Barmouth, Llanbedrog and Penllech have been named in The Times’ list of 50 best beaches in the UK.

This is the 15th edition of The Times and Sunday Times Best UK Beaches, and the first reader-nominated edition of the publications’ best beaches guide.

The overall winner is Weymouth in Dorset’s.

In Wales, the regional winner was Rhossili Bay on the Gower, Swansea.

In Graham Hunt’s round-up of the beaches, Barmouth is praised by a number of readers.

“I have very many happy childhood memories of Barmouth,” Paul Grayson from Leeds says.

“My parents took us there for seven years on the bounce and I still go when I’m allowed. It’s a wonderful beach and a wonderful area.”

Hunt notes Grayson does not mention the views, “not only of the 2,930ft (893m) Cadair Idris, looming above the Mawddach estuary to the south (thanks to Karen Thomas from Lancashire for the reminder), but also of the serrated peaks of Yr Eifl on the Llŷn peninsula, Tremadog Bay (smoky and forbidding, like the backdrop to some HBO dragon drama) and the summer sunsets that turn the sands into a mirror at low tide,” writes Hunt.

“Head north from Barmouth’s sheltered Abermaw beach and you’ll be walking on sand for eight miles until you reach Shell Island. The best pub in town is the Royal (B&B doubles from £75; and the best fish and chips — probably in all of Wales — is from the Mermaid (thanks to Deb Kowalski from Tal-y-Bont for that tip). Keep an eye out for dolphins too: I spent an hour last month watching a pod of 15 or more hunting 100 yards offshore in front of the Promenade Cafe & Wine Bar.”

Commenting on Llanbedrog, Hunt says it “attracts a different crowd than neighbouring Abersoch. While the Range Rovers and the jet skis are vying for attention over there, there’s an altogether more relaxed feel on this huge, sheltered beach — come early to get a parking space.

“It’s a two-minute walk from the National Trust car park past the Aqua Beach Bar to sands shaded by a grove of oaks.

“To the right, at the foot of the Mynydd Tir-y-Cwmwd headland, a holiday cottage called Gorynys-Pedrog overlooks the water when the tide’s in. To the left, a beach, fringed by brightly painted beach huts, runs three and a half miles to Pwllheli.

"The beach huts, sadly, are not for hire, but the aforementioned holiday rental is. Predictably it’s fully booked for the summer, but there’s availability for the week of March 18, 2024 (from £1,753 for up to six, arriving March 17;”

Regarding Traeth Penllech, he adds: “More often than not it’s our personal connections that make a beach special, and it takes a big-hearted person to be willing to share such places. Lynne Geldart from Welshpool is one such individual, recommending one of Wales’ most secret beaches on the west coast of the Llŷn peninsula.”

Lynne says: “Traeth Penllech holds very special memories for me as my late husband and I visited it with our two children on holiday for seven years running in the 1980s.

“It is a wide sandy beach with a stream running through it that’s great for damming and making moats for complicated sandcastles. It has become more difficult to reach as the path down to the beach has eroded, but it is still accessible.”

Hunt says that coming from Nefyn, where you should fill your boot with the fabulous ales from the Cwrw Llyn brewery (, follow the B4417 south to Tudweiliog, looking out for the Lion Hotel on your right. Exactly 1.7 miles further on, take the right turn and follow the lane, turning left at the T-junction. A mile later you’ll cross a stone bridge over Lynne’s stream and see a small parking area. The footpath is back across the bridge on the left.