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Heading towards Porthmadog, at Minffordd you can chose between a ride on the Ffestiniog Railway which traces a wonderful journey on the narrow-gauge track along the Vale of Ffestiniog up to the grey fastness of Blaenau Ffestiniog, the slate town that is a rather interesting testament to the Industrial Revolution. Here a few hours in the Llechwedd Slate Caverns will transport you back to a world of work that is very different to our own. Excellent and good for the odd day of rain you might encounter.
Also in Minffordd is Portmeirion Village, that quirky jumble of architectural cast-offs and oddities that the owner, Clough Williams Ellis, assembled into a wonderful 'village. Now this comprises a couple of hotels, restaurants, a number of shops and galleries. Here you will find the 'The Prisoner' shop and the Pottery shop, the two most famous exports of the Village. With an estuary frontage, with large concrete boat, and several acres of quite exotic woodland walks Portmeirion should not be missed.
ffestiniog railway
Porthmadog is a gateway to both the Lleyn Peninsula and the northern reaches of Gwynedd. The town grew up as a port shipping slate out of Wales and there is a museum depicting this story. A good selection of small shops and an attractive harbour make a pleasant visit. A few miles west is Borth y Gest, the former boat building harbour now just a peaceful hamlet and a delightful spot to have lunch and spend a few hours gazing at the views. Nearby, Morfa Bychan has one of the largest expanses of golden beach at Black Rock Sands. A huge beach, where you can occasionally take your car, (although a few careless people have lost theirs!) and drive along the flats
The Lleyn Peninsula is rather like Cornwall, with a mild but often windy climate. The whole is covered with a crisscross of small lanes with high banks and small villages and is distinctly different from other parts of North Wales. Its southern coast has some popular villages. Cricieth has a castle, a few galleries...and Cadwaladr's Ice Cream. Locally renowned for years by locals and visitors alike this, the original shop still sells a great cornet! At nearby Llanystumdwy is the home and much about Lloyd George. Pwllheli is a market town that sports a modern marina. Llanbedrog, a little further on has access to some great small beaches and an art gallery. Abersoch is a boat lovers paradise in a picturesque setting. Porth Neigwl or Hell's Mouth, is another huge stretch of sand 3 miles long which leads towards Aberdaron and is the last village before you reach the end of the Peninsula. Near here is a National Trust house of Tudor origins Plas yn Rhiw. Aberdaron was the home of the late R. S. Thomas, one of Wales' finest modern poets. Off the coast can be seen Bardsey Island or Ynys Enlli. This is a national nature reserve and a pilgrimage site since the sixth century when a monastery was established by St. Cadfan.

The north coast of the Lleyn is quieter with numerous coves and sandy beaches like Porth Oer or Whistling Sands.The jewel on the Peninsula is the tiny shoreline hamlet of Porth Dinllaen, near Nefyn. The whole lot was recently acquired by the National Trust and it really is a stunning location for a days idleness but there is a walk you can take in along the coast. The best bit is the a pub on the beach - Ty Coch Inn - which just adds to the day's pleasure! A little exercise is involved however as you must walk along the beach or over the golf course to get there - but well worth it.

About five miles east of Nefyn is the Nant Gwytheyrn National Language Centre for courses in Welsh. Once an old granite quarrying village, the buildings have been converted into a self-contained centre. Towering above the village are the several peaks of Yr Eifl mountain and nestling here, truly, is Tre'r Ceiri -Town of the Giants an amazing collection of hut circles several thousand years old. The views take a breathtaking sweep over the Peninsula and southwards along the Cambrian coast.

Heading eastwards from here you are faced with Snowdonia in all its glory and the choices are many...

Llyn Peninsula
Read the The Good Hotel Guide review
Peter & Paula Thompson
Llwyndu Farmhouse
Gwynedd LL42 1RR
Walkers & bikers welcome
Free Wi-Fi throughout

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