Just along the coast from Abersoch, towards the nearby town of Pwllheli is the picturesque village of Llanbedrog. Dozens of places in Wales begin with the prefix Llan and it indicates that there will be a church at that location. The second half of the name comes from Pedrog, a sixth century saint. St Pedrog’s is also the name of the village church which is a stunning grade II listed building. There are few prettier sounds than the tinkling of the church bells echoing round the lower half of the village. As well as the church, there are several rustic chapels dotted around.
One of the most notable buildings of the village is Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw. Glyn y Weddw translates to ‘vale of the widow’ and this is because the grade II Gothic Victorian mansion was originally built to house the artwork of Lady Elizabeth Love Jones Parry, widow of Sir Love Jones Parry who was the esquire of the Madryn estate. Lady Jones Parry originally intended to live at the mansion after the marriage of her eldest son but as he remained a bachelor during her lifetime, she never resided here, though she visited often.
The mansion is steeped in history. There are gravestones in the lower garden belonging to dogs owned by the Angerstein family, who leased the mansion until the mid 1890s. Stunning pieces of art can be seen in the Oriel (Welsh for gallery) and exhibitions are held regularly, along with tremendously popular art classes for children and an array of other activities which happen all year round. The John Andrews amphitheatre lies in the grounds which puts on concerts and theatrical performances of all kinds and in recent years has also been home to an outdoor cinema during the summer months. Fewer experiences rival snuggling up under a blanket with family and friends to catch a performance of some of the world’s most popular films.
Several footpaths lead from the woods that lie in the gallery grounds and these take you on to the Wales coastal path and up to one of the most famous residents of Llanbedrog- the tin man! The tin man is actually an iron sculpture who stands on the headland of Mynydd Tir Cwmwd. It is worth the climb up to see him because he looks out onto some of the most breathaking panoramic views of the area. From his vantage point, you can see the jolly stretch of colourful beach huts which the National Trust take care of, renting them out to beach bums of the summer and maintaining their upkeep (and giving them a quick lick of paint!) through the winter. Llanbedrog beach is a stunning one, popular with families whose children love to play in the bubbling stream. There is a wonderful restaurant, recently taken over by new owners where you can enjoy a bite to eat or sip at a glass to wine in a spot that would rival many foreign beach restorts! There are also two pubs in the village, Glyn y Weddw and The Ship, both offering fantastic home cooked food all year round. Llanbedrog, which is just a few miles out from its sister Abersoch is a treat for all with its stunning surroundings and traditional village green.