Black Rock Sands
Morfa Bychan is a sandy beach stretching about 2 miles backed by a sand-dune system. It has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Although it’s also called Black Rock Sands, the rocks aren’t actually black, but there are plenty of rock pools to explore and exciting caverns.
Directions to Black Rock Sands
If you haven’t been to Black Rock Sands before, you can get there by heading south-west from the centre of Porthmadog. The road has a signpost for Porthmadog Golf Course and Morfa Bychan.
You can park in the village and walk across the golf course past the green-keeper’s shed to the North-East corner of the reserve. From here, you can head to the shore after parking in the car park at the end of the road.
Things To Do in Black Rocks Sands
One unique thing about Black Rock Sands is it has vehicle access complete with disabled access. That makes it an excellent place for sandcastle builders, picnickers, and even for water bikes and motorboats.
If you’re here for some nice quiet time, you’ll be happy to know that the motorboats have a specially designated zone for their use.
Some of the common activities and places to visit around the beach include:
- Eisteddfa Fishery – The Eisteddfa Fishery is a great place for game fishing and some fun family day out. It has an excellent atmosphere with spectacular views. The collection of lakes here is beautiful for a calming and relaxing evening. There are various fishing options and a fantastic lakeside café in case you get hungry.
- Porthmadog Golf Course – The Porthmadog Golf Course is a stone throw away from Black Rock Sands. You might actually walk across it when getting to the beach. The course has an exciting personality. The first nine holes have more of a parkland feel while the last nine have super links holes that will keep you coming back to the course. If the Porthmadog course is a little of a mouthful, you can try the Criccieth Golf Club which isn’t far out.
- Birdwatching – It’s not every day you find a beach with excellent spots for birdwatching. Birdwatching is a popular activity at Black Rock Sands and one that you should save some time for. Some of the rare birds spotted within the area in the recent past include Sabine’s Gull, Rosy Starling, Ring-necked duck, Great Grey Shrike and the Leach’s Strom Petrel. You can never tell what you will see while birdwatching at the beach.
- Boating – Boating is another common activity here. Sights of motorboats are familiar. The beach has a section for the motorised boats which makes it ideal and safe for other activities and other beach users.
- Wildlife and walks – North Wales Wildlife Trust’s Morfa Bychan & Greenacres reserve is here, and the beach area provides a feeding ground for various bird species and animals to see here. The walks by the beach are great too not to mention the greenery of the nearby golf course which makes for incredible scenery.
Other great places to spend time around the beach include the Porthmadog Activity and Riding Centre, and the Harlech & Ardudwy Hamdden Leisure.
You have plenty of accommodation options when visiting Black Rock Sands. You can choose from a variety of hotels in the area like the Lion Hotel, or Caerwylan Hotel. For a more homely feel, there’s the Pump Cottage, and for that adventurous sleepover, there’s the Llywn Begeilydd Caravan and Camping Site which makes for some great family fun after taking a swim at the beach.
There’s no shortage of places to eat around the beach either. If you get hungry, there are restaurants within walking distance of the beach. The closest one is Dylan’s Restaurant offering an excellent and tasteful menu. You can also try Blue China Tearooms, which is also within walking distance. Poachers Restaurant is another great option, or you could try the Prince Of Wales or the more indigenous Tir a Mor. All these are great places to grab a bite with the family after a fun-filled day at Black Sand Rocks beach.
What You Need to Know Before You Go
Proper preparation is vital in helping you make the most out of your visit. To help you plan your visit, here are some vital details you should know about Black Rock Sands.
The beach is about 12 hectares in size and doesn’t charge an entry fee. There are two parking areas. The first one is the village of Morfa Bychan, but you have to walk across the Porthmadog Golf Course, or you can park in the car park at the end of Beach Road and keep left.
Over summer, you will find ponies grazing in the area and cattle over autumn and winter. The walking trails are uneven. They run over sand-dune grassland and through wet woodland. But they are not dangerous, and you can manoeuvre with ease and provide a worthy challenge to make the walks more adventurous and worth your time.
Be wary of the tides when accessing Black Rocks Sand via the beach. If you park your car at the village, be sure to use the public footpath. If you have a pet dog, they have to be on a lead at all times when on the beach.
The beach is always open, but the best time to visit would be over spring or summer. The weather is excellent although you have to deal with the high number of people that come here.