A   A   A

Llŷn Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

In 1956, a large part of the Llŷn Peninsula was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.The primary purpose of the AONB designation is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, which includes protecting flora, fauna and geological as well as landscape features. 

The landscape has also been shaped by man, and it is paramount that archaeological, historic remains and architectural features are protected. The designation also creates a responsibility to provide for a quiet enjoyment of the countryside and having regard for the interests of those who live and work there.

Each AONB relies on planning controls and practical countryside management to achieve these aims, along with the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, that introduced new powers to help protect these precious landscapes, and made it compulsory that every AONB should have its own unique management plan. 

The Countryside Council for Wales has overall responsibility for AONBs in the national context but they are managed by Local Authorities with the support of Joint Advisory Committees (JAC), local communities and partnerships.
610 105 Ardal o Harddwch Naturiol Eithriadol/Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Management Plan

As well as environmental protection and management, the plan must take into account the social well-being and economic needs of the area it serves. It should also aim to promote and encourage actions that will improve the state of a particular resource or special quality or increase its extent. 

Here on Llŷn we are in the process of reviewing our initial Plan which was adopted in 2005. Management Plans need to regard AONBs as living landscapes, places where people live and work as well as places people visit and come to enjoy. The Llŷn AONB plan sets out a clear vision for its future management, including a list of aims and objectives and a detailed action plan for work to be undertaken.

Facts & Figures

  > Llŷn is one of only 5 designated AONB's in Wales.
  > The logo for the AONB shows a Chough.
  > This bird favours the peninsula's rocky coastline where there are around 60 nesting pairs.
  > The AONB covers 155Km2 on the Peninsula.
  > The 2001 census showed the AONB's population as 6,502, with 70% of this number Welsh speaking.

Our Projects

It is difficult to pinpoint one feature that gives Llŷn its individual and unique identity. Rugged cliffs, hillsides clad in gorse and heather, narrow lanes with whitewashed stone cottages, all of these factors combine to help make Llŷn a special place. The AONB Unit have been working on projects to help maintain Llŷn's unique identity.

Traditional Fingerposts

A recent survey identified 8 original cast iron fingerposts on Llŷn in various states of repair. These date back to the beginning of the last century and were first installed following the 1903 Motor Car Act. Over a hundred years of guiding generations of travellers through the region had taken its toll on the old fingerposts, which had sadly fallen into disrepair.

700 536 Arwydd Llyn Sign 
The AONB Unit carried out a detailed survey of the signposts and called in the expertise of Signpost Restoration Ltd from Cumbria to restore them to their former glory.

The fully restored signposts can now be seen at Abererch; Beudy Bigin, Botwnnog; Llanengan; Nanhoron; Penygroeslon; Sarn Bach and Sarn Mellteyrn.


In 2004 the AONB Unit undertook a pilot project to restore and maintain a number of milestones on the peninsula. The stones are an important part of the history and culture of Llŷn, dating back to the early days of the area's roads, when people walked, rode and travelled by horse and cart.

196 150 Carreg Filltir_Milestone 588 450
Two types of milestone are found seen on this road - the slate milestones dating from the beginning of the last century and earlier ones made of stone (sandstone or granite).

The only work required on the early milestones was to cut back and clear around them and repaint the letters and numbers. 

A number of the slate milestones were lifted carefully to facilitate the cleaning and restorative work and new ones were prepared where the original were too badly damaged. The milestones were placed back in their exact original locations.

Traditional Village Signs

Originally installed by the old County Council during the 1950's and 60's, the black and white signs that mark the towns and villages of the Llŷn contribute towards the unique character of the area. This is why we undertook the work of restoring them to their original condition rather than replacing them with modern signs.

700 536 Arwydd Botwnnog Sign
The signs which are made in cast from dense aluminium, had weathered over the years, suffering more than a few bumps and scrapes, and were in need of restoration. 

The first part of the scheme involved restoring the signs at the village of Botwnnog and then continued by restoring signs for Rhydyclafdy, Efailnewydd, Tudweiliog, Pistyll, Aberdaron and Trefor. In some cases new signs to match the originals were produced.


Llŷn boasts a large number of fresh water wells, many of the wells have religious links and contribute greatly to the area's character and culture, some are believed to possess healing properties.

700 536 Ffynnon Engan Well
One of the most important wells in the area is Ffynnon Fyw, Mynytho (near Hebron Chapel). Myrddin Fardd, a local antiquarian refers to it in his volume Llên Gwerin Sir Gaernarfon (1908), where it is described as an exceptional well, enclosed by walls 6 or 7 ft. high, with steps leading down to stone seats surrounding two basins within.

Work on this well was given priority due to its historical importance, its distinctive architecture and its prominent location.

By now several other wells in the area have benefited from some clearing and restoration work, these include Ffynnon Aelrhiw in Rhiw, Ffynnon Saint in Aberdaron, Ffynnon Sarff in Mynytho, and Ffynnon Aelhaearn in Llanaelhaearn.
Economy and Community Department, Gwynedd Council, Caernarfon LL55 1SH | Copyright © Gwynedd Council 2019 | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy and Cookies | [email protected] | 01286 679686