Llŷn Peninsula

Jutting out from northwest Wales is a very special corner of the country: the
Llyn Peninsula (or Lleyn, its English name). It’s a popular holiday destination,
thanks to an unspoiled rural landscape and a sandy, picturesque coastline.

Seaside resorts on the south side of the peninsula, such as Abersoch and Pwllheli,
overlook the waters of Tremadoc Bay and are thus sheltered from the weather. To the north,
the coast is rockier, with beaches such as Trefor and Nefyn Bay overlooked by the distinctive
range of conical hills—including the three summits of Yr Eifl—that
dominate the skyline. With a landscape like this, it comes as
no surprise that much of the Llŷn Peninsula is designated as an
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a protection given to locations in England and Wales,
second in importance only to national parks.

Welcome to Llŷn Peninsula
Welcome to Llŷn Peninsula

Near Pwllheli is one of the Llyˆn Peninsula’s gems, Plas
Bodegroes, a handsome Georgian manor-house-turned-hotel whose quiet is broken
only by birdsong. The emphasis here falls firmly on the cuisine—it’s a “restaurant with
rooms” more than a hotel, and it’s one of the best places to eat in the country, serving temptations such as seared Nefyn Bay scallops with Carmarthen ham and butter pudding
served with Welsh whisky ice cream. At the far southeastern part of the peninsula
is the historic town of Criccieth, with its 13th-century castle, one of the many constructed
or strengthened in this region by King Edward I of England; other examples are
Conwy and Caernarfon . Also here is the Moelwyn, another “restaurant with

rooms,” where the fabulous sea views from the vast picture windows are as enticing as the
menu. Nearby, the village of Portmeirion, more redolent of southern Italy than Wales with its
campanile and piazzas, stands atop a wooded hillside with romantic views of sea, sand, and
mountains. Reportedly inspired by a trip to Portofino, Welsh architect Sir Bertram Clough
Williams-Ellis built the village in pieces, from 1925 to 1975, when it was completed on his 90th
birthday.


At the edge of the village,down by the sea, is the Hotel Portmeirion, one of the architect’s
early ventures. Inaugurated in 1926, it reopened in 1990 after a major fire and has since been
refurbished to its original charm, with an interior that’s both opulent and informal. Noël
Coward was inspired to write Blithe Spirit, his most ethereal play, while staying here.

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