in on-site accommodation or those with limited mobility. It is asked that all other day visitors park at the car park at the top of the hill to the left. It is roughly a 20-30 minute walk from this car park to the village, and is slightly longer on the way back up due to the incline. We would suggest travelling lightly.
Mostly accessible. All on site facilities are wheelchair/pushchair accessible as are most pathways. However, some parts that are hilly or have a rough terrain may be difficult to negotiate.
Dogs are more than welcome on leads to any of the outdoor attractions and walking routes, but they are not allowed inside any of the facilities.
Other useful info
- Spare at least 3 hours for your visit as there is a fair amount of ground to cover from the car park, a choice of several walks, a visit to the beach and quarrymen's houses as well as the cafe and shop. Plenty to do so allow plenty of time.
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