Top family days out on the Llŷn Peninsula holiday cottages

Top family days out on the Llŷn Peninsula

Clare Willcocks 14 August 2023

There aren’t many things that make a child happier on holiday than a visit to the beach and, on the glorious Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales, with just under 100 miles of coastline, there are a whole host of sweeping sandy bays to choose from for a top family day out.

If inclement weather stops sandcastle building, there are many other indoor things to do on the Llŷn Peninsula when it’s raining. For starters, there are several National Trust places on the Llŷn Peninsula, including Plas yn Rhiw manor house and Porth y Swnt interpretation centre, both of which provide hours of fun for families. Or enjoy a day out in Pwllheli where you’ll find plenty of indoor attractions.

On sunny days, the opportunities are endless in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty! Find your sea legs on one of the Llŷn Peninsula boat trips, visit the exhilarating Glasfryn Parc Activity Centre and find plenty more things to do with kids on the Llyn Peninsula below.

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Top family days out on land on the Llŷn Peninsula

Collage of the Llyn Peninsula landscape, a father and daughter bowling and a castle overlooking the sea

When you're staying in North Wales and you're on the hunt for things to do with kids on the Llŷn Peninsula, you'll be pleased to discover that there are so many top family days out on the Llŷn Peninsula, from stunning beaches and coastal walks to soaking up the Welsh culture. You'll never be short of places to visit in this remarkable slice of land that juts out into the Irish Sea.

Hit the beach

Whistling Sands, Llyn Peninsula

When the sun is shining, there’s nowhere better to be than one of the Llŷn Peninsula’s beaches, of which there are many! The whole peninsula is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so there are beautiful sandy beaches aplenty to choose from, and when you're not relaxing on the sand, you can be wandering the Wales Coast Path, enjoying some of the most scenic sections in the whole of Wales.

One of the more interesting options is Porthor Beach, a pretty and picturesque cove of golden sand backed by grassy cliffs. It is also known as Whistling Sands, a name which gives away its curious feature – the sand literally whistles beneath your feet! It’s also good for surfing, so ticks a lot of boxes.

If you like your beaches a little more lively, head for Abersoch which is a North Wales hub for water sports and boat trips to Bardsey Island and St Tudwal's Islands. There are colourful beach huts to rent and, with amenities and parking, it’s a lovely family-friendly beach on the Llŷn Peninsula.

Porth Ceiriad, Llyn Peninsula

Just a mile along the coast from Abersoch is Ceiriad Beach. Quieter, with golden sand hugged by dramatic cliffs, it’s a lovely spot to set up for a bucket-and-spade day. There are no beach huts here, and the area is largely untouched, leaving nothing but simple beach fun to be had. There’s a 0.5-mile walk from the car park to the sandy beach though, so it may be best for families with older children.

For little ones who love rock pooling, Aberdaron is sure to be a hit. Poke about looking for crabs and other sea creatures amongst the rocks, or hunt for treasures along the shoreline. When tummies are rumbling, the pub in the small fishing village of Aberdaron will serve you up a tasty meal.

Other beaches of note are Porth Iago, Morfa Bychan, Porth Neigwl and Dinas Dinlle Beach, to name but a few of the many dotted along the coast overlooking the Irish Sea. If you're staying on the northern coast of the Llŷn Peninsula, Morfa Nefyn is great for water sports, and neighbouring Porthdinllaen, a small fishing village owned by the National Trust, also has an attractive beach - perhaps combine a visit with a walk along the Wales Coast Path. Check out our Llŷn Peninsula beaches guide for a more comprehensive list.

Glasfryn Parc

Person go karting

Glasfryn Parc is among the top activity centres in North-west Wales, and your visit can be guaranteed to be fuelled by adrenaline! With a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, it’s an all-weather destination for families looking for things to do on the Llŷn Peninsula. Ten-pin bowling and soft play will keep big ones and little ones occupied in the rain, while outside, you can choose from go-karting, archery, crazy golf and clay pigeon shooting, while the main attraction is the variety of water sports available on the lake.

