10 North Wales beaches for your bucket and spade list holiday cottages

10 North Wales beaches for your bucket and spade list

Ellen Drowne 07 September 2023

With enough heritage sites to keep the most eager history fan satisfied and with outdoor activities in abundance, there are plenty of things to do in North Wales. But does North Wales have good beaches? The answer is a resounding yes! 

We’ve compiled ten of the best beaches in North Wales – if you’re looking for a bucket-and-spade break the kids will love or a secluded sandy cove for some proper rest and relaxation, then you’ll find what you’re looking for below.

Our range of North Wales cottages includes plenty of places to stay near the coast. Click the button below to ‘sea’ our full collection.

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Beaumaris Beach

Beaumaris Beach

The charming town of Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey has a sand and shingle beach with breathtaking views across the Menai Strait towards mainland Wales and Snowdonia/Eryri in particular. 

You can take a boat trip from the pier across to Puffin Island – a bird sanctuary and a nesting site for seabirds including common guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and, naturally, puffins. The impressive coastline can be explored via the nearby coast path and the accessible beach is close to the town’s facilities and plentiful parking. 

Rhyl Beach

Rhyl Beach

Are there any sandy beaches in North Wales? There are many, and Rhyl’s gorgeous golden stretch has to be one of the finest. 

Reaching from the Clwyd Estuary to Splash Point, this sandy haven is 2 miles long. Its impressive tidal range means that you’re in for a bit of a stroll for a dip in the sea when the tide is out – but it’s worth it! You can take a leisurely walk along the promenade, or cycle, as it’s part of National Cycle Route 5 – grab an ice cream or some fish and chips and revel in a truly traditional seaside stay.  

Barmouth Beach

Barmouth Beach

Among the most popular sandy beaches in North Wales is the golden expanse found at Barmouth in southern Snowdonia. Not only is it a great place for sunbathing and beach games, but you’ll also find donkey rides, trampolines, a bouncy castle and a pirate ship swing boat ride. 

Barmouth Beach is also a great spot for bathing and water sports. Go and say hi to the donkeys then grab an ice cream and take in the views of Cardigan Bay. The town’s picturesque harbour is worth exploring while you’re in the area.  

Harlech Beach

Harlech Beach

The natural beauty of Harlech Beach is accentuated by the impressive backdrop of Harlech Castle, the 13th-century structure which looms large over the dunes. The castle is a World Heritage Site and a fascinating tourist attraction in its own right, while the dunes are a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

Harlech Beach has 4 miles of soft sand and is a prime spot for children to play while the adults in your group work on their tans and admire the views of Eryri. And for any golf fans among you, the renowned Royal St David’s Golf Club sits proudly nearby.

Llandudno Beach  

Llandudno Beach

When staying in or near Llandudno, you’ll be spoilt for choice regarding North Wales beaches to visit. West Shore offers a quiet, sandy base for all the usual beach-based fun, and is especially popular for kite flying and kitesurfing. It’s a great place to enjoy stunning sunsets and has its own café. Its busier neighbour, North Shore, sits between two headlands – Great Orme and Little Orme. It is a mixture of sand and pebbles with a popular promenade and pier, live music at the bandstand, and a play area and paddling pool the kids are sure to enjoy. 

On the other side of Little Orme is Angel Bay, a small inlet which makes a great walking destination where you can take in the glorious scenery and spot seals (if you’re lucky enough to see some, please be respectful and do not disturb them).

Colwyn Bay Beach

Colwyn Bay Beach

The promenade at Colwyn Bay provides a pleasant border to the 3 miles of sand, and the charming pier. Originally opened in 1900, it is once again open to the public after a period of closure and subsequent partial reconstruction. 

Colwyn Bay Beach is a delightful spot for a family day at the seaside. Colwyn Bay also attracts water sports enthusiasts including kayakers and surfers. There is no shortage of places to grab a drink and a bite to eat along the promenade, so why not make a day of it? 

Morfa Nefyn

Morfa Nefyn Beach

A gorgeous, sheltered bay cosying up to the Nefyn headland on the Llyn Peninsula, this is one of our favourite North Wales beaches. Being crescent-shaped, this sweeping stretch of sand presents a variety of appealing conditions for those who love to get in the water. 

Being a natural harbour, it is also a haven for fishermen. Next door is the quaint hamlet of Porthdinllaen, with its beachside pub, the Ty Coch Inn. All in all, a tranquil spot to take in the rugged beauty of this captivating piece of coastline.     

Llanddwyn Beach, Anglesey

Llanddwyn Beach

For a North Wales beach with the real wow factor, head to Llanddwyn. Backed by Newborough National Nature Reserve, this golden gem on the south-western tip of Anglesey has much to recommend it. 

Vast swathes of sand provide ample space for family fun and games, while the views of Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula will take your breath away. If you’re feeling energetic, wander over to Llanddwyn Island, the peninsula at the top of the beach which has plenty of intriguing buildings and natural features to explore whatever the weather.

Conwy Morfa Beach

Conwy Morfa Beach

This sandy delight is ideally suited to sandcastle building and dog walking, as well as bird watching. With Conwy Mountain in the background, its natural beauty is undeniable.Spectacular sand dunes and its proximity to Conwy Golf Club ensure it has something for everyone. 

At low tide, this wonderful rural beach links up with others in the Colwyn Bay area. If you’re tempted to walk out, be aware of the tide times so that you don’t get stranded on a sandbank! 

Abersoch Beach

Abersoch Beach

Abersoch is a bustling seaside resort with a fantastic beach, which could easily be one of the best beaches in North Wales, offering outstanding views of Saint Tudwal's Islands and the mountains of West Wales. It’s easy to see why thousands of visitors flock here each year: you can while away a sunny day with your nose in a book and your feet nestled into the sand or take to the water for a paddle. 

A motorboat exclusion zone ensures swimmers have a safe spot to take a dip. Recognised as a prime sailing spot, the beach hosts events including Abersoch Regatta and Dinghy Week. 

Map of North Wales beaches

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Stay in North Wales

There are so many nice beaches in North Wales that it could be hard to choose just one to visit. Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to seek out the swimming gear and sun cream and start planning a seaside adventure. Take a minute to check out our North Wales cottages and pick the perfect base for your beachside break. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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