Explore Mynydd Mawr and Braich y Pwll
Be prepared to get blown away by awesome coastal scenery in all directions. From this westernmost point of North Wales, you can take in amazing views of the Irish Sea and contemplate the power of the tides as it surges through the treacherous Bardsey Sound.
Sound of silence
Experience total peace and quiet at the very tip of the Llŷn Peninsula. One of the most noticeable things about this special place is the lack of man-made noise. Relax and unwind with nature’s chorus - the sea, the birds, and the wind.
From this extreme end of the peninsula, you can observe wonderful aerial displays.
Our distinctive choughs, emblem of the Llŷn Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are one of the reasons why this special place is a Site of Specific Scientific interest (SSSI). Watch them dive and swoop with confident agility, listen for their distinctive call, and be mesmerised by their red bill and legs.
Out to sea you may spot Manx Shearwaters. In spring they migrate from the coasts of South America where they spend their winters and make the journey to Ynys Enlli to breed. There is a strong breeding colony of over 20,000 pairs on the island with birds spending their days at sea returning to their nests in burrows on the island under the cover of darkness.
Birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon roam this area in search of food. Renowned for its speed, it is the fastest member of the animal kingdom.
Although not an easy find, Mynydd Mawr and the surrounding area is home to the rare golden hair lichen. For a small country, Wales has the highest diversity of lichen species in the world, but different environments are threatened by activities such as intensive farming.
The area is the only recorded place in mainland Britain where the spotted rock rose grows. Recognised by its bright yellow colour and dark spots, flowering between June and August, and only once in its lifetime, shedding its petals within a few hours of blooming.
As you walk around this unspoilt area, be sure to check out the rock formations along the way, the extensive coastal cliffs in all directions aren’t to be missed.
Mynydd Mawr and the surrounding headlands are made of up of Gwna Mélange elements- products of major undersea catastrophic events, such as the shift of tectonic plates. The elements form part of the Monian Supergroup- Precambrian rocks that are made up of pillow lavas, limestone, jasper, red mudstones and white quartsize.
For centuries, people have been embarking on a pilgrimage to the holy island of Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), and this headland at the far tip of Llŷn would be the pilgrims’ last stop before the treacherous crossing over the Sound.
It was said that three pilgrimages to Ynys Enlli were equivalent to one pilgrimage to Rome. Legend has it that 20,000 saints are buried on the island.
Above the cliffs at Trwyn Maen Melyn lie the remains of St. Mary’s church, where pilgrims would rest and call upon the Virgin Mary for protection against the elements in their passage to Bardsey.
Below the church ruins is the well of St. Mary, a freshwater pool covered by the sea at high tide. Legend has it if you were able to carry a mouthful of the water back up the dangerous path, your wish, whatever it may be was granted.
The coastguard hut
With vast views in all directions, it comes as no surprise that Mynydd Mawr was chosen by Victorian authorities as the location for a Coastguard lookout point.
During the Second World War, it was upgraded to feature an army guardhouse, gun emplacement and radar equipment and played a part in alerting the RAF to the Luftwaffe air raids. The concrete bases of these buildings can still be seen at the foot of the hill by the coastal path.
The coastguard hut closed its doors in 1990, after 80 years of service.
Take a journey into the past and find out more about some of the people and places that have shaped the Llŷn peninsula.