Things to do in AberdaronPublished on 8 Jun 2021 by Amy Bowers
It’s the idyllic Land’s End where the Afon Daron (river Daron) flows into the Irish Sea. This ancient fishing village on the tip of Pen Llŷn (the Llŷn Peninsula) is just about as far west as you can get on the Welsh mainland. It’s also a bit of a stunner – the coast here is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Aberdaron was the last stop for medieval pilgrims on the way to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), the ‘Isle of 20,000 Saints’, and has a rich Celtic history. A centuries-old inspiration for poets, artists and musicians, it retains a sense of the mystical and wild.
Here’s a selection of our favourite things to do in Aberdaron.
We start our selection of things to do in Aberdaron with the mainly sandy Aberdaron beach is a short walk from the centre of the village and looks out across the waves of the dramatic Irish Sea. It’s a beauty. There are great views to Bardsey Island, which sits around two miles off the shoreline. Around a mile long, the beach is flanked by handsome headlands, which are a handy natural windbreak. There are public toilets close to the beach.
At Porthor, the sand squeaks underfoot when you walk on it. It is a really stunning beach, with crystal clear waters and great rocks to explore and jump from. Access is from the National Trust car park a small walk away. There is a café on the beach too for refreshments, and public toilets. It’s a very pleasant 2.6 mile walk from Aberdaron, or a short drive.
With its crystal blue waters and white sands, on a lovely sunny day, you could be mistaken for being somewhere in the Mediterranean. Access to Porth Iago is from a farm campsite where there is parking and toilets – there is a nominal cash fee to pay. The beach is good for kayaking and canoeing as well as swimming. It’s a very pleasant 4.5 mile walk from Aberdaron, or a short drive.
One of our favourite beaches has to be at Porthdinllaen near Nefyn, around 12.5 miles from Aberdaron. It’s home to another beautifully sheltered sandy bay and a pub that is consistently voted one of the best bars in the world – the Ty Coch Inn. Expect magnificent views back towards Snowdonia, and a sandy sheltered bay. An idyllic place for a pint and a ploughman’s, but check the Ty Coch Inn’s opening times before you visit.
Boat Trip to Ynys Enlli
From March – October, you can take a boat trip to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) from nearby Porth Meudwy. A haven for wildlife, Ynys Enlli is a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Follow the marked paths around the island to explore the island’s abundant wildlife, including eye-catching sea birds like choughs, puffins and oystercatchers.
Spend the day on Aberdaron beach
There is plenty to explore along Aberdaron beach, including sea caves and rock pools. Look out for choughs wheeling out over the sea with their striking red bills and legs. Windsurfing, kayaking, swimming and sailing are popular things to do in Aberdaron.
Visit Plas yn Rhiw for art, afternoon tea and spectacular gardens
Plas yn Rhiw, a National Trust property, is a delightful 17th century manor house near Llanbedrog, around four miles from Aberdaron. The house has a very attractive tearoom as well as beautiful ornamental gardens and woodlands – the views across Cardigan Bay are spectacular. Tel. 01758780219
Fun-filled activities at Glasfryn Parc
The Glasfryn Parc Activity Centre is around 20 miles from Aberdaron. It offers plenty of family fun including go-karting, wakeboarding, aquapark, archery and stand up paddleboarding. Tel. 01766 810 000
Dragon Raiders Activity Park
Head to Dragon Raiders Activity Park near Criccieth – around 25 miles from Aberdaron – for active family adventures including paintballing, quad biking and Segway tours. Open all year round but hours vary, and you definitely need to book in advance. Tel. 01766 524 807
Portmeirion is a much-loved Italianate-style fantasy village near Porthmadog, North Wales. Expect fantastic fantasy architecture as well as pottery, books and gift shops, a spa, cafés, restaurants, ice cream, woodland walks, gorgeous sandy beaches and more. Open all year round and a wonderful day out for the whole family. Advisable to book your tickets in advance. Tel. 01766 770 000
Explore the Wales Coastal Path
Aberdaron beach sits on the Wales Coast Path, with stunning cliff top walks in both directions. Head to the Porth y Swnt information hub in the centre of the village for more details on circular walks and routes. Spring and summer is a particularly wonderful time for walking with carpets of flowering plants, seabirds and frequent dolphin and porpoise spotting.
