There’s perfect pitching around Pwllheli, with the Llyn Peninsula’s sandy beaches and Snowdonia’s mighty peaks nearby.
You do not get a more Welsh town than Pwllheli: this is where Welsh independence party Plaid Cymru were formed. Today it’s a handy amenity-rich resort and base for incursions onto the lovely Llyn Peninsula AONB on which it sits, with a marina and major yachting centre. Close by you can browse one of North Wales’ best art galleries at Llanbedrog, take off to Abersoch to surf or keep on ambling down the Llyn for beach after beautiful beach and coastal walk after coastal walk.
The Llyn Peninsula fans out from Pwllheli: a tranquil, green finger of land protruding 30 miles into the sea from the rest of North Wales. Many of North Wales’ best beaches are here, as is the good surfing at Abersoch and Porth Neigwl. Walking is wonderful too, with the Wales Coast Path skirting the shore. Excellent campsites are scattered across the Llyn: the mini-peninsula immediately beyond Aberdaron and the southwestern tip of the Llyn are especially good.
More superlative shoreline awaits just beyond the Llyn Peninsula on the east side of Tremadog Bay, headlined by Morfa Harlech NNR’s tremendous wildlife-rich dune systems and Morfa Dyffryn’s vast sands. A skyline featuring Snowdonia’s pointy summits, the Llyn’s sand-flanked coast and mighty, Unesco-listed Harlech Castle edges the miles of paradisiacal beach, making for a mesmerising place to pitch. Try tenting up on Shell Island, north of Morfa Dyffryn, one of Europe’s biggest campsites with 300 allocated acres of camping.
Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) is among the UK’s most popular outdoor destinations—and Britain’s highest land south of the Scottish Highlands. Gateway village Llanberis, from where trails and a railway run up the peak, is 27 miles northeast of Pwllheli, though other paths lead onto Snowdon from Beddgelert, just 20 miles northeast. While Snowdon is busy, plot a hike away from it and you’ll discover glorious, less-frequented mountain country.
Like much of North Wales, Pwllheli is close enough to Snowdonia’s mountains to receive its fair share of awful weather. July and August are the warmest months; October through December is the wettest period. For campers and yachters, July brings the calmest weather of the year. Surfers will want to consider the months with big swells—November to April—although many campsites are only open in the April to September tourist season.