Try your hand at the Aquapark’s water assault courses, feel the exhilaration of cable wakeboarding, or try the more sedate activities which include kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and coarse fishing.

Criccieth Castle

Criccieth Castle, Llyn Peninsula

The towering remains of Criccieth Castle on the south coast of the Llŷn Peninsula are protected by Cadw, and are open to visitors who'd like to take in the astounding views and equally captivating history. The craggy ruins overlook Cardigan Bay and Criccieth town, with the soaring mountains of North Wales' Snowdonia/Eyri National Park in the distance.

There's plenty to keep little minds busy here, with interactive displays in the visitor centre, and the chance to play at being king of the castle when exploring the ruins! Pack a picnic and head for one of the nearby sandy beaches after your trip to the castle, to enjoy a feast against the backdrop of Cardigan Bay.

Nant Gwrtheyrn

Nant Gwrtheyrn, Llyn Peninsula

There aren't many places where you'll learn more about the Welsh language and culture than Nant Gwrtheyrn, home of the National Welsh Language and Heritage Centre. Set on the north coast of the Llŷn Peninsula, in the former quarrying village of Porth Nant, it is a place where adults come to learn the Welsh language, and visitors can discover the local history through informative and engaging displays.

The computer games and flick books are sure to appeal to the younger members of your family, while the grown-ups can soak up the history through film and radio clips. Explore the Quarryman's Cottage, learn about Meinir's Tree, and admire the incredible views through the lens of the glass sculpture, Tu Hwnt.

Top family days out on the water on the Llŷn Peninsula

Collage of seals, a wind surfer and a bird in the wild

If you, as a family, don't mind getting your toes wet, then there are lots of water sports to choose from, which you can engage in while enjoying the stunning views of the North Wales coast.

Boat trips

Bardsey Island with sheep in the foreground and a lighthouse in the background

The first of our on-the-water suggestions for family things to do on the Llŷn Peninsula is taking a boat trip to Bardsey Island, a car-free idyll which is a haven for sea birds and wildlife – you can even spot seals and porpoises frolicking off the coast. The island is open from March to October, and trips may be booked through Bardsey Boat Trips.

Children will love exploring the island, especially if you pique their interest with a few Famous Five books at bedtime - it really could have been lifted straight from an Enid Blyton description! Take a circular route around the island to improve your wildlife spotting chances, or head out on a short walk if you've got little ones with you. A cafe on the island is the place to head for a treat for tired children (and adults) when you're all walked out.

Another exciting trip out on the water is offered by Abersoch Boat Trips, who you can join on their speedy rib to zip around Abersoch Bay, St Tudwal's Islands and Porth Ceiriad. This one's a great choice for thrill-seeking families with children over 6 years old looking for something fun to do in North Wales.

Sailing lessons

A child beginning a sailing lesson

If you'd rather be in control of your destiny out on the water, a sailing lesson makes for a memorable holiday activity. The South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club hosts many prestigious national and international sailing events, so it's an excellent place to start if you're looking for expert tuition. The sailing club is affiliated with the Hydro Abersoch Training and Activity Centre which offers short lessons as well as longer training courses.

You couldn't be in a better place to start your sailing adventures - Pwlhelli and Abersoch on the Llŷn Peninsula are world-renowned sailing hubs, and even if you don't want to take to the water yourself, it's quite a spectacle watching the boats zipping by!

Surfing and SUP lessons and tours

A man helping a woman learn to surf

The spectacular views of the Llŷn Peninsula are all the more alluring from the water, and companies such as Abersoch Watersports, Offaxis and Discover Llyn offer stand-up paddleboarding and surf lessons to help build your confidence in the water and develop your skills - perfect for budding water sport enthusiasts!

More experienced surfers won't be short of spots to tick off their bucket list, with the Atlantic swells serving up consistent waves all along the coast. The 4-mile-long Hell's Mouth is a popular destination with waves to suit all levels, or if you're searching for a chunky Welsh wedge, Porth Ceiriad is fabulous for experienced surfers in winter. The waves bounce off the cliffs and almost double in size - certainly not one for the inexperienced surfer on big days!

