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Harbours
The coast of Llŷn is varied, and many stretches of it, especially to the west and north coasts, are quite exposed and sheltered bays for boats have been very important in the past and still are today:

Porthmadog has a long maritime history and at one time slate was shipped from here all around the world. The harbour here was built by William Madocks when he constructed the Cob embankment across the Glaslyn
Porthmadog Harbour Master Tel: 01766 512927
The Harbour, Porthmadog, LL49 9LU
Estuary to more easily link the peninsula to mid-Wales. The re-directed river Glaslyn now forms the harbour and runs another couple of miles into the sea off Morfa Bychan to the west. Care should be taken when trying to make it into Porthmadog from the sea as sand bars in the estuary are constantly shifting and the marked channel has to be adjusted regularly. Seek advice from the harbourmaster before attempting to make it into the harbour, especially if you've not done it before. The tide is also a factor that has to be considered here. More recently, the harbour has expanded out towards Borth-y-Gest and pontoons have been installed in the inner harbour off the boat club.

The harbour wall at Criccieth only really provides any real shelter at high tide, and there are no boats moored here. The beaches around the town are quite rocky and care should be taken when trying to get in to the shore by boat. There is an inshore lifeboat stationed at Criccieth to find out more about this, click here...


Hafan Pwllheli is one of the best marina complexes in the country with 24-hour access. There are currently 411 berths, though this is set to increase over the next 12 months or so by another 300. The plans to expand have been controversial and
Pwllheli Harbour Master
Tel: 01758 704081
The Outer Harbour, Pwllheli, LL53
well covered by the media. The marina and outer harbour are both based in the estuary of three rivers, the Erch, Rhyd-hir and Penrhos. Bars near the harbour mouth have caused problems with an increasingly thin channel at low tide. It is also worth pointing out that there is a training arm to retain the channel that is submerged at high tide - follow the markers carefully out of the harbour, quite a few boats have ended up on the top of the wall! Visitor berths are available on the marina - visit their website for more information... Pwllheli originally grew up as a ship building centre, and though it's focus has shifted, it's good to see that boating and the sea are still the heart and soul of this bustling market town. There is a lifeboat station based on the shores of the harbour, to find out more click here...


The beach at Llanbedrog is one of the calmest in Wales, dominated by it's sheltering headland, Mynydd Tir-y-Cwmwd to the south, it is rarely rough here. Boats moor out in the bay during the summer months, though most of them end up on the sand at low tide. To the northeast, towards Carreg-y-Defaid (the small headland that splits Llanbedrog beach from South Beach) large shoals dry out at low tide and so it is worth bearing these in mind - boats are better off sticking to the sandy end of the beach, nearest the road access and Mynydd Tir-y-Cwmwd. At one time there was a pier off the end of Mynydd Tir-y-Cwmwd, which was used to load ships with what had been quarried on the headland.

The "main beach" at Abersoch gets extremely busy at peak holiday times, there is a slipway onto the beach to launch boats yourself (fee payable for access). For more info get in touch with the local harbourmaster. Around on the harbour beach there are a couple of launch and recovery services that run up and down the beach. There are a small number of moorings behind the harbour wall (floating only about 1/4 of the tidal range), and the upper reaches of the harbour are only useable on high tides. During the summer a large number of boats moor out in the bay (St. Tudwal's Road) and there is a taxi service available to your boat from the South Caernarfon Yacht Club (SCYC) headland. The beaches along this stretch are fantastic, completely sandy, though care should be taken around the harbour for sand bars.

Situated to the northwest of Aberdaron Bay, Porth Meudwy has long been used for launching boats to carry pilgrims across to Ynys Enlli/Bardsey Island. A few small fishing boats use the cove still, though the main boating activity that takes place here is as a pick up point for the boat to Enlli. Aberdaron Bay it's self is quite exposed and whilst there is a slipway in the village onto the beach, a speedy launch/recovery is often needed to avoid large waves that roll into the bay, making it ideal for surfers when conditions are good. The beach is mostly sandy, with a few isolated rocks for which care does need to be taken.

Located on the more sparse north coast, Porth Ysgaden is one of the few sheltered beaches along this section of the coast, and it's not a very big one at that! There is a slipway (to the left of the photo above) which provides access to the beach, which becomes cut off from the beach at high tide. There are a few small boats parked at the top of the slipway as the area is popular with fishermen.

Porth Dinllaen is probably the best harbour along the north coast for protection from the prevailing south-westerly waves. It is almost a natural harbour with just a small wall of boulders protecting the beach
Porthdinllaen Harbour Master
Tel: 01758 721643
Porth Dinllaen, Morfa Nefyn, LL53
where there are houses at the top of the sand. The headland is quite rocky and care should be taken to stay clear of rocks that are submerged at high tide. There is a private access to the village, however, the nearest public access to the shore is at Morfa Nefyn across the bay, marked by white houses at the foot of the cliffs. There is a pub in Porth Dinllaen, the Tŷ Coch (right at the top of the beach), with toilet facilities, there are shops in Morfa Nefyn about three-quarters of a mile away.

The small harbour at Porth Nefyn dries out at low tide, and is used mainly by fishing boats. The harbour wall is also popular for crabbing. The bay can be quite rough here, so the wall is needed in these conditions. There is a steep access to the bay, further along the beach, which means that the harbour and it's few houses become cut off for vehicles at high tide. The small town of Nefyn is a short walk away (up the steep hill!!) with it's shops and limited services.

Once a busy mining village, Trefor has become relatively quiet now. The granite quarried high on the slips of Yr Eifl above the village, only had a short journey to the harbour to be shipped off to the large cities in South Wales and England. Granite from Yr Eifl has even been used to make curling stones for the winter Olympics! Much of the harbour here dries out at low tide, however, there are still a few boats moored here, mainly for fishing purposes, as long sandy beaches are as far away as Nefyn and Dinas Dinlle from Trefor, pleasure craft are more concentrated in those areas. The old pier is popular with fishermen and crabbers young and old!

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