Aberdaron is a village of almost 1,000 people (2011) in Gwynedd. About three quarters of the community speak the Welsh language. It sits along a beautiful coast, and tourism has joined sheep-rearing as the village's main economic activity.
There are a number of small villages and hamlets within the community including Bardsey Island (Welsh: Ynys Enlli), the coastal area around Porthor, and the villages of Anelog, Llanfaelrhys, Penycaerau, Rhoshirwaun, Rhydlios, Uwchmynydd and Y Rhiw.
The village was the last rest stop for pilgrims heading to Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli), the legendary "island of 20,000 saints".
In the 18th and 19th centuries it developed as a shipbuilding centre and port. The mining and quarrying industries became major employers, and limestone, lead, jasper and manganese ("Mango") were exported. There are the ruins of an old pier running out to sea at Porth Simdde, which is the local name for the west end of Aberdaron Beach. After the Second World War the mining industry collapsed, and Aberdaron gradually developed into a holiday resort. The beach was awarded a Seaside Award in 2008.
The coastal waters are part of Pen Llŷn a'r Sarnau Special Area of Conservation, one of the largest marine designated sites in the United Kingdom. The coast forms part of the Aberdaron Coast and Bardsey Island Special Protection Area, and was designated a Heritage Coast in 1974. In 1956 the area was included in Llŷn Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Conservation Areas have been created in Aberdaron, Bardsey Island and Y Rhiw; and the area has been designated a Landscape of Historic Interest.
Aberdaron has a distinct maritime climate, with mild winters and cool summers. Although Aberdaron can have quite extreme weather, the number of frosts per year is very low. The village is generally quite windy throughout the year, particularly in Autumn and Winter. Sunshine amounts are lower than the UK average. Rainfall is well below the Wales average.
It lies 14.8 miles (23.8 km) west of Pwllheli and 33.5 miles (53.9 km) south west of Caernarfon.
Some online (and perhaps other) maps are a bit unreliable as they fail to show that the road from Hell's Mouth to Rhiw is now closed, although the diversion is beautiful enough in its own right. To reach Rhiw Village can be done still by direct road from Aberdaron but from the east it is best to turn left off the B4413 at Sarn Meyllteryn.
The closest rail station is Pwllheli.
Bus 17 from Pwllheli.
- 1 Plas yn Rhiw, Rhiw, LL53 8AB (at the bottom of a closed road!), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. National Trust 17th-century manor house and organic garden, a must-see.
- Mynedd Penarfynedd. wonderful headland
- Porth Ysgo. fascinating beach
- Any of the gardens at Plas yn Rhiw, the headland or the beach are excellent picnic spots.
- Sblash Caban Pysgod, Aberdaron LL53 8BE (by Gwesty Tŷ Newydd hotel), ☏ . Good fish & chips and other takeaways, can do GF.
- 1 Awelon Holiday Cottage, Rhiw, ☏ .
- 2 Gwesty Ty Newydd, Aberdaron, ☏ .
- 3 Mynydd Mawr Caravan and Camping Site, Llanllawr Fawr, Aberdaron LL53 8BY, ☏ . Breezy away-from-it-all site on the headland looking towards Bardsey Island. Dogs welcome. Pitch £10-25.