Many beautiful – and surprisingly empty – beaches are situated along the Cambrian coast, which stretches from Aberdyfi in the south to the Lleyn peninsula in the north.
Aberdyfi beach is pretty and sandy, good for kite-flying and sandcastle-building. Parking can be a challenge in the summer.
Barmouth beach is closer but busier and brasher. The walk across Barmouth bridge gives a good view of the estuary and the bay.
A few miles north of Barmouth, Benar beach at Dyffryn is particularly beautiful, and often deserted. Access has been improved by a series of boardwalks across the dunes, and there is a carpark within easy reach.
Black Rock Sands at Morfa Bychan, two miles from Porthmadog, is a two-mile long sandy beach that is popular with windsurfers and kite-bugging enthusiasts. The sand dune that forms the backbone of the beach is a site of special scientific interest.
Traeth Beach sits across the water from the Italianate village of Portmeirion and has excellent views of Snowdon. It is particularly popular with families because of its numerous shallow pools as the tide goes out – a proper bucket and spade beach. It is also easily accessible by car.
Llandanwg is close to Harlech but more accessible and has a carpark near the beach. This is also a bucket and spade beach, with sand and rock pools. The 13th-century church of St Tanwg is hidden among the sand dunes here, and is open to visitors in the summer.