Llanddwyn Island (the translation is Church of Dwynwen) lies on the western side of Anglesey, off the mainland’s northwest coast.
Llanddwyn is a place which appears in lists and books about 1000 places to see before you die; and having been there I can assure you that I wholeheartedly agree that you should.
The island is incredibly beautiful, thanks to the idyllic surrounding beaches, the most majestic of coastlines, and stunning views across to the Snowdonia mountain range. You are surrounded by nature’s brilliance on all sides.
Furthermore, the lighthouse, the stone crosses and the ruined church all add to the character and beauty of the island. It makes me emotional just to think about it.
But not only that, Llanddwyn has a tragic history of myth and legend. In Wales, there’s a celebration, St Dwynwen’s Day on 25th January, as Dwynwen is the patron saint of Welsh lovers.
But the woman who gave her name to the island and its church has a story that cannot fail to stir the coldest of hearts.
Dwynwen was a princess who fell in love with a young man, and she wanted to save herself for marriage with him. So when the man raped her, Dwynwen’s life was ruined and her heart was shattered.
She retreated to the island and vowed never to marry, dedicating herself to a life of solitude. Her only wish was for all lovers in Wales to find happiness.
The island became a place of pilgrimage, and Dwynwen’s church a shrine. The ruins today are so atmospheric and combined with the crosses on the island, they make a very unique sight.
The poignancy of Dwynwen’s life still echoes through the breeze.
You can’t help but be moved by Llanddwyn Island. Have I convinced you?