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Ogof Ystwffll Glas - Bardsey Island - Gwynedd - North Wales

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Resort/Place: Ogof Ystwffll Glas, Bardsey Island

Location: Near Aberdaron, Near Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales, UK 

52°44′ 58N 4°47′ 58W 

Population: 0

Grading: Site of Lighthouse,  Bardsey Island - Scenic - See Sailing & Diving Information Below 

Nearest Town:  Pwllheli (22.8 miles). Aberdaron (5 miles approx)

Amenities: None

Postal Codes: LL53

Please note. Access only by boat, supplies to island are dependant on weather.


Foreign embassies in the UK (Contact details):

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Current Monetary Exchange Rates:

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Travel Directions:

1) From Manchester

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2) From Birmingham

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3) From London

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Train Station:
1) Pwllheli (22 Miles)
1)Manchester ( 133 Miles)
Latest Weather:

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Application for a light here was first made in 1816 by Lt. Thomas Evans R.N., but several other applications made in 1820 finally resulted in the building of the tower by Trinity House in 1821 at a cost of £5,470 12s 6d plus a further £2,950 16s 7d for the lantern[3] (equivalent to £420,000 and £230,000 in 2015).[4]

Joseph Nelson was the engineer and builder, but the heavy weathered string-course near the base and the blocked and hooded directional-light window show the influence of Daniel Alexander, who succeeded Samuel Wyatt as consulting engineer[5] to Trinity House, and under whom Nelson served.[3] Joseph Nelson is associated with the design of at least fifteen lighthouses, mostly in the Bristol Channel.[3]

In 1987 the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation and up until 1995 was monitored from the Trinity House area control station at Holyhead. It is now monitored from the Trinity House depot at Harwich,[6] with a local part-time attendant carrying out routine maintenance.[3]


The lighthouse is built of ashlar limestone and is unplastered inside and out, but painted in red and white bands on the outside.[3] The lighthouse tower is 30 m (98 ft) high and is unusual amongst Trinity House towers of this period in being square in plan (Coquet Lighthouse, Northumberland is also square). Unlike many other lighthouses, it retains its original gallery railings, which are of iron and bellied (i.e. curved out in width at their crowns) towards the top.[3] Other examples include Salt Island Lighthouse, at Holyhead, designed by John Rennie in the same year. Fortunately, the present lantern, fitted in 1856, did not require the removal of the original railings.[3]

The plinth of the tower is 4 m (13 ft) high and elaborately enriched, and at ground level it forms a square of 7.6 m (25 ft) reducing to 6.1 m (20 ft) at the top of the plinth and 4.6 m (15 ft) at the top of the tower below the crowning cornice, which juts out in a square of 5.5 m (18 ft).[3] The walls are 1.2 m (4 ft) thick at the base reducing to under 0.9 m (3 ft) at the top.[3] Originally, the light comprised reflectors but changed to a dioptric (refracting) mechanism in 1838; the appearance of the original lantern is not known. The present lantern of 1856 is a 4.27 m (14 ft) wide chamfered octagon and the light remained fixed, instead of revolving. The present revolving apparatus was installed in 1873 and gives a group of five flashes, originally driven by a vapourizing oil-lamp, but replaced by electric in 1973.[3]

The lighthouse is unusual in lacking any sort of harbour or quay facilities.[3] As it is on an established migratory route, the tower has many bird casualties and The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Trinity House have tried to help the problem by providing perches on the lantern top and flood-lighting the tower, although this does not seem to have helped



Places To Stay


Guest Houses:

Caravan/Camping Sites: 

Cottages to Let: 

Places to Eat




Fast Food:

Places to shop


1) Drs Parry-Smith, Smits, Morris & Haque ( 6.3 miles) - Meddygfa Rhydbach, Botwnnog, Pwllheli, LL53 8RE, Tel: 01758 730266

1) Ysbyty Gwynedd (24.8 miles) - Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor, Gwynedd
LL57 2PW, Tele
 01248 384384, Major acute  -  Major A&E - Open 24 hours

2) Bryn Beryl Hospital - (14.5 miles ) - Caernarvon Rd, Pwllheli, LL53 6TT, Tel: 01758 701122, Minor injuries unit, not 24Hrs


1) Rowlands Pharmacy (8.8 miles) - High St, Abersoch, Pwllheli, LL53 7DY, Tel: 01758 712436

 Abersoch Dental Care (8.6 miles) - 19 Cae Du Estate, Abersoch, Pwllheli, LL53 7EN, Tel: 01758 713955


Cash Machine:

Petrol Station:


Things To Do


Local attractions:


Sporting facilities

Bird Spotting:

1) Bardsey Bird & Field Observatory

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1) Charts

     Admiralty: 1971, SC 5603
     Imray: C51, C52

2) Hazards
     The Tripods
     Devil's Ridge
     Bastram Shoal 

3) Best Departure points
     Northbound: Abersoch or Aberdaron are relatively easy departure points in order to reach the important tidal gate at just after LW slack which should give you enough fair tide to carry you all the way over the Caernarfon Bar. However, some meticulous timing and planning is required if your departure point is well to the south, and you'll need to plan into your passage a selection havens should you need to abort - namely Aberdaron Bay, Abersoch etc. 

