We can think of few better places of escape than North Wales. One of the most rural parts of mainland Britain, the coast is no exception to this rule.
The area is awash with unspoilt beaches, coastal coves and magnificent mountainous scenery to add the icing on the cake to its appeal. We’ve put together a guide of beaches along the hundred-plus mile stretch of coastline. This encompasses towns close to the relatively built-up English border, all the way along to the undiscovered Isle of Anglesey, which is nearer to Ireland than it is to the vast majority of England. Seaside staples tie in with secluded outposts to make this list of beaches in North Wales one of the most special in the whole of the UK.
Abersoch Beach, Gwynedd
Abersoch Beach faces south on the Llyn Peninsula, one of the closest parts of Wales to Ireland. It’s a magnet for sailing, hosting many international events and attracting a range of abilities looking to perfect their skills at sea. The water is highly thought of here, with boat rides taking beachgoers down to the rocky islands of St Tudwal and Bardsey, just a few kilometres away and just off the mainland.
Unsurprisingly, the sea is calm here and you’ll often see experienced swimmers quite a way out in the distance. Snowdonia adds the finishing touches to this beach in North Wales, dominating the horizon.
Benllech Beach, Isle of Anglesey
One of Anglesey’s most popular, Benllech Beach sits on the island’s eastern coast and faces back towards the Welsh mainland and North West England in the far distance. Fine golden sand affords it a Blue Flag, and at low tide, this extends for miles. Rockpools form, providing the perfect setting to see crabs and other small sea creatures up close.
Grassy cliffs offer a route up to the beach promenade, where there is an abundance of facilities at hand to extend your stay. Some areas of the beach are dog-friendly all year round, and there is easy access via roadside parking.
Dinas Dinlle Beach, Gwynedd
Dinas Dinlle is only a short drive from Caernarfon on Gwynedd’s north coast, but the atmosphere is a world away from that of a major town. The major selling point here is the fantastic views across the bay towards the Isle of Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula. Another with a prestigious Blue Flag Award, the beach has extensive sand that eventually becomes pebble where the beach meets the coastal road.
A Marine Conservation Award means the sea is equally good for swimming in, and when you’re done with your exercise, you can refuel at the beach café. The breakfast served here alone is enough to include this in the guide of beaches in North Wales.
Gronant Dunes, Prestatyn, Denbighshire (North)
Gronant Dunes is a coastal paradise for humans and animals alike. Birds flock here over the winter months, attracting birdwatchers from around Wales and further beyond to spot a glimpse or capture a picture of these magnificent creatures. The beach is also home to a variety of plant life, winning it a position on the country’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest list.
The beach ties in its wildlife theme with pets too. Dogs are allowed on the sand all year round, making this a great option to bring your furry friend to. Peace and serenity are the order of the day in this part of North Wales, with the beach fitting neatly in between Talacre Point to the east and Barkby in the west.
Harlech Beach, Gwynedd (North)
Ceredigion Bay has always been a magnet for domestic and international tourists. Harlech Beach’s position at the heart of it is the jewel in its armoury, with four miles of premier sand welcoming visitors all-year round. The windy Irish Sea whistles up a gust or two here, so bring your coast just in case!
A walk reveals spectacular scenery, with the route down to Shell Island particularly popular with those looking to explore the area in greater detail. Beyond the natural surroundings, something human-made also dots the horizon. Harlech Castle was an important outpost during the English Civil War and retains an aura of dominance to this day.
Morfa Bychan - Black Rock Sands, Gwynedd (North)
Morfa Bychan is home to our Greenacres Holiday Park and a fantastic beach in North Wales. It stands out from its competitors with access to the beach allowed directly from your car. Even when the sand acts as a busy car park for all sorts of vehicles, they are nothing more than a few dots on the landscape when you view take a step back and admire the surroundings.
Low tide extends the beach massively, creating tons of sand and providing the cue for your camera to capture the picture. Tie in a visit to the beach with a walk around Morfa Bychan village, easy to get to on foot by a lovely beach path. You’ll be able to admire Snowdonia along the way.
Llanddwyn Beach (Newborough), Isle of Anglesey (North)
Llanddwyn is another Anglesey-based beach, sitting on the island’s southwestern tip. It marks the spot of one of the largest areas on sand dunes in the whole of the British Isles, in an extremely quiet and peaceful area free from the blemishes of human settlement and activity. This makes for a natural masterpiece.
Backed by forest, the beach adds to its endearment with a short peninsula extending its reach out into the Irish Sea. A walk along here reveals two lighthouses marking the end of Wales and the beginning of harsh waters. Tie in your visit with a detour to Newborough Forest, which offers one of the greatest views of Snowdonia anyone could wish for. Across the bay, it’s a sight no one can forget in a hurry.
Prestatyn Beach, Denbighshire
Prestatyn is one of North Wales’ premier seaside outposts. A hive of seaside fun, the town is undergoing a cultural revival that puts it at the pinnacle of what this stunning country has to offer. Backed by a wide promenade, the coastal area is the go-to place for a cycle in Wales. The North Wales Cycle Trail takes you miles along the Irish Sea coast, and Prestatyn is a great place to start, finish or take a break on your journey.
The beach is also favoured by windsurfers and sailors. The town is awash with amenities, with the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre home to everything great about film. The historic Offa’s Dyke path also converges on the seafront, marking the ancient border of England and Wales.
Rhyl Beach, Clwyd
Rhyl Beach is one the first places people flock to for a seaside experience on the North Wales coast, and it's understandable why. Little more than a collection of fisherman’s houses in the 19th-century, Rhyl became a town in its own right through the advent of mass tourism. A rise in prosperity in cities also translated to Rhyl, welcoming those with newfound income to its seaside promenade.
Rhyl’s renaissance continues to this day, attracting a new generation of staycationers and residents looking for a better quality of life. The town’s beach is a key reason for that, stretching two miles along with its heart from Clwyd Estuary to Splash Point. Half a mile’s walk is a delight when the tide goes out, putting into perspective just how vast the sand can reach when the sea recedes.
Treaddur Bay, Isle of Anglesey
Treaddur Bay is only a couple of miles away from Anglesey’s biggest population centre. It attracts walkers from Holyhead and some even stop off here for a break when they disembark a ferry from Ireland. In all honesty, they couldn’t pick a better place to prepare them for their onward journey, with the vast expanse of sand neatly overlooking the Irish Sea.
The beach has recently become a site of historical interest, with an ancient burial ground uncovered in the coastal area. It was excavated in 2003 and continues to be the source of studies into what life was like thousands of years ago. The town gets its Welsh name from Arthur, a reference to the King and its role in antiquity.