Looking for the best beaches in North Wales? Whether it’s small hidden beaches you’re looking for, beaches for water sports or safe beaches for all the family, we’ve got you covered!
North Wales is perhaps best known for its mountains, rather than its beaches. But along its coast lies some true hidden gems that often go unexplored by visitors in both summer and winter.
The Wales Coastal Path reveals that North Wales is actually home to some of the best beaches in the UK, rivalling the likes of Cornwall with pristine turquoise waters, sandy bays and water sports.
Areas like the Pen Llŷn peninsula are in fact renowned for their beaches, drawing in many visitors in the summer months. Anglesey’s long stretches of sand can also be popular destinations for winter walks and surfing. Elsewhere, you’ll find other great beaches in North Wales that are a paradise for swimmers, walkers and explorers.
Best Beaches in North Wales
In this Wales travel blog, we’ll give you a guide to the best beaches in North Wales along a map, the best time to go and some local tips!
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What is Beach in Welsh?
One important thing to know is that in Welsh, the word Beach is ‘Traeth‘. You’ll see this word a lot in the below post and once you arrive in Wales on signs for beaches and seaside towns!
The best time of year to visit North Wales’ beaches
Visitors of Wales are at course at the helm of the UK’s unpredictable weather no matter the season and the weather in Wales is no different. Luckily, the North Wales coast is a great place to visit year-round, as its beaches cater to both sunny, sunbathing days and brisk winter beach walks.
Spring and Summer in Wales bring pockets of truly beautiful sunny days where, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the turquoise waters that are akin to the Mediterranean coast.
During the school holidays, especially the summer holidays, expect North Wales’ most popular beaches, like Abersoch and Ynys Llanddwyn, to be very busy when the weather is nice.
Autumn and Winter in Wales are great seasons to enjoy the beaches in their most tranquil state. Sunshine in these seasons will show the coastlines at their best, but even in cloudy, windy conditions, these beaches are still beautiful.
A crisp walk along the beach in the colder months can be conveniently paired with a trip to a nearby pub or restaurant to warm up and relish with some Welsh cuisine.
For more posts to help you plan your trip to North Wales whether you live here or are visiting as a tourist see:
Map of the best beaches in North Wales
Here is a map which detailed all of the best beaches in North Wales to visit to help you plan your visit and holiday:
Must Visit Beaches in North Wales
North Wales is home to several stunning beaches that offer a variety of experiences for visitors. Here are some must-visit beaches in the region:
Perhaps North Wales’ most popular beach, this golden beach in the stunning coastal village of Abersoch is a great choice for relaxing and enjoying the sun. Abersoch is located on the southern coast of the Llŷn peninsula, often referred to as the “Welsh Riviera”. This area is known for its calm, blue waters and many surrounding beaches – as well as an exclusive selection of seaside bars, restaurants, and cafes.
Famous for its watersports activities, Abersoch is a great place to enjoy jet skiing, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and more during the summer months. There are plenty of rental booths and tourist hubs along the beachfront. Be sure to check out Abersoch Watersports for their guided sup and coasteering tours, and surf lessons in the area too. In winter, the beachfront is free of crowds and is a great, tranquil coastal escape from life’s busy schedule!
Abersoch is also known for its town centre. Only a two-minute walk from the beach, you’ll find an amazing selection of boutique stores, independent cafes, high-end restaurants, and more. The area is also an excellent hub to explore the rest of Llŷn.
2. Traeth Llanddwyn
Known as one of Britain’s finest beaches, the incredible Traeth Llanddwyn and Ynys Llanddwyn is famous for its relation to Santes Dwynwen, the Welsh Patron Saint of lovers!
With Newborough Forest behind Traeth Llanddwyn you might know of this beach by the English name Newborough Beach.
This stunning stretch of sand showcases the best of the North Wales coastline, with breathtaking views of the Eryri (Snowdonia) mountains visible in the near distance. The beach is easily accessed from Menai Bridge, with plenty of parking, a toilet and often food trucks nearby.
If you’re looking for beaches for paddleboarding in North Wales, I really recommend Traeth Llanddwyn. A few years ago, I went paddle boarding from this long stretch of sand all the way to the Ynys Llanddwyn and it was beautiful!
I recommend using Rental Cars for car hire in North Wales as they work with all the top car rental agencies. Search for car rental prices and availability here!
Another one of the Llŷn Peninsula gems, Aberdaron is a local’s favourite. This beautiful stretch of golden sand can be found right at the tip of the Llŷn peninsula. Here you can also access some of the most noteworthy parts of the Wales Coastal Path.
This epic walking path stretches along the dramatic cliffs of the peninsula’s nearly 100-mile shoreline. Follow the trail along the cliffside on the righthand side of the beach for spectacular views out to Ynys Enlli (Barsdey Island).
Aberdaron’s mile-long beach is perfect for families, and there are numerous sea caves and rock pools for exploring. The village itself is small and charming, peppered with quaint cafes, an ice cream parlour and a sweet shop, with a small stream running through its centre.
Here you’ll find plenty of parking options, as well as excellent dining spots such as Gwesty tŷ Newydd (a great place to watch the sunset). It is a perfect place to end your day in Llŷn and has some excellent campsites nearby.
4. Harlech Beach
I have never seen such a fine, white sandy beach in the UK as Harlech Beach on the Western coast of North Wales.
This is easily one of the best beaches in North Wales because of how white and perfect the sand is! Backed by small sand dunes in a calm bay, Harlech Beach will give you a feeling of the Caribbean in Wales!
