Keep heading west from Snowdonia, and North Wales eventually trickles out into this thin, stubby peninsula below Anglesey. While Welsh destinations such as Portmeirion and Pembrokeshire are firmly on visitors’ radars, the Llŷn Peninsula remains a low-key retreat for families, with interactive museums, non-motorised water sports, castles and plenty of beaches to keep kids entertained.
Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), huge swathes of the region’s coastline are managed by the National Trust, meaning development is scant – many of the beaches in this laid-back, forested region look the same as they would have done more than a century ago.
There’s plenty for kids to adore at Bert’s Kitchen Garden, a low-impact campsite that makes an ideal base for nature immersion on North Wales’s beach-fringed Llŷn Peninsula. The owners have three kids of their own, so the site has been designed with families in mind and for summer 2023 they’ve added a family-sized shepherd’s hut. There are rope swings over a shallow river, outdoor showers, family yoga in the camping meadow (weather permitting) and, best of all, a path that leads straight down to a pebble beach for paddling and pottering. Croissants and pain au chocolat arrive warm in the morning if you order the night before, and there’s an on-site pizza restaurant-bar in the kitchen garden, with an outdoor play area for young kids. Family shepherd’s hut sleeping four from £175 per night.
Where Bert’s meadow camping meets the beach, guests can hop onto the Wales Coast Path for scrambles over the headland, from where it’s easy to see why the Llŷn Peninsula has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). For a lesson in Welsh history, drive 15 minutes south to Nant Gwrtheyrn, a former quarry in a ravishing gorge where worker cottages have been reborn as a heritage and language centre with a cafe overlooking the sea. There’s another discovery centre, Porth y Swnt, in the isolated village of Aberdaron near the peninsula’s tip. Run by the National Trust, it features interactive wildlife and geology displays, including a film reel of a puffin feeding its chicks, playing inside a kids’ den made to look like a bird’s nest. Sea kayaking sessions run from the centre on Tuesdays and Sundays, and seal pups can sometimes be seen.
3. Beach time
The Llŷn Peninsula has almost 100 miles of coastline with plenty of undeveloped stretches of sand and hidden coves to hop between. The most famous, Porthor — popular with bodyboarders — is nicknamed ‘Whistling Sands’ because of the squeaking sound the grains make underfoot. Forest-backed Llanbedrog on the peninsula’s southern side is equally lovely and has calmer waters, with rockpooling and beach huts the colour of fruit pastilles. A favourite trip on sunny days is the 20-minute walk over the headland or along the beach from Morfa Nefyn to the seafront Ty Coch Inn, in the whitewashed old hamlet of Porthdinllaen — a good spot for paddleboarding.
4. Sweet treats & seafood
Head straight for the Two Islands ice cream cafe in the lively harbour town of Abersoch, which serves organic ice cream in flavours such as coconut or brown-sugar-roasted banana. For a full meal, try newly opened Nwdl, serving Asian-influenced food made with Welsh ingredients, including seafood from nearby Cardigan Bay. In Aberdaron there’s Sblash fish bar, where families can pick up crabbing buckets while ordering specials such as crab spring rolls and juicy battered lobster tails. Just behind the beach at Llanbedrog, surrounded by forest trails, the cafe at Plas Glyn-Y Weddw art gallery was transformed this spring, reopening in a striking domed glasshouse — go for the cakes or a Welsh cream tea with bara brith (fruit loaf).
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