Walk to beautiful Porth Meudwy
Leaving from the centre of Aberdaron village, the walk to the small fishing inlet of Porth Meudwy is quiet and scenic with dramatic coastal views. There is a section along a quiet country lane and two sheltered wooded valleys. This route is around 3 miles to Porth Meudwy, 6 miles for the round trip.
Walk to the Mynydd Mawr headland
This Aberdaron walk explores the most westerly headland of the Llŷn Peninsula. The circular route follows the Wales Coast Path to Porth Meudwy, before crossing the headland to enjoy views to Bardsey Island. The walk then returns to Aberdaron along the coast path with fine views along this beautiful coastline. It’s around 7miles in total.
Watch the sun set into the sea from Mynydd Mawr
The top of Mynydd Mawr, a small summit just outside Aberdaron, is one of best places on earth to watch the sun dip into the sea. Pack a picnic and a bottle of your favourite tipple and enjoy the fantastic views of Cardigan Bay down to Tŷ Ddewi / St David’s to the south, Ynys Enlli and Ireland to the west, Ynys Môn / Anglesey to the north, and Eryri / Snowdonia to the east.
Enjoy some stellar star gazing
Are you a watcher of stars? Awarded Dark Sky Reserve Status in 2015, the Snowdonia National Park – including Pen Llŷn – is one of the best places in the UK to gaze at night skies. One of our favourite places to do so is at Porthor, just outside Aberdaron. Its vast night skies come with a dramatic Irish Sea backdrop. Heavenly.
There are plenty of locally run food outlets, shops and restaurants in Aberdaron, and many more just a short distance away.
Sblash Caban Pysgod / Fish Bar
Sblash is not your average fish and chip shop. Famous for freshly landed melt-in-your-mouth local catches, as well as the most delicious (and enormous) seafood platters. The chips are a strong contender for the best on the Llŷn, and there is a wide range of gluten free options. You should definitely pre-order to avoid disappointment. Tel. 01758 760442
Head to Caffi Porthor on Aberdaron beach for tasty treats including a full vegan menu.
Becws Islyn Bakery
You’ll find the delicious Becws Islyn Bakery in the centre of the village. Bread and cakes are baked daily, and there is a café on the first floor serving breakfast, snacks and various sweet and savoury delicacies. Tel. 01758 760370
Y Gegin Fawr
At the centre of the village, Y Gegin Fawr has been serving hungry pilgrims passing through Aberdaron since the 1300s. Head there for locally caught crab and lobster, and delicious homemade cakes and scones. Open in Easter until the end of October. Tel. 01758 760359
Crasu Woodfired Pizza
Freshly made woodfired pizza doesn’t get better than this. Check out Crasu’s menu online and then order by phone. Crasu offers a take away service only from the Glampio Coed campsite, around 3 miles outside of Aberdaron. Tel. 01758 719180
Plas Carmel Hen Siop / Old Shop
Just outside Aberdaron, the rural Plas Carmel Hen Siop (Old Shop) and café has recently undergone an extensive renovation project and is due to open soon.
Porth y Swnt information hub
You’ll find the Porth y Swnt National Trust Centre in the centre of Aberdaron. It’s a great base to find out more about things to do in Aberdaron, and to get a deeper insight into the cultural history of Aberdaron and Pen Llŷn. As well as maps, walking routes and ideas for activities and days out, you can learn more about nature and wildlife of this wonderful part of North Wales. Tel. 01758 703810
FOR MEDICAL HELP
Dial 999 to call for an ambulance if you require urgent medical attention.
