Located at the far end of a fantastic beach near Newborough Warren, this narrow finger of land is an ideal picnic site during fine weather, but also an exhilarating place to be when the winter winds blow. Its rolling dunes, large rock outcrops and mixture of historic buildings make it an ideal place to explore. The wild ponies and stone walls going nowhere add to the captivating atmosphere of this island.
Llanddwyn is not quite an island. It remains attached to the mainland at all but the highest tides and people frequently find themselves having to wade across at these times. It provides excellent views of Snowdonia and the Lleyn Peninsula and is part of the Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve.
The name Llanddwyn means church of St Dwynwen. She is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, making her the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine.
Dwynwen lived during the 5th century AD and was one of 24 daughters of St Brychan, a Welsh prince of Brycheiniog (Brecon). She fell in love with a young man named Maelon, but rejected his advances. This, depending on which story you read, was either because she wished to remain chaste and become a nun or because her father wished her to marry another. She prayed to be released from the unhappy love and dreamed that she was given a potion to do this. However, the potion turned Maelon to ice. She then prayed that she be granted three wishes:
1. that Maelon be revived
2. that all true lovers find happiness and
3. that she should never again wish to be married.
She then retreated to the solitude of Llanddwyn Island to follow the life of a hermit.
Llanddwyn Island is part of the Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve and is home to the most fabulous of flora and fauna. Even the rocks are exciting -
Image credits (clockwise from top):
Kris Williams, jixxer, Flickr.com