The magnificent Gwynedd promenade which features a mansion, beautiful views and unusual sculpture


A short distance from the bustling beaches of Abersoch is a little gem of a promenade which completely surrounds the promontory of Mynydd Tir y Cwmwd.

The top of the 450-foot outcrop offers panoramic views of Cardigan Bay, the Llyn Hills and the Snowdonia Mountains.

The path to the promontory, where granite was once mined, is gradual and there is a choice of downhill routes, one of which is via a steep railway straight onto the beach.

Better yet, there are cafes, kiosks on the beach, and a pub in Llanbedrog with refreshments once you’re done.

READ MORE:The walk which includes superb waterfalls, a quarry and an old chapel on the slopes of Snowdon

The walk

Llanbedrog beach seen from the promontory

1 From the notice board at the back of the parking lot managed by the National Trust, walk down to the road near the toilets and turn right. On the way up you will pass the entrance to Plas Glyn y Weddw where you will return later. Shortly after the village church, St Pedrog appears fully on the left.

St Pedrog was a Welsh saint who established a church there in the 6th century. Pedrog may be a form of the name Patrick, but Pedrog should not be confused with Saint Patrick. The saint also has ties to Padstow, the small fishing village in Cornwall

The current building, however, dates from the 13th century and is a grade II * listed building.

2 Continuing the walk, look for the road on the left which passes in front of the parish hall. Walk this way ignoring the two public path signs you will see on the left. Both lead to the promontory but can confuse walkers new to the area. It is best to continue on the track until you come to a fork. Turn left after a sign “route interdite”.

It goes up slowly and soon becomes a rough track. Continue on this track which will take you to the higher slopes of the promontory. There are two benches, both on your left, where you can rest and enjoy the splendid view of the islands of Abersoch, Mynydd Cilan and St Tudwal. To the right is Mynytho and the views to the north extend to Yr Eifl and Snowdonia beyond.

3 The path continues through ferns, gorse and heather along the headland and soon becomes part of the Wales Coast Path which climbs from the Warren to Abersoch. The views are constantly changing and as you head east Pwllheli, Criccieth and the mountains of southern Snowdonia can be seen.

There were once three granite quarries on the promontory and their remains are vestiges of pre-war activity. At the sea end of the beach promontory at low tide are the remains of the jetty which was used by ships to transport stones from the quarries. You can also see the remains of the old quarry buildings; one is a large hopper building, where quarry-cut stone pavers were stored before being transported by boat. The last of the quarries closed in 1949.

The Iron Man sculpture above Llanbedrog

4 The path gradually ascends to the last part of the promontory and suddenly comes to a point of view where you will be faced with an Iron Man.

Designed by local sculptors and set up by helicopter in 2002, it replaced a 1980 metal sculpture by Simon van de Put that had rusted. This, in turn, had replaced the original sculpture, a wooden figurehead of a man who had been on a ship. It had been placed there by Cardiff businessman Solomon Andrews in 1919, but had been set on fire and destroyed by vandals.

The place is perfect to sit and rest for a while and enjoy the view of Llanbedrog beach and the colorful huts located on the sand.

Distance: About three miles

Time: At least two hours, and allow time to visit the gallery at Plas Glyn y Weddw

Class: Moderate. Quiet lanes, a bumpy track and clear paths on the promontory. No steep climbs but a steep descent to Plas Glyn-y-Weddw and even steeper and longer if you take the path to Llanbedrog beach

Card: OS Explorer 253 Llyn Peninsula West

Directions and parking: Drive from Pwllheli towards Abersoch and turn left into Llanbedrog. Entrance to the car park is on the left opposite the church Pay & Display £ 5, free for National Trust members

Public transport: A regular bus service connects Pwllheli and Abersoch. More details online at

Public toilets: Seasonal communal toilets (free) near the parking lot, go up the steps to the beach and they are in front of you.

Refreshments: From the kiosks (open seasonally) near the beach, the café in Plas Glyn y Weddw and a pub, the Glyn y Weddw Arms.

5 The path descends from Tin Man and soon diverges. The path on the right descends steep steps to the beach. The Wales Coast Path starts off to the left and is a more gradual descent through the woods. It passes the open-air theater before Plas Glyn y Weddw. Built in 1857 for Elizabeth Jones Parry, widow of Sir Love Jones Parry of Madryn, after her death, the mansion was sold to Cardiff businessman Solomon Andrews.

Plas Glyn y Weddw

An art gallery was established in the house in 1896 and the gardens and grounds were also open to the public.

The gallery was closed during WWII and the Army Girls remained in part of the house. The Andrews family sold the mansion and land in 1945 and the building was converted into residential apartments. In 1979, artist Gwyneth ap Tomos and her husband Dafydd purchased Plas Glyn y Weddw and through their hard work, the Plas was saved from ruin.

Holidaymakers began to come in large numbers to Llanbedrog at the beginning of the 20th century, and the Pwllheli and Llanbedrog tram was built, connecting the village to Pwllheli. One of the carriages has been restored and can be seen near the entrance to Plas Glyn y Weddw.


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