Hit the waves in Abersoch

View larger map
No image

By Ben Johnson, a Travel Enthusiast

Read more on Abersoch.

Overall rating:2.0 out of 5 (based on 1 vote)
Recommended for:
Activity, Beach, Budget, Expensive, Mid-range

Abersoch - a traditional fishing village in Wales that is riding the crest of the surf culture wave

Abersoch, a vibrant village tucked away on the North Wales coastline could be described as a "little Newquay".

It's a town of surf culture, which as you approach it on narrow winding roads, appears out of nowhere among the otherwise quiet and family-orientated tourist destinations on the ruggedly beautiful and sandy Lleyn Peninsula.

Essentially a traditional fishing village which has adapted with the rise in popularity of modern water sports, Abersoch boasts a busy and friendly community set among scenic bays of bobbing, moored boats complete with coloured beach huts and beaches which meet family and surfer criteria alike.

As a modern seaside resort, its geography is very much to thank for the lively atmosphere that it hosts today, drawing visitors to its variety of seaside activities. Situated on the easterly edge of the Lleyn Peninsula, which juts daringly out into the Irish Sea, on one side Abersoch’s bays are hidden away from the waves, making them calm, lapping and sandy with a tranquillity only broken by the occasional hum of a jet ski engine. While only a short drive away from the village centre is an infamous cove facing northwesterly into the open sea. This expanse of beach is known as Hell’s Mouth, or Porth Neigwl, where the Irish Sea drives home renowned surf breaks which lure professional surfers, body boarders, kite-boarders and fun-seeking surf amateurs from across the country. When you see Hell’s Mouth you can understand why water sports enthusiasts return; hilly sloping banks on either side make it feel hidden and almost private. It is powerfully beautiful and its sheer scale means it never adopts the busy, crowded feel that other popular UK surf spots can sometimes assume.

The surf has allowed Abersoch to become a hub for watersport-based culture and activity in North Wales, with jet skiing, surfing, wind-surfing and wake boarding all on offer. Wetsuit and surf/body board hire is easily found in the village centre, I have used both West Coast Surf and Abersoch Watersports before now. Both were great shops with friendly staff, and throughout the village you can expect to pay approximately £10-£15 per day for both suit and board hire.

Perhaps Abersoch’s most famous attribute is the Wakestock festival, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2009. This annual summer event has now firmly established itself on the UK festival calendar and draws sizeable crowds to this normally bustling but peaceful village. With music, camping and professional wakeboarding, the Wakestock weekend will certainly be fun-packed, but is probably not the best time to try and visit Abersoch for other reasons, as it will be at its busiest.

A popular summer camping destination, a tent is certainly a great option for accommodation when visiting Abersoch, with many campsites on offer. I personally have visited Bryn Bach more than once, simply for the views from its position on the hillside above the town. The view down onto the bay from this peaceful campsite is certainly something to behold, especially at night under a clear star-lit sky. To get your tent closer to Hell’s Mouth then you can always try Rhydolion. Other campsites in the area can be easily located with a simple web search, but be warned that many accept families or couples only. It is important to make a few phone calls before you leave and get booked in, especially if you are visiting as a bigger group.

For those wanting to stay in more luxury there are hotels and a multitude of guesthouses situated in the village. To find out more about the options on offer I would recommend a quick visit to the Abersoch tourist website www.abersoch.co.uk. The site contains a wealth of information about what’s on in the village and includes listings of all types of accommodation, with a section for larger groups.

Dining options are certainly plentiful, from wholesome pub grub to Indian and Chinese cuisine on offer. There is fantastic fish and chip take-away located on the high street, which I have visited each and every time I have been to Abersoch. Being from Manchester there really is nothing like proper fish and chips from a seaside resort. And fear not, for those of you who want to relax after a hard day in the surf then there are many modern pubs and wine bars to visit. The atmosphere is always great, if not slightly pretentious with lots of fashion-conscious surfers, but this has indeed become the nature of Abersoch, a fabulous surf spot with more than enough entertainment for a short or extended stay.

Save money on booking

flightshotelscar hire

by following our money-saving guides. They are written by our Simonseeks team of travel gurus.

More information on Hit the waves in Abersoch:

Ben Johnson
Traveller type:
Travel Enthusiast
Guide rating:
Average: 2 (1 vote)
Total views:
First uploaded:
2 October 2009
Last updated:
6 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours 47 min 59 sec ago
Destinations featured:
Budget level:
Budget, Mid-range, Expensive

What do you think of this guide?

Did it tell you what you needed to know?
Do you agree with the writer's recommendations?

Share your views by leaving a comment on this page.

Community comments (2)

2 of 2 people found the following comment helpful.

An inspiring guide to a little-known destination, if not particularly useful. There are plenty of tips on offer, but often no names of places recommended, or, if the names are given, there are no contact details for users of this site to utilise.
We'd really love to see some photographs of the destination too (how do we know you've been there?) and photographs of our writers are vital. This guide might have won a three star rating otherwise.

Was this comment useful?

Abersoch is indeed a great place to go, and while this guide doesn't recommend many places, I think it encapculates the vibe of the place well. I've spent many a summer there, especially when I was in my teens/early twenties, and have camped, rented property and stayed in the flat above the Vaynol Arms, which seems to be the pub of choice for the 'Cheshire Set'. As well as the Vaynol, St Tudwals is also a great pub with a lively atmosphere. Older (legal!) drinkers should avoid the patio at the back of the pub though, as this has historically been a popular hang-out for under-age drinkers trying to blag a beer (guilty as charged, many moons ago!).

Like Ben, I've camped at Bryn Bach, and although (from memory)groups are allowed at this site, the owners seem to be pretty clued up on who is likely to be rowdy, and younger (teen) single-sex groups may have difficulty making a booking. Of course, this makes it better for the older groups and young families, as noise at night tends to be reduced. The facilities are basic but clean, the owners very friendly, and it's not a million miles from the village centre. Oh, and I couldn't agree more about the view.

I love Abersoch, but you really have to be able to ignore the pretentions of the 'gold shoes/gold handbag' brigade. There is a lot of money here, and it shows; often in snobbery and one-upmanship, but if you can get past that, Abersoch has something for everyone.