Regarded by many as the capital of the Lleyn Peninsula, Pwllheli is an attractive seaside town with a modern marina, small harbour and two beaches. A meeting place for Lleyn folk, Pwllheli boasts a bustling weekly market, fine shopping and a modern leisure centre. The narrow streets of the town, with their plentiful shops, cafes and restaurants are full of character.
South Beach, comprising of sand and shingle, stretches westward for almost three miles towards Llanbedrog. The long promenade, recently improved, follows the route of the now defunct tramway and offers good access via board walks to the beach. Glandon Beach, mostly sandy, stretches for several miles, east of the town towards Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, now run by Haven. Both beaches are ideal for bathing and sunbathing.
The modern marina, Hafan Pwllheli, is a magnet for boat enthusiasts. Accessible at almost all states of the tide, the marina is perfectly situated to take advantage of some of the best sailing waters in the UK. With 400 berths available and more planned, launching facilities, boat sales, chandlery, marine engineers, sail and powerboat training, the marina provides everything a mariner could possibly require. Boat trips, charters and fishing excursions are also available.
Pwllheli is an ancient borough, receiving its charter from the Black Prince in 1355. Its heyday was in the nineteenth century, when it was an important and thriving port, relying heavily on the fishing and shipbuilding industries.
The harbour was then, and is now, a safe haven protected as it is by a hook of land and the Gimblet Rock. With the arrival of the railway, in the 1860s
Pwllheli became an important tourist destination, changing the face of the town to the largely Victorian one we see today.
In 1925 the six founder members of Plaid Cymru, met in Maesgwyn Temperance Hotel, to set up the new national Welsh party. A plaque in Y Maes, the central square, commemorates this event.
A few miles from Pwllheli, is a fine example of a Welsh gentry’s house, from the 15th century, Penarth Fawr. Stone and timber built, it has a wealth of original features and has been fully restored. The stable block now houses a craft gallery.
Another spot worth visiting, just north of Pwllheli, is the holy well at the pretty village of Llangybi. Founded by St Cybi in the 6th century, the waters of St Cybi’s well, are thought to have remarkable healing properties. Worth a try for those troublesome ailments! Also in the village is the church dating from the 13th century. For those with excess energy, a trek to the top of Garn Bentyrch, to view the remains of an Iron Age hill fort and take in the magnificent panorama, is well worthwhile.
Perfectly situated in the middle of the Lleyn Peninsula, Pwllheli is an ideal base for exploring the delights of the local area, to relax, enjoy the beach and take in the special atmosphere.