Llŷn National Landscape
Nowhere is far from the sea on the long, low peninsula of Llŷn, which is famous for the unspoilt beauty of its coastline. The AONB, covering a quarter of the peninsula, is largely coastal, but extends inland to take in volcanic peaks such as Garn Fadrun and Garn Boduan. The varied geology is reflected in a succession of superb coastal landscapes, from the steep craggy cliffs around Aberdaron Bay to sandy bays and headlands.
Llŷn’s highest points are the north’s volcanic peaks dominated by the granite crags of Yr Eifl (564m). At its foot, a landscape of hedged fields and rough pastures rolls out towards the sea and finally to the sheer black cliffs of Mynydd Mawr, at the tip of the peninsula. The countryside is characterised by its narrow lanes, field boundaries and small farms and includes stretches of ancient open common.
Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), sea bird sanctuary and home to grey seals, is just one of Llŷn’s many notable wildlife sites. Llŷn’s landscape has a rich historic legacy with field monuments dating from Mesolithic times and spectacularly sited Iron Age hill-forts such as Tre’r Ceiri. Most of the AONB is also a Landscape of Outstanding Historic Interest.
Llŷn’s farming pattern is of small-scale, traditional, family farms raising sheep and cattle with dairying on pockets of better pasture. The few sizeable settlements of the AONB are the former fishing villages such as Abersoch and Aberdaron, now bustling tourist centres. A predominantly Welsh-speaking area, Llŷn has experienced the problems of outmigration of its young and working population and a rise in non-Welsh-speaking residents. In Abersoch and some other areas a high percentage of houses are second homes. Tourism is important to the local economy and the population swells significantly during busy periods. Walking, sailing, and windsurfing are major visitor activities. The AONB is also a very popular caravan and camping destination.