You can find your nearest urgent care health services provider by searching the NHS online directory at https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/other-services/
For non-urgent medical advice dial ‘111’ to speak to an operator at the NHS telephone advice service, or visit www.111.nhs.uk
Our top tips for learning Welsh? Start with the easy stuff. Everyone loves to be greeted in their own language, and you can’t go wrong with a please and thank you!
The Welsh alphabet is phonetic, so once you know how to pronounce the letters, the theory is that reading the words is straightforward; you say what you see. A little time spent familiarising yourself with the alphabet will help no end when you’re trying to navigate your way around the area.
a short, as in ‘hat’, never as in ‘ball’
b as in ‘bag’. Although is there really any other way?
c always hard as in ‘cat’, never an s as in ‘precise’
ch like the ch in the Scottish word ‘loch’, but with more phlegm
d as in ‘dog’, never as in ‘djinn’
dd a buzzy ‘th’ sound, as in ‘this’. Think angry bees with a lisp
e short, as in pen
f v. This is very, very simple, and when you get really used to it, f will play hafock with your spelling
ff f. Equally, you can ffind yourselff getting too used to ff as well
g always hard as in ‘get’, never a ‘j’ sound as in the last g in garage
ng as in ‘song’, where the g isn’t hard, like in ‘gig’, but a soft glottal stop made in your throat
h as in hat, always sounded and never silent
i as in ‘pin’
j accepted now because of the loan words from English that use it, like ‘garej’
l a ‘luh’ as in ‘lava’, but never an ‘ul’ sound as in ‘milk’
ll not as hard a sound to make as some would have you think. Raise your tongue to the top of your mouth as if you were going to say ‘el’, then make the ‘ell’ sound by blowing air round the sides of your raised tongue, instead of by using your voice. You should sound like an annoyed cat
m as in ‘mithridatize’. Or as in ‘mum’, if you want to be boring
n as in ‘nanobot’
o short as in ‘hot’, not round as in ‘hotel’
p can I have a p please Bob?
ph an English f, or Welsh ff sound, as in ‘phase’
r rolled. Some people just can’t get a rolled ‘r’ – their tongues are unable to vibrate in the right way. It’s a genetic thing, apparently,
similar to being able to roll your tongue into a tube, or turn the end upside down. Honestly, some people can, but my tongue’s not that prehensile. Roll if you can, don’t if you can’t
rh hr. Make a huffy, breathy sound before your rolled ‘r’
s always soft as in ‘sit’, never a ‘z’ sound as in ‘juxtapose’
t as in ‘top’. Can it get any simpler?
th as in ‘think’, softer and less buzzy than dd
u If you had stepped in something disgusting and made a kind of ‘eugh’ noise, the vowel ‘eu’ sound would about approximate
y ok, y breaks the rule that Welsh is phonetic. As a single syllable word, y is like ‘uh’, on the last syllable of a multisyllabic word it’ an‘u’ or ‘ee’, and anywhere else it’s like the unstressed, indeterminate noise of the final e in ‘garden’ or ‘letter’. Ysbyty (hospital) is the perfect example.
Check out some basic phrases below to get started, and maybe you can use them next time you holiday in Wales. Diolch yn fawr!
How are you? Sut mae / Ti’n iawn
Good morning: Bore da
Good afternoon: P.nawn da, prynhawn da
Good evening: Noswaith dda
Good night: Nos da
Cheers / Good Health! Iechyd da!
Do you speak Welsh? Ydych chi’n siarad Cymraeg?
How do you say…. in Welsh? Beth ydy….yn Cymraeg?
Thank you: Diolch yn fawr
I love you: Dw i’n dy garu di
Happy Birthday: Penblwdd Hapus
and a couple of funny ones….
Microwave: popty ping‘Might as well’: Man a man a mwnci
Check out our selection of holiday cottages in Aberdaron.