Off the dramatic coast of Anglesey in North Wales lies Llandwyn island, [Ynys Llanddwyn in Welsh].
It’s a beautiful tidal island is most famous for its connection with Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh Patron Saint of lovers.
Ynys Llanddwyn is one of the most well-known locations on the Anglesey coast and is definitely worth a day trip.
Here, you can hike, picnic, or relax on the beach, making it a brilliant, family day out in North Wales.
It’s also the perfect place for keen hikers as part of the Wales Coast Path – Malltraeth to Newborough Via Ynys Llanddwyn runs through Ynys Llanddwyn and Newborough Forest.
Why visit Llandwyn island
Best beach in Anglesey
The island has several coves and sandy beaches and thanks to its fairytale feel, is a travel photographer’s dream.
You can also spot a variety of sea birds and if you’re lucky, local seals basking on the nearby rocks.
If you are planning a trip to Llandwyn island in Anglesey, we have just the guide for you.
Read Cassie’s guide and start planning your day trip to dreamy Llandwyn island and Newborough Beach.
Where is Ynys Llanddwyn?
Yyns Llandwyn in Wales, also known as a Llandwyn island, is a tiny tidal island off the coast of Anglesey.
This natural Welsh gem has become a beloved spot for daytime adventures due to its sand dunes, photogenic lighthouses, and volcanic rock formations jutting out into the ocean.
Visitors reach the island itself by walking down a beautiful sandy beach; there are many contenders for the most beautiful beach in Wales and Newborough Beach is undoubtedly one of them.
The gorgeous coastline of Llanddwyn Island is a must-see if you’re visiting Anglesey, but definitely worth a day trip if you’re in North Wales too.
At Yyns Llandwyn you’ll find Newborough beach, a long sandy beach that has Newborough forest on one side and the Irish Sea on the other.
The almost four-mile sandy stretch of Newborough Beach genuinely compares to the coastlines I enjoyed while living in the state of New South Wales in Australia.
Not only is there a huge expanse of soft sand to feel between your toes (seriously, what is up with pebbled beaches?), but once you’ve walked down the beach you’ll reach a series of footpaths winding through tall grass and up to picturesque lighthouses. (Plural intended – there is more than one lighthouse here guys!)
Newborough Beach parking
The beach was pristine. This is perhaps due to the small car park charge [currently £5 toll], funding the council to keep the beach clean, or the fact I visited on a weekday in low season?
It was still nearly 30 degrees due to a heatwave on the day I visited. This only added to the bright blues and paradise hues which I remember.
Bad weather would surely only add to the drama of the coves if perhaps being a little detrimental to sunbathing.
If you do visit, please ensure this place remains the most beautiful beach in Wales – don’t leave any litter and keep Wales tidy.
Exploring the coves in Llandwyn island
The secret coves in Llandwyn island are not to be missed! At least, they feel secret when you retreat down between the rock formations and can hear only yourself and the waves lapping against the shore.
My friend and I found ourselves alone, hidden in our own little cove as we enjoyed a cool ginger beer.
Definite ‘Famous Five’ vibes, it felt like this would be the place to find some hidden treasure or uproot a conspiracy.
Thankfully, our time in the sun was less eventful and more of the pure relaxation variety, though it will be sure to inspire the imagination of those on a family holiday.
The distinctive rock formations were once formed by ancient lava cooling against the cold sea bed.
St Dwynwen’s shrine
It takes around 20-minutes to walk along the beach from the car park to Llandwyn Island itself.
The Tŵr Bach beacon and the ruins of St Dwynwen’s shrine are just two features which make Llandwyn Island more than your average coastal day trip.
Not to mention the reason why it’s a great spot for photography enthusiasts, who have to carefully check the tides before planning a sunset photography trip since the island does become cut off from the beach at high tide.
In late Septemeber and October, it’s one of the best Autumn destinations in Wales, full of coastal colour and with a chill in the air.
The beacon is an old stone lighthouse built in the early 19th century and the shrine was dedicated to St Dwynwen, Welsh Patron Saint of lovers.
Twr Mawr Lighthouse
A little further along the coast is Twr Mawr Lighthouse, which has a unique design based on an Angelsey windmill and was constructed in the early 1800s.
Twr Mawr marks the beginning of the Menai Strait, the stretch of water which separates Anglesey than the mainland of Wales.
Translated from Welsh to English, the two lighthouses are named ‘Small Tower’ and ‘Big Tower.’
Exploring the trails here was definitely my favourite part of the day. You can also walk up the stairs of the lighthouse, from the outside, and enjoy the coastal panoramas from above.
