Picture perfect North Wales beach named one of the best 'secret' sandy spots in UK

The coastal village of Porthdinllaen
The coastal village of Porthdinllaen -Credit:Phil Boyd, National Trust

A picturesque beach on the North Wales coast has been declared one of the top 10 'hidden gem' sandy spots in the UK. Porthdinllaen, located on the Llyn Peninsula, might quibble with its classification as a "secret", but there's no disputing its allure.

Its charm was substantial enough to earn it a spot on a list of so-called 'secret' beaches projected to see an influx of visitors in 2024. Once touted as a potential rival to Holyhead as a gateway to Ireland, Porthdinllaen's fortunes took a hit when road developments by Thomas Telford tipped the balance in favour of the Anglesey port.

Despite missing out on that particular opportunity, Porthdinllaen thrived as a bustling port for several decades. Since coming under the auspices of the National Trust in 1994, its natural splendour continues to captivate visitors.

At the heart of the village, you'll find Ty Coch pub, established in 1823 and originally serving as the vicarage for the local cleric of Edern. A new vicarage constructed in 1828 prompted the vicar's departure, after which his housekeeper, Catherine Ellis, saw fit to transform the property into an inn the following year, much to the delight of the local shipbuilding community.

It has gained a reputation as a renowned pub, frequently appearing on lists of the world's top beach bars. The beach, while popular, remains somewhat protected due to restricted vehicular access; only residents with a permit can drive into the village, reports North Wales Live.

Visitors typically make their way to the village by foot across the sands from Morfa Nefyn or via the path over Nefyn golf club, passing an ancient Iron Age hill fort. This limited access may contribute to its 'secret' allure.

The Independent, which compiled the list, commented: "Summer is in sight, with light nights and sunny days tantalisingly close. It's a good time of year to start making a list of beaches you want to visit, especially if you want to avoid fighting for space on the shores with hundreds of others."

"Even though the UK weather is notoriously unpredictable, Brits love nothing more than a beach day. Whether you live in the city or countryside, there's blissful escapism to be found in feeling the sand between your toes and taking a dip in beautiful, bracing waters."

"The summer months are the most attractive time to visit the British coastline, but also the busiest. With that in mind, we've found some UK beaches a little further off the beaten coast path. If you fancy venturing to a hidden beach on your next trip to the seaside, we've rounded up the best secret spots to visit."

When writing about Porthdinllaen, The Times said: "Offering sandy, secluded space to play, this Welsh beach is tucked away from the old fishing village by sweeping hills. As the cove is sheltered, the water is usually calm, making it a great spot for swimming. Bring goggles and be sure to look down: the headland is a popular spot with the local grey seals, and one of the largest seagrass meadows in North Wales hides beneath the water, providing a habitat for many different types of fish."

The other beaches included in the list are:

  • Man O'War Beach, Dorset.

  • Runswick Bay, Yorkshire.

  • Embleton Beach, Northumberland.

  • Church Doors Cove, Pembrokeshire.

  • Lantic Bay, Cornwall.

  • Sandwood Bay, Sutherland.

  • Cuckmere Haven Beach, East Sussex.

  • Aberlady Bay, East Lothian.

  • White Park Bay, Northern Ireland.