With our hotel located at the foot of Snowdon deep in the heart of the national park, it’s easy to forget we’re just a short drive from the spectacular North Wales coast.
We love nothing more than a bracing beach walk for the sheer contrast to our rugged alpine surroundings. With beaches regularly voted Britain’s best, we think our stunning coastal scenery will capture your heart too.
Whether you’re a walker, a biker, a photographer or just like to explore, we encourage you to take a break from the mountains and castaway to the coast. Here’s our top 5 North Wales beaches, all within an hour’s drive of the Royal Victoria Hotel.
1. Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey – 30 minutes
On the east coast of Anglesey, nestled between Pentraeth and Benllech, sits Red Wharf. Escape to this village on the bay where you’ll find 10 square miles of beach to explore if you visit at low tide.
Red Wharf is a really important natural habitat for Anglesey flora and fauna too. A part of Anglesey’s Marine Nature Reserve, it is a haven for rare plants and animals, the most famous being the pyramidal orchid.
Head over to The Ship Inn after your stroll. Weather permitting, sit outside and enjoy the fresh sea air while tucking into some good food and real ales – the perfect end to a perfect day.
2. Porth Nefyn, near Pwllheli – 40 minutes
Porth Nefyn is a secluded beach on the Llyn Peninsula, with breathtaking views across Caernarfon Bay and the Nefyn Headland. It’s rarely busy, with many visitors heading for its popular neighbours, Porth Dinllaen and Trefor.
Wander the two-mile long stretch of fine white sand enjoying the views and the tranquility before heading back to civilisation and lunch at the world-famous Ty Coch Inn – a waterside pub at nearby Porth Dinllaen.
3. Newborough Beach, Anglesey – 45 minutes
As beaches go, we think Newborough pretty much has it all. There’s watersports for adrenaline junkies, miles of golden sand for the kids and even a touch of Celtic charm for the romantics among you.
Take a stroll along the beach to the serene shores of Llanddwyn Island. The island is famous as the home of Welsh patron saint of love, Santes Dwynwen, a 6th century princess unlucky in love.
You can walk to Llanddwyn at low tide and from here admire views across the Menai Strait towards Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula. The church still stands and there’s an old lighthouse and even a small museum to investigate.
4. Portmeirion, near Porthmadog – 45 minutes
Portmeirion is a must-see for anyone visiting North Wales but, did you know, this flamboyant Italianate village has its very own beach? Well, it should come as no surprise really. Sir Clough Williams Ellis based his design on the villages of the Italian Riviera, also known for its wonderful beaches.
Just a short walk from the village, the vast sands expand across the Dwyryd Estuary. It’s the perfect chill-out spot, far enough away from the tourists of Portmeirion and boasting jaw-dropping views of Snowdonia.
Please note: to visit the beach you’ll need to pay the entrance fee to Portmeirion Village.
5. Abersoch – 55 minutes
You’re spoilt for choice at Abersoch, where there are not one, but three beaches to choose from!
Main Beach is the busiest in the area, with views of the mountains of West Wales and the nearby archipelago of St Tudwal’s. It’s a safe beach with little current, making it ideal for swimming and watersports. You can even rent a beach hut, so why not make a day of it?
If you’re looking for somewhere quieter, try Harbour Beach. Here you can explore the rockpools along the harbour wall which are exposed at low tide, or just sit and admire the boats as they come and go.
If you love drama, head for Hell’s Mouth. Also known as Porth Neigwl, this beach is a surfing Mecca. This wide bay takes the full force of the Atlantic swells, which conjure the massive waves that surfers love. If you fancy giving it a go, the British Surf Association run a surf school here from April to November every year. Yes, it might be time to dust off that bucket list!
Images courtesy of: © Crown copyright 2016 (Visit Wales).