Take a reusable water bottle, some snacks, and sunscreen so you can take your time discovering the many hidden gems on the island.
More things to do near Newborough Beach
Closest to the beach itself is the Newborough Forest, just a ten-minute drive away. The distinctive pine trees are home to many birds, red squirrels and other local wildlife.
It’s also worth visiting the Tywyn Niwbwrch Natural Reserve. There are miles of trails to choose from and be sure to look out for wild ponies too. (I didn’t spot any ponies personally, although I did see a jellyfish in the sea!)
Newborough Warren sand dunes
The sand dunes at Newborough Warren are one of the largest dune systems in Britain, which contribute to Newborough Warren and Ynys Llandwyn being the first-named coastal Nature Reserve in Wales back in 1955.
While taking on the entire Ynys Llanddwyn hiking trail can take up to 3.5 hours, the more family-friendly Animal Puzzle Trail is a one-hour, one-mile trail which winds through the pine trees. Both walks begin at the Newborough beach car park.
Hiking Ynys Llanddwyn
If you are walking the Wales Coast Path Malltraeth to Newborough Via Ynys Llanddwyn, make sure you are properly prepared for the walk.
This 15km hike includes sections to Ynys Llanddwyn that may be cut off at the highest tides. Some sections are also very sandy and will increase your walking time.
The recommended OS map for this walk is the OS Landranger (114) Anglesey.
Here is a handy hiking checklist, to make sure you are properly equipped for the walk.
- Decent hiking boots
- Pack a travel first aid kit
- Download Refill Wales App
- Bring a reusable water bottle
- Download what3words location app
- Carry an OS Landranger (114) Anglesey.
North Wales holiday
If you’re on holiday in North Wales, there are many more fun things to see on your way to Newborough Beach:
If you’re driving from the East or South, you can stop at Caernarfon Castle, which is a 40-minute drive from Llandwyn Island.
Best of all, the region is only a short drive from Snowdonia National Park. you can drive from a panoramic view of mountain peaks to these paradise beaches in just one day.
There are plenty of unique things to do in this area including hiking, biking, kayaking and climbing.
There is a great deal more to do on Anglesey itself, such as a visit to Beaumaris Castle and the Plas Newydd National Trust House.
It’s just 30 minutes from Llandwyn island, conveniently on the way from the mainland).
The maritime history of the island makes for a fascinating trip alongside the many scenic vistas to enjoy around the Anglesey coastline.
How to get to Newborough Beach and Llandwyn Island
The main car park for Newborough beach is at the end of a narrow lane that leads from the cross-roads in the centre of the village.
The postcode you need to put in is LL61 6SG, this should bring you to the right road.
There’s a £5 toll on the road down to the car park, although you could alternatively purchase a £30 annual pass if you’re planning multiple visits.
In 2021, the fee will be changed to a time-based system, dependent on how long your spend at Newborough Beach, with a maximum charge of £7.
There is currently a no cash system due to covid-19, so make your payment by card or Apple pay.
Llandwyn Island public transport
The nearest main town on the mainland is Bangor which does have trains and buses to Anglesey as well.
If you’re planning to visit by public transport, you walk 1-2 miles from a village bus stop to Newborough Beach, depending on which route you take? Save your map in advance so you don’t get lost!
Llandwyn Island Information
- Satnav poscode: LL61 6SG
- Parking: £5
- Facilities: information boards within the car park, along with toilets, picnic facilities and cold drinking water
- OS Map: Landranger (114) Anglesey
- Tip: Roads get very busy on weekends and public holidays
Llandwyn Island accommodation
Llandwyn Island and surrounding area of Anglesea has a brilliant range of accommodation if you’re looking to extend your trip in the national park?
Choose from local hotels, self-catering cottages, traditional B&B’s, quirky AirBnb’s and camping sites.
You can find a hotel to suit your budget and length of time by using online price comparison sites such as Booking.com to find the best hotel deals in the area.
Why I loved Llandwyn Island
My time on Llandwyn Island remains one of my most distinctive trips within Wales.
I hope future visitors to Newborough Beach and the Anglesea area, enjoy it’s tranquil setting as much as I did.
Huge thanks to Cassie Bailey for her lovely guest post, I hope it inspires you to add North Wales to your bucket list.
To connect with Cassie and read more of her pieces including destination guides, solo travel and mental health connect with her on her website and on social media.
Wales Travel Planning
- Join our Wales Travel Planning Facebook Group
- Book an Airbnb and have £34 towards your first booking
- Search for Wales hotel deals on Booking.com
- Get recommendations from TripAdvisor
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