North Wales is an area full of natural beauty, breathtaking views and home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the UK. Bursting with history and culture and boasting areas to be explored such as fantastic coastal paths and unspoilt bays, North Wales is a great choice for a family holiday or day out. So if you’re interested in visiting, but unsure where to begin with planning, this article will make things easier by covering the top 10 best beaches in North Wales:
1. Harlech Beach, Gwynedd
First on our list of the top 10 best beaches in North Wales is Harlech Beach which provides a four-mile stretch of golden sand with incredible views of the Snowdonia mountain range. To the south of the beach is Shell Island, a promontory which has an abundance of shells, and during the summer months leatherback turtles migrate to Harlech to feed off jellyfish off this part of the coast! Swimming here is generally safe however be aware there is no lifeguard service and jellyfish are present. This beach is also popular with families and dog walkers and you can access it by walking down a 400 metre path.
2. Newborough Beach, Isle of Anglesey
Also known as Llanddwyn beach, this stunning and long beach is situated on the South west tip of Anglesey and is just around the corner from Aber Menai beach or Aber Menai point. Newborough consists of almost two beaches semi divided by Llanddwyn island, the first beach is where you will find the main car park in Newborough Forest and gorgeous views of the mountains of Snowdonia, the second beach which is known locally as Traeth Penrhos boasts the Malltreath estuary which is very popular with wading birds. Both beaches have miles of soft golden sand and are great for long walks, and are suitable for swimming. Be aware dog restrictions apply between May and September.
3. Morfa Nefyn, Llyn Peninsula
Next on our list of the top 10 best beaches in North Wales is Morfa Nefyn which is situated next to the Porthdinllaen on the north coast of the Llyn Peninsula and consists of a two-mile long sweep of sand which lines a sheltered bay and natural harbour. This beach is popular with fishermen as well as water sports enthusiasts including surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers. In the small and picturesque fishing village of Porthdinllaen is a famous pub called the Ty Coch which was actually named as one of the top 10 best beach bars in the world by a Cheap Flights survey. There are toilets and refreshments at Morfa Nefyn and between April and September there are dog restrictions.
4. Prestatyn Beach, Denbighshire
Prestatyn Central Beach is located between the Ffrith and Barky beaches, only half a mile from the town centre. There is a large tidal range here which makes it popular for water sports such as surfing, sailing and windsurfing. The north-facing sandy beach is interspersed with rock groynes and also boasts a four-mile long promenade so you can enjoy a walk whilst taking in the stunning views. Prestatyn Central also marks the beginning of Offa’s Dyke National Trail, which runs south to Chepstow and is an ideal base for cycling. This beach has been awarded a Blue Flag, has toilets, cafés and play areas as well as car parking, and from July to September there is an RNLI lifeguard service.
5. Llanbedrog Beach, Llyn Peninsula
At number five on our top 10 best beaches in North Wales is another on the Llyn Peninsula and is protected by the National Trust. Here you will find gorgeous, coloured beach huts which are part of a long-standing tradition and can be hired for you and your loved ones to enjoy. The beach, near Pwllheli is a long stretch of sandy coast and is ideal for families, with family fun adventure packs being available to pick up from the car park, which contain a variety of activities and games to keep the kids entertained all day long! Coastal birds can also often be seen here at low tide probing the sand to try and find their next catch. There is a café and toilets, and dogs are allowed, although between April and September they must be kept on the lead.
6. Llanddulas Beach, Conwy County
This rock and pebble beach with views over Colwyn Bay has been given a Green Coast Award and is dog friendly. For walking and cycling enthusiasts, this beach is ideal as you will find a coastal walkway and cycle track between here and Colwyn Bay. There are also rock pools that the kids are sure to enjoy discovering. Next to the beach there is a picnic and camp site if you’re looking to stay here longer than a day and there is parking available too, however be aware there is no lifeguard service at Llanddulas Beach. This beach has facilities such as toilets and the nearby village has a shop and local pub where you can relax.
7. Benllech Beach, Isle of Anglesey
This next beach on our list of the top 10 best beaches in North Wales is one of the most popular on the Isle of Anglesey as it boasts fine golden sand and clear blue waters which are safe for bathing and paddling. With facilities for disabled visitors and those with prams, this beach is very accessible and at low tide the sand stretches for miles which gives families lots of space to pay or walk. Set on Anglesey’s east coast and close to the village of Llangefni, there is roadside parking, a café, toilets, beach shop and a first aid point. However, dogs are banned from the main beach during the summer season.
8. Abersoch Main Beach, Gwynedd
If you’ve ever visited Cornwall and loved it, you’re sure to enjoy Abersoch as it is a top spot for water sports such as windsurfing and jet skiing, boasts a gorgeous harbour and has a town filled with cafés, shops and restaurants. The beach regularly hosts international sailing events and if you feel like getting on the water you can take boat trips to St Tudwal and Bardsey Island. Abersoch Main Beach is considered safe for swimming and bathing as there are no waves or currents in normal conditions, there is also an exclusion zone within a series of markers to keep swimmers away from hazards which is reassuring if your children are in the water. There is a lifeguard service here and dogs are allowed however there is a dog ban on the northern part between April and September. If you’re interested in visiting Abersoch, we actually have an article already covering the top 10 things to do, which you can read here.
9. Porth Oer, Gwynedd
Located on the Llyn Heritage Coast, Porth Oer is a picturesque National Trust beach backed by steep grassy cliffs and famously known as ‘Whistling Sands’ due to the sound the sand makes when you walk over it. This beach is popular with families and the nearest car park is about 180 metres away, there are also many local footpaths near this beach and the views are stunning. Throughout the summer months Porth Oer has a shop and toilets, however during this time there are dog restrictions. You also need to be careful at this beach due to strong currents, large breaking waves and unstable cliffs.
10. Porth Dinllaen Beach, Llyn Peninsula
Last but not least on our list of the top 10 best beaches in North Wales is Porth Dinllaen, which is set in an old fishing village perched on the end of a thin strip of land stretching into the Irish Sea. This beach is partly owned by the National Trust and is a long sweeping sandy bay at the northern end of the Llyn peninsula where dogs are allowed so you can enjoy long walks with your furry friends. If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, this beach, located not far from the town of Pwllheli, is truly unspoiled and the perfect place to relax in nature. Be aware there is no lifeguard service here and parking is available in the town or at the National Trust car parks which have a charge unless you are a member.