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Bardsey Island

North Wales

Location Guide

Bardsey Island (in Welsh is Ynys Enlli) has been denoted a Natural Nature Reserve for the wildlife on the Island.


Bardsey lies just two miles beyond the tip of the Llyn peninsula, it is 1.5 miles long and just over half a mile wide. The mountain, Mynydd Enlli rises to 167m. It has a long history and is noted for its wildlife. At one time it was a sanctuary of saints and 20,000 are said to be buried here. The remains of St Mary's Abbey and it's tower are still standing.

There is also a Chapel at the north end of the Island, built in the 1870's when the farmhouses were built, it is said to have been the choice of the inhabitants at the time rather than a harbour. Other buildings to explore include The Limekiln, which was a part of a small lime quarry that was on the island; the school building which was regularly used up to 1953 when the last teacher left, it is now a meeting place and a boat house.

As you approach the island the first thing you see is the Bardsey Island Lighthouse standing on Pen Diban at the southern end of the island. It is the only square lighthouse maintained by Trinity House and stands some 99ft high. It has been automatic since 1987.

The island was farmed until recently but there are some very natural areas which have never been worked.

The varied habitats range from the small, gorse covered mountain down to the rocky shores. Some 2,500 Manx shearwaters nest on the island but the place is also an important research site since it is on the migration route of many birds. Large numbers of migrants are ringed here every year.

The sea around Bardsey is also inhabited by many creatures, and it is not unfamiliar to see the Risso Dolphins and harbour porpoises in the water off the Island. A few Atlantic grey seals seem to breed on Bardsey each year.

As one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in Wales, hundreds of visitors are welcomed over the summer period with daily boat trips usually starting from Porth Meudwy, or sometimes Pwllheli. Each visitor gets around three and a half hours on the Island, whilst others choose to stay for a longer period at one of the 7 self-catering houses.

It is now owned and managed by the Bardsey Island Trust who manages the reserve.

Mynydd Enlli Bardsey
Photographed by Alan Fryer

Further information Grid



Bardsey Island, Pwllheli, Gwynedd

Ceremonial County: Caernarfon

Grid Reference:

SH 127212

Map Link:


Aerial photo:  



Best Times to Visit:





Bardsey Trust

Other useful websites:

Enlli Charter - Day Trips to the Island

Bardsey Bird and Field Observatory

Nearby Locations:

Bardsey Island Lighthouse, Caernarfonshire 

Other Relevant pages:  


Planning Grid


Bardsey Island - Wales

Grid Reference:

SH 127212

Getting there:

From Porthmadog take the A497 to Pwllheli


by boat, via Porth Meudwy and sometimes from Pwllheli





Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Gorse covered mountains, rocky shores, Manx Shearwaters, Grey Seals and many birds. Remains of St Mary's Abbey. Lighthouse

What to take:


Nature highlights:

Manx Shearwaters, Grey Seals, Risso Dolphins, harbour porpoises







Opening times:

During the summer months only. Day visitors get about 3.5 hours on the island. Trips leave Porth Meudwy at 10am, 11am and 12noon and from Pwllheli at 8.45am


From Pwllheli Marina: Adult 35; Child (5-16) 20; Under 5's FREE; Family (2+2) 100

From Porth Meudwy: Adult 30; Child (5-16) 15; Under 5's FREE; Family (2+2) 80

Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access:  
Special Needs Facilities:  
Children Facilities:  
Dogs Allowed: Not allowed on island

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Tracey Park Section: Nature Reserve/Islands Key:
Page Ref: bardsey_island Topic:  Nature  Last Updated: 04/2010


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