Aberffraw is located on the west coast of Anglesey, North Wales, UK. It's a small village with not much going for it ...unless you count miles of sand dunes, glorious coastal walks and one of the best beaches in Anglesey ..yes the beach has such a reputation that the locals travel from miles around to relax or play on Aberffraw beach.
The estuary of the Afon Ffraw fronts the village forming a safe harbour for small fishing boats and a playground for sea kayaks and canoes. A short walk over the ancient hump backed bridge takes you through the wide expanse of dunes to the glorious golden sands of Aberffraw beach. Close to the village square sits a pub, an old chapel, and a village shop.
But Aberffraw is more than just a seaside resort. In the early medieval period it was the home of the court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd. Although today there is little to show of the palace of the Welsh princes the Coastal Heritage Centre at Llys Llywelyn remembers the past glories of this small village.
From the 6th to the 13th Centuries, North Wales was ruled by the Royal Family of Gwynedd. After early Norman incursions into Wales, Aberffraw came to replace Deganwy as the most important of the Royal Courts. The golden age of Aberffraw was under Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (1173 - 1240), who was recognised as ruler of all Wales.
To the east at Llangadwaladr, some 1.5 mile from Aberffraw, is to be found the 12th Century Llangadwaladr Church, itself built on the more ancient site of the burial ground of the Kings of Gwynedd. Set in the north wall of the churchyard is the Cadfan Stone that commemorates King Cadfan who died in 625 A.D. "the wisest and most renowned of all Kings"
A short walk to the west of Aberffraw brings you to the old church of Llangwyfan also known as St Cwyfans Church. The church sits high and dry on a small island overlooking Porth Cwyfan. The beach at Porth Cwyfan is worth a visit itself being one of the best rock-pooling beaches I've seen in a long time. However, if you fancy visiting the 12th Century Church of St Cwyfan be aware that the sea can cover the causeway at high tide!
The only bad words I can say about Aberffraw are that the pub has closed down (2008). It is a fine looking pub just off the village square and looked very inviting on a warm summers evening. Latest update ..I understand as of 2011 the pub, Y Goron (The Crown), is open again for business.