Llanbedrog Iron Man and HeadlandLlanbedrog, Llŷn Peninsula
Llanbedrog Iron Man and Headland, Llŷn Peninsula
A trek to Llanbedrog Iron Man is a great morning or afternoon out for a young family. Also known as the Tin Man, this sculpture stands guard at the top of the headland separating Llanbedrog Beach and the beach of The Warren in Abersoch. It was formally the Tin Man until it rusted down to his feet and was then resurrected in hardier iron! A walk along this part of the Llŷn Peninsula Coastal Path on sunny day will showcase the most spectacular views of Snowdon hills, Abersoch village, Pwllheli and over to Cardigan Bay! While on a visit on a windy day the Tin Man will sing his song as the wind travels through and around the hollow tin body.
The headland, named Mynydd Tir Y Cwmwd is common land. It is a vast area of 175 acres which can be reached by a series of steep stone steps and uphill climbs leading to several zigzagged pathways. It is a real adventure navigating your way through this open maze! Locals and holidayers alike stop at the top to take photographs with the Tin Man, and often you will see fitness fanatics sprinting past, with the Iron Man marking their achievement! It has now become a top attraction on the Llŷn Peninsula, and a truly loved feature of Llanbedrog. Bring the kids and the dog for a lovely family walk!
Much like the local wildlife, the Iron Man has been a resident of Llanbedrog for some time, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Although his purpose for being built is not clear, it is a much-loved addition to all locals.
The original sculpture was a figurehead from a ship. It was placed on the headland by Solomon Andrews, a wealthy businessman who was once the owner of Plas Glyn Y Weddw (now a public house with a gallery, pub and shop). Sadly the figurehead was vandalized and burnt down, leaving no remains.
The people of Llanbedrog village decided to replace it with a sculpture by another local artist; Mr Simon van de Put. The new monument was constructed from recycled steel sheet and bar. It was designed to represent an ancient man who perhaps once roamed the headland, looking quite similar to the original, only slightly smaller. As predicted, the sculpture eventually decayed due to the materials it was made of and all that was left behind were his boots.
In 2002, the Iron sculpture that we see today was created by another local craftsman and was carried by helicopter onto the top of the headland on Jubilee weekend. The new sculpture, compared to the original, is much lighter and blends more naturally with the environment. It is hollow and fairly abstract with no facial or body features, only shaped pieces of iron suggesting the form of a human body. On windy days, the wind carries through the gaps between the iron, creating a wonderful musical singing sound! This, along with the glorious views of the coast, make the 2-hour long walk worthwhile.
The walk can begin from either side of the headland - from Llanbedrog woodland beach with the iconic colourful beach huts, or from The Warren beach, a stretch of golden sands in Abersoch just off of The Warren holiday park. To make a day of it you could spend some time on the beach beforehand, or afterwards, and do a spot of sunbathing while the children paddle. Paradise!
As well as the Iron Man, there is plenty to see on the way and once you’re at the top! You will be able to see the old Trwyn Llanbedrog Gwaith Canol Jetty (vertical wooden supports in the sand at the Quarry beach) which can be spotted when the tide is out. The jetty was used to transport the stones from the quarry, and you will also see The Hopper building which was once used to store said stones prior to shipping. Along the cliff coast are three disguised granite quarries - see if you can find them! Make your way through the gorse and heather along the wild pathways while embracing Wales’ weather at its best or worst! Allow some time if you think you may get lost - you could be in for an unplanned adventure around the top of the cliff!
Open all year (no official hours).
Phone number: 01758 740156
A national trust car park beside the beach.
Not accessible for wheelchair users and not suitable for those with limited mobility as the walk is steep and the terrain is difficult to negotiate in places. Several steps too.
Dogs are welcome - advised to be kept on leads as there are many steep cliff faces and areas where your dog could fall. Horses regularly walk up the headland too which may surprise your furry friend if they have never met one before!
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