Pwllheli and Abersoch are about 2hrs and 1.5hrs away from the Sound respectively and locals here take advantage of the back eddy from the ebb tide which can reach as far as Trwyn Cilan. Here you need to time your departure to arrive in St. Trudwal's Sound up 2 hrs before the Bardsey LW Slack.

Southbound: Depart Porth Dinllaen 1 hr before HW.

4) Course to Steer
    Northbound: If catching the reverse eddy from Tremadoc Bay then pass inshore of St. Tudwal's Island, and pick up the reverse eddy close to Trwyn Cilan. Stay close inshore across Hell's Mouth and pass inshore of the two Ynys Gwlan Islands into Aberdaron Bay.
If approaching from the south, then pass between the Bastram Shoal and the Devil's ridge, avoiding the overfalls off Pen y Cil.
Coming from the SE via the Causeway Buoy you'll find the Devil's Ridge is directly in your way leaving the choice of passage down to the direction of the wind. If N'y adopt the same course as if from Tremadoc Bay, if W'ly adopt the route as if coming from the south.
Once in the Sound hold NW'ly course until well clear of both the Sound and the Tripods before turning for Caernarfon. On the flood the worst of the water is at the northern end of the Sound.

Southbound: Run parallel to the northern shore of the Lleyn Peninsular and standing well clear of the Tripods. Through the Sound on the ebb tide the worst water is found at the SE end, in line with the Devil's Ridge, therefore if heading south stay closer to the Bardsey Island side to clear the ridge. If heading for Tremadoc Bay or towards the Causeway Buoy then as soon as the Aberdaron Bay is open, head eastwards towards the two Ynys Gwylan Islands - mindful of being set towards the Devil's Ridge

4) Waiting Anchorages
    Abersoch Bay: Exposed from the east. There are some visitors moorings off the yacht club, otherwise anchor in the Bay. Beware a perch ENE of Penbennar which marks the extremity of a sewage outfall.
Pwllheli Marina: see Marina Guide
Aberdaron Bay: Exposed from the south. Approach passing between the mainland and the two Ynys Gwylan Islands.
Henllwyn Cove: Exposed from the south and east. Holding is poor due to weed and rocks. Approach from the west on the centre line of the cove and keeping a lookout for submerged rocks.
Porth Dinllaen: Exposed from the north west. Holding good from hard sand to mud.

5) Tide Predictions

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Diving: Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli) lies 1.75 miles south-south-west of Braich-y-Pwll, the extreme tip of the Lleyn Peninsula. A trip right round the island, starting from Aberdaron, is about 11 miles - but take plenty of fuel, as this is not the place to run dry! Bardsey is the third largest island off the coast of North Wales after Anglesey and Holy Island, measuring about 1.75 miles from north to south and 0.75 miles maximum from east to west. The highest point on Bardsey is at 167 metres, giving superb views across Bardsey Sound towards Aberdaron, eastwards to Harlech, southwards as far as Pembroke, and westwards to Ireland. There is excellent diving here, but timing is critical due to the strong tidal flow, overfalls and whirlpools. Dive sites include two offshore rock-pinnacles, a motor-vessel wrecked in 1915 and an unidentified sailing vessel that was carrying a varied cargo, including horse-brasses, stirrups and belt-buckles.

1) Shearwater Coastal Cruises
      Address:Nant y Castell, Llanbedrog, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, LL53 7PD, Telephone:07815717241, Email: 

Rock Climbing:

Fishing: Bardsey is a dangerous place in a big boat never mind a small one, you are 10 miles from a safe haven if it blows up and even on a flat calm day there are rips overfalls and standing waves. Please don't go if the weather is other than high pressure settled and no wind. Any wind there and you get wind against tide it whip up dangerously in an instant. Safety spiel over, stay safe mate.

Tripods, drift over with the red tube fladen size six hook #feathers# bottom goes from 70 to 30 and back don, over the peaks you will catch launce, shake them off the hooks into your live tank. Now anchor one of the peaks so you can fish the back slope with the live lance, big blond ray. Have a buoy on the end of your anchor rope so you can dump it and tak off after the fish as unless you are fishing mega heavy you will not land i against the tide. Some nice bass same marks.

Bastram Shoal, trip your anchor so it acts as a weight and slows your drift, 2Knots max, adjust the length of rope to adjust our speed, flapper a launce and have it on a long trace, turbot if you get it right.

Pollack massive wrasse all around Bardsey close in, avoid the west end some nasty rocks. 

Wrecks out from Bardsey hold good pollack conger ling spurs and strangely tope in winter, I have had plenty in January.

Hells mouth for bass to eel again.

Devils ridge for some massive weaver, why you would want them don't know.

On your way there is a seasonal buoy just out from Pwllheli, bream and tope round it. Bag of boiled rice and mashed mack to attract them to the boat.

Should get you started

1) JUDY B Fishing Charters

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