A guide to the Llyn Peninsular

Guide: Llyn Peninsula

Introduction

The Llŷn Peninsula in Welsh is Penrhyn Llŷn or Pen Llŷn, extends 30 miles into the Irish Sea from north west Wales, south west of the Isle of Anglesey. It is part of the modern county and historic region of Gwynedd. Much of the eastern part of the peninsula, around Criccieth, is technically part of Eifionydd rather than Llŷn, although the modern boundaries have become somewhat vague. The area of Llŷn is c. 300 km2. with a population of at least 13,000.

Interesting Facts

Bardsey Island is steeped in religion and holy traditions. The first monastery on the island was established before 542 AD, and it became a major centre of pilgrimage during medieval times. There are numerous wells throughout the peninsula, many dating back to the pre-Christian era. Many have holy connotations, and they were important stops for pilgrims heading to the island.

The most rural parts are characterised by small houses, cottages and individual farms, resembling parts of south west Ireland. Small compact villages, built of traditional materials, are squeezed into the landscape. The only large scale industrial development was quarrying and mining, which has now largely ceased. The granite quarries of northern Llŷn have left a legacy of inclines and export docks, and were the reason for the growth of villages such as Llithfaen and Trefor. Copper, zinc and lead were mined around Llanengan, while 196,770 long tons of manganese were produced at Y Rhiw between 1894 and 1945. Shipbuilding was important at Nefyn, Aberdaron, Abersoch and Llanaelhaearn, although the industry collapsed after the introduction of steel ships from 1880. Nefyn was also an important herring port, and crab and lobster fishing was carried out in most coastal communities.

Farming was originally simple and organic, but underwent major changes after World War II as machines came into widespread use. Land was drained and fields expanded and reseeded. From the 1950s onwards, extensive use was made of artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, leading to drastic changes in the appearance of the landscape.

Tourism developed after the construction of the railway to Pwllheli in 1867. The town expanded rapidly, with several large houses and hotels constructed, and a tramway was built linking the town to Llanbedrog. Following World War II, Butlins established a holiday camp at Penychain, which attracted visitors from the industrial cities of North West England and the West Midlands. As car ownership increased, the tourist industry spread to the countryside and to coastal villages such as Aberdaron, Abersoch, Llanbedrog and Nefyn, where many families supplemented their income by letting out rooms and houses.

Pwllheli was the administrative centre of Llŷn for over 700 years. It was a royal maerdref of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, and became a free borough following the English conquest. By the 1770s it was described as "the best town in this county", and in the 18th and 19th centuries over 400 ships were built there

Places To Stay

These are the Welsh Rarebits and Great Little Places properties located on the peninsula:

Places To Visit

Sources of Information

Llyn Information http://www.llyn.info/today/Anglesey

Llyn Wales http://www.llyn-wales.co.uk/

Bardsey Island http://www.bardsey.org/english/bardsey/welcome.asp

Maps

Photos & Videos

Flickr : Llyn Peninsula

YouTube :  Llyn Peninsula http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=llyn%20peninsula&sm=1

Weather

Met Office : Abersoch http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/wl/abersoch_forecast_weather.html

BBC Weather : Pwellheli   http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2639828