If you’re on a day out in Wales, I’d recommend visiting Harlech Beach along with the highly visited Italian village in North Wales Portmeirion as it is close by.
Harlech Castle nearby is one of the popular places to visit in North Wales and Harlech train station is not far from the coast meaning you could visit this incredible beach by train in Wales too!
5. Porthdinllaen/Morfa Nefyn Beach
A trip to North Wales is certainly not complete without stopping at what is known as the best pub in Wales: Tŷ Coch Inn.
Nestled in the quaint fishing hamlet of Porthdinllaen, you’ll find this famous red pub on the shores of a sandy stretch in a sheltered bay. For members of the public, the beach can only be accessed on foot, as the nearest car park is in neighbouring Morfa Nefyn. But the reward for this 20-minute walk is a great selection of local beer and excellent food, enjoyed right on the seashore.
This is certainly one of the most unique beaches in Wales making it one of the best beaches in North Wales, and visitors can expect some truly remarkable turquoise water on a sunny summer’s day.
Those looking to explore further can embark on the scenic circular walk along the Wales Coast Path from the beach. If you’re lucky, you can spot some incredible wildlife along this route, as it is one of the best spots in North Wales to spot some seals! Be sure not to miss a glimpse of the mighty RNLI lifeboat station situated around the bay.
Looking for more beaches in Wales? Here are more of them:
- 20 TOP Places To Visit in Pembrokeshire! Beaches, Family Attractions, Parks & More!
- 16 Beaches Near Cardiff To Visit. All 1 Hour From Cardiff!
- Barry Island Beaches Guide! 4 BEST Beaches in Barry To Visit!
- 15 BEST Beaches In Pembrokeshire To Visit & A Map!
- The Best Beaches In Pembrokeshire You Can See In ONE DAY!
There are few renowned surfing spots in Wales, but if you’re looking to catch some waves on the Welsh coast, Rhosneigr on the Isle of Anglesey is a great place to start.
Rhosneigr is a vast, open soft-sand beach on the west coast of the island, known for its mighty waves and epic sand dunes. It’s a popular spot with surfers but also with those looking for a brisk coastal walk no matter the season also making it one of the best places to visit in Anglesey.
The beach is also popular due to the famous restaurant, The Oyster Catcher, nestled on the seaside. Whatever might bring you to Anglesey, be sure to make a stop at Rhosneigr to witness Anglesey’s mighty natural landscape at its finest.
7. Black Rock Sands
If you’re looking for a beach in North Wales you can drive on, Black Rock Sands is the beach for you!
Although not black sand, this beach is very large with a lot of sand and it’s famous because for £6.00 you can drive your car onto it!
Admittedly you are not meant to do donuts or play around in that way but as you can see from the photos below, my husband did give it a go!
There are some caves to the side which you can also drive right up to and with a HUGE beach when the tide is out there is enough room and sand for everyone.
There’s a camping and caravan site behind the beach which is one of the popular beach camp sites in North Wales too.
The Welsh YouTubers Kinging-It even took their camper van onto the sands! They got stuck and had to pay to be pulled out but there are people to help you if you do worry about getting stuck!
8. Porth Lago
A true hidden gem of North Wales, Porth Iago has a beach that is not to be missed and is one of the top beaches in North Wales to visit and whilst on the Llyn Peninsula.
This pristine golden cove is known to be one of the prettiest beaches in Wales. Picture a small enclave hidden amongst grassy headlands, with crystal clear turquoise water that rivals the Mediterranean coast.
This beach is also a local favourite for paddleboarding and kayaking.
Perhaps one of the quietest beaches in North Wales, those who visit Porth Iago are treated to exclusive access to the finest coastal spots in the country. Porth Iago is only accessible from a nearby car park on a farm, which operates a pay and display machine, so bringing coins is mandatory.
The beach itself can only be reached by a steep path down the cliff, and may not be suitable for some less-able walkers.
9. Traeth Porthor (Whilsting Sands)
As its name suggests, this beach is known for the whistling sound as the sand gets blown on a windy day. This unique quality in itself is a prime reason to pay this beach a visit, and its sand particles are so rare this sound can only be heard here in Porthor and on one other beach in Europe, on the Isle of Eigg in Scotland.
Similar to Rhosneigr, Porthor is a great spot for surfing, along with the nearby surfer paradise of Porth Neigwl (Hell’s Mouth). Surfboard rentals and lessons are available from Abersoch during the peak season. It is less than a 30-minute drive from Pwllheli and only 10 minutes from Abersoch – the perfect addition to a North Wales road trip!
10. Llandudno Beach
Pretty much all of these beaches on this list of the best beaches to visit in North Wales are remote beaches or beaches with fewer amenities. In my opinion, this is what makes the beaches in Wales so great however Wales does have many seaside towns with all the frills too!
Llandudno is one of the seaside towns in Wales that’s worth a visit and fun for the family. Llandudno was a hot spot for tourists in the early 1900’s which shows in it’s impressive victorian architecture and 19th century pier.
There are plenty of things to do in Llandudno including it’s long stretch of beach, pier, arcades, visiting Great Orme, it’s tram journey, sports centre and more nearby beaches.
I hope this post helps you find the best beaches in North Wales!
- For more of my Wales posts see:
- 3 Day Wales Itinerary!
- Complete South Wales Itinerary For A Lush 1 Week in South Wales!
- 16 Beautiful Staycations in Wales To Feel Like You’re Abroad!
- 36 Stunning Wales Road Trip Destinations For Your Itinerary!
- 16 Day Trips From Cardiff Visiting South Wales & England!