“My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The thing I love most about Wales is that no matter how many times you visit there is still so much to see! I have literally been going Wales at least 20 times a year for the last 34 years and I feel like I still have only seen 5% of one of my favourite counties! I have to admit that I have become very selfish with my time in Wales, I tend to go alone because honestly I just like seeing where I end up, I don’t have to worry about someone else. I don’t have to leave before I want to, nor do I have to apologise every time I want to pull over to take a picture in the good light. To sum it up I am pretty much having a life affair with Wales and I don’t want to share!
Llandanwg Beach sits between the towns of Barmouth and Harlech on the southern side of Tremadog Bay. It is also part of the wider Snowdonia National Park and situated close to the pretty Afon Dwyryd estuary. I discovered this little beach by accident after not having enough change for the car park at Harlech beach. Harlech would be my go to beach, however Llandanwg is literally ten minutes down the road and has a cute little beach cafe too! Oh and parking only costs a third of the price! The beach isn’t as nice, in the fact that there are more stones here and I would find it slightly more difficult to swim in this part of the sea!!
One thing about the area, including Harlech is that when it warms up the jellyfish come out! Last summer I swam in the sea no problem, I did see jellyfish while I was swimming but we didn’t bother each other (thank god! I got stung by a very large jelly fish in Jamaica and it wasn’t the nicest of pains). Anyone else think this one looks like a skull??
Sea in front of you with and beautiful views of Snowdonia behind! Despite this beach only being a couple of miles away from Harlech it feels a lot more peaceful. Probably because it has a lot less tourists! Also added bonus is that it isn’t so far from car park to beach!
Known as “the church in the sand”, St Tanwg’s church is found nestled in the sand dunes, where the mountains meet the sea, at Llandanwg. It is thought that it is one of the oldest places of continuous Christian worship in the UK and was probably founded by St Tanwg around 435AD. The existing building has been on the site since the early middle ages and over its many years has been frequently dug out of the sand, as it constantly encroaches and buries it. From inside the simple stone walls you can hear the waves on the beach even the stillest day. Soaked in the prayers of 2000 years, it is a place widely acknowledged to be ‘thin’, rooted in the earth but within easy reach of heaven. It is a refuge of solace, simplicity and peace.
Bits of old headstones keeping the sand dunes at bay! The church is surrounded by the beach. I arrived just as the Sunday evening service was finishing. And although I am not religious in any sense of the word I think if I were to go to church I would want to be able to hear the sound of the sea in the distance.
The original church on this site was much smaller than the present building and most likely built from stones carried up from the beach, the remains may be under the present flooring. The present building was started in the Middle Ages and the walls may have been decorated with designs in green and red with texts in black lettering.
Always room for cake, to the right!
And then the drive home which took an extra 45 minutes because the lighting was beautiful, the sky was beautiful and I kept stopping to take as many pictures as humanly possible. Sometimes I think there is something wrong with me then I remember that its OK to have something wrong with you! I like photographs so I take photographs!
And lets face it, come the summer holidays when will I get the chance to get this photograph!! I am absolutely dreading the summer holidays and all the extra “holiday traffic”. Not to mention all the extra noise! I still have about five weeks until the crowds descend! I think until then I am planning on hitting all the beaches now, that way when the kids do break up I can head in land and away from the crowds and the screaming!
To get to from my house to a lot of Wales I need to drive through Snowdonia, as Wales’ first National Park and the third most popular National Park in Britain, Snowdonia is something special. It stretches over 827 square miles full of unspoilt scenery with rocky mountains, clear blue lakes and thick forests. It has plants and insects you won’t find anywhere else in the world. And at the heart of it is the peak of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.
I still have a lot of the other side of Snowdonia to see, I am currently planning a road trip to spend a day or two seeing what the other side has to offer and to obviously take a ridiculous amount of pictures!
I am pretty sure everyone who drives through Wales is constantly stopping to take pictures and have a mooch around as there is almost as many miles of lay-bys as there is roads! I told you it was good light, even the road looks pretty! Do you have a favourite spot in Wales? Can you recommend anywhere good for me to visit? Please drop suggestions or ideas in the comments below 🙂