Things to do with kids when it rains on the Llŷn Peninsula

Collage of three children holding an umbrella, a child swimming and rain dripping off a plant

Up in North Wales, a little precipitation is inevitable, but luckily, the Llŷn Peninsula is no stranger to rainy days and is well set up for entertaining its visitors, whatever the weather. So, if the forecast is looking less than ideal, don't let the weather cloud your mood – there's plenty to keep you and your family occupied if the heavens open.

A day out in Pwllheli

Pwllheli with a rainbow over the houses

The Llŷn Peninsula's unofficial capital on the south coast, Pwllheli is a market town with two beautiful beaches. The Welsh-speaking town has a big character and is popular with visitors and sailors, as well as having a lively local community. If you're looking for things to do on the Llŷn Peninsula when it rains, a visit to this vibrant seaside town is recommended for those days with intermittent showers, because there are lots of places to visit come rain or shine. Spend a morning shopping and cafe hopping in the centre - interesting galleries and antique shops sit alongside other independents and bigger brands.

Bumper cars in action at Funland

A firm family favourite day out in Pwllheli is Funland; there are a range of outdoor rides if you're able to dodge the spots, or stay dry in the arcade which is packed with amusements taking you right back to your own childhood!

A short drive out of town takes you to Oriel Plas Glyn-Y-Weddw - a great choice for a rainy day activity on the Llŷn Peninsula. The arts centre exhibits work by over 90 artists, and there are good value art workshops for children which are available to book during the school holidays. If the sun does show its face, you can make the most of a break in the rain with a wander through the scenic woodland which connects to the coast path.

If the North Wales rain has really set in, children up to 12 are sure to enjoy a visit to Y Den (The Den) soft play, and there's the promise of a hot cuppa and a snack for the parents too.

Pwllheli Leisure Centre

Baby swimming underwater

A lovely, warm swimming pool is sometimes the perfect alternative to getting wet in the rain, and Pwllheli Leisure Centre's 25-metre pool, children's pool and water slide are perfect for a few hours of family fun while waiting for the weather to pass.

There's a fitness room too, if the adults in your party fancy a workout, and squash and tennis courts where older children can put their parents through their paces!

Plas yn Rhiw

Child in a historic house

This splendid National Trust manor house has a spectacular garden which you're free to explore if you can dodge the raindrops, but if you're looking for somewhere warm and dry to while away a few hours when it's raining on the Llŷn Peninsula, the house itself is where it's at.

Restored by the three Keating sisters, Plas yn Rhiw, the 19th-century mansion, is beautifully decorated and packed with interesting treasures, and the charming tearoom is sure to satisfy the hunger of little tummies.

Porth y Swnt

Lighthouse lamp

Another indoor National Trust place on the Llŷn Peninsula is the Porth y Swnt interpretation centre in Aberdaron. Through play and interactive exhibits, you can learn about the natural environment and the history and culture of this spectacular peninsula.

There are lots of children's activities to keep little minds occupied within the centre, and a wildlife trail, bike routes and walks can be enjoyed if the weather brightens up.

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway with a steam train

In our experience, there are few children whose faces don't light up when given the opportunity to jump aboard a steam train. There's something wonderfully special about chugging through the countryside in a cosy carriage, with steam drifting past the windows. The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway promises a great day out, whatever the weather. As rainy day things to do on the Llŷn Peninsula go, this has to be up there with one of the best family days out.

There's a choice of journeys of different lengths, onboard different locomotives, and organised events throughout the year to make your visit even more special. When tummies are rumbling, stop for refreshments at one of the cafes, or book a luxury hamper or picnic box to tuck into on the train.

Map of things to do with kids on the Llŷn Peninsula

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Family holidays on the Llŷn Peninsula

Whether it's walking the coastal path, building sandcastles on Abersoch Beach, soaking up the culture of a small village or enjoying a day out at one of the family attractions, you'll never be short of things to do on the Llŷn Peninsula with children.

Book a stay in one of our holiday cottages on the Llŷn Peninsula and you’ll be perfectly placed to enjoy everything this lovely corner of North Wales has to offer.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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