Pwllheli is the unofficial capital of the Llyn Peninsula, in Northwest Wales. Much of the Llyn Peninsula is designated as an’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, and Pwllheli is an ideal base to explore the Peninsula, as well as the nearby Snowdonia National Park, Anglesey and the glorious western coast of Wales.
Pwllheli is a thriving market town with a weekly market on Wednesday in Y Maes. The market is one of the busiest in Britain, and you’re bound to find a good bargain! Also in the town centre you will find many shops, selling everything you need. The town is full of seaside character.
The impressive 400 berth, award winning marina provides sheltered berthing and is considered to be one of the best in Wales. With the nearby boat yards and chandleries the area provides all the services needed by boaters The marina also caters for the visiting boaters with berths for casual overnight or short stay.
The waters off the Llyn Peninsula, which combine moderate tidal and sea conditions with varied patterns of winds, offer spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia mountains and the rugged coastline.
Sailing events held in Cardigan Bay include the National BT Matchracing the Optimist Nationals, the J24 World and European championships, the Topper Nationals and the One Ton Cup.
Pwllheli has two beaches. South Beach, which is mainly shingle, has been awarded the Blue Flag Award for clean sands and waters. South Beach stretches from Gimblet Rock, across the promenade, and around towards Llanbedrog.
Glan-y-Don is the other beach at Pwllheli and is located adjacent and to the east of the new Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre The beach runs for about three miles towards Pen-y-Chain headland, which is the site of the Haven Holiday Camp. This is a long sandy beach and is ideal for launching large numbers of Optimist dinghies and is the one we shall use for launching (see photo below). The race committee vessels and support boats will all be using Pwllheli Marina.
Abersoch, 7 miles away is another of Wales’ top sailing venues. About 7 miles in the opposite direction brings you to Llanystumdwy, just outside Criccieth, the childhood home and burial place of Lloyd George. Porthmadog is 14 miles to the east of Pwllheli and is truly the gateway to Llyn, and has a picturesque harbour and lots of shops.
The Llyn Peninsula is very different to the rest of Wales, benefiting from the gulf stream the weather is often different (usually better!) and so is the landscape. Much of Llyn is rolling countryside, rising up to the occasional volcanic peak – needless to say that these are all now extinct. The highest of which is Yr Eifl, on the north coast of Llyn. There are also other hills on Llyn, all worth a climb, like Carn Fadryn, Mynydd Rhiw and Garn Boduan, to name a few. All the hills give excellent views over Llyn and on a clear day, Snowdonia, all of Cardigan Bay and Anglesey up to Holyhead Mountain.
Although only 8 miles wide, the Llyn Peninsula often has different weather on each side. The main feature of the Llyn that most people remember is the wind. We have consistent South-Westerlies which mean that small trees and hedges all lean the same way! The effect is most noticeable towards Aberdaron which is on the tip of the Llyn. On the upside, the sailing is always good.
Pwllheli Sailing Club possesses a well secured area for keeping dinghies overnight. The clubs own buildings and catering facilities will be complemented by additional buildings for the duration of the event.