Posted by: brigid benson | December 12, 2011

To Hell’s Mouth

Nefyn    Bardsey Island   Aberdaron   Porth Neigwl

The wild windswept LLyn peninsula is a favourite haunt; any season, any weather.

I’ve written about this rugged and magnificent Welsh speaking landscape in my book 52 Weekends by the Sea; I return again and again to this coast. Whatever my mood there’s always something to inspire.  Here are recent pictures, taken on my phone camera as usual.

Local people are impressively bilingual, road signs plunge you into a wonderful language. Check out this rustic sign at the end of a muddy farm track; I can only dream of pronouncing these words correctly.

An instant Welsh lesson

Nefyn is one of the largest communities on the peninsula. From here Welsh seafarers moved to new lives in far flung countries where Lllyn’s wealthy businessmen invested heavily. Hence the extraordinary link with Argentina. Puerto Madryn takes its name from the Welsh Castell Madryn. Town twinning to celebrate the historic links began in 1998.

Far flung friendships

Canny sheep know which holiday houses lie empty when wintry gusts and pelting rain sweep the shore, they flee to sheltered boltholes, unseen by the homeowners.

Shelter from the storm

If you long to blow out cobwebs then climb Mynydd Mawr, a heathery hill where red legged black choughs perform acrobatics on seabreezes. Mystical Bardsey island offshore, illuminated on dark wintry days by a diminutive lighthouse indicating the island’s fearsome surroundings; turbulent waters and savage rocks. Nearby is lovely Aberdaron, a great beach and a church with poetic associations.

Poetic inspiration: Aberdaron

Winter island: Bardsey

There’s more fearful water at Hell’s Mouth, Porth Neigwl. This four mile beach is backed by clay cliffs. From here you’ll spy black clad surfers in wetsuits on barrelling waves below.

December surfers, Hell's Mouth

Southwesterly gales slam the beach, shipwrecks abound and rip current are a danger to all.

Beware rip tides

Know how to handle a rip tide? This notice at Hell’s Mouth is essential reading.

Hell's Mouth: be prepared

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