Llanllyfni is located just five minutes away from the beautiful Snowdonia National Park in the north west of the county of Gwynedd, North Wales. With easy access to the fabulous beaches of the Llyn Peninsula and the celebrated Welsh town of Caernarfon seven miles away, Llanllyfni is an ideal place to stay when exploring this part of North Wales.
The old church of Llanllyfni is dedicated to Saint Rhedyw. No early written history exists, but there is a strong tradition that either he was born locally or that he founded the first Christian church here. His feast day is 6th of July when Llanllyfni Fair is held each year. Not far away (near Nasareth) is Eisteddfa Rhedyw where the saint is said to have lived for some time and where his chair, his thumbprint and the hoofprint of his horse may be seen imprinted on the stone.
For many years, there was a single grave behind the altar about two feet above the floor called Rhedyw's Grave; but when the church was restored it was lowered, and now it is covered by the pews in front of the lectern. The chancel was expanded to its present size in 1032 according to the date found above the east window. But the other part is considerably older, possibly the oldest church in the country. On the wall facing the cemetery there was once a much-venerated image of Rhedyw which is thought to have disappeared at the time of the Reformation in the 16th century.
Tradition maintains that the top of the stile was worn away by the knees of worshippers as they paid homage to the statue of the Saint before entering the church. This stone may now be seen set into the cemetery wall.
The church still remains a striking building and the old churchyard attracts an array of wildlife. Nearby is Ffynnon Rhedyw (Rhedyw's Well), believed to be an ancient pagan site rededicated by early Christians. And should you need a change from the delights of the Llyn its just a short drive (10km) through the Nantlle Valley to Rhydd Ddu and your at the very foot of Mount Snowdon with a choice of great hill walks through the best of Snowdonia's mountains.
For accommodation options, a triangle of camping sites surround Llanllyfni, but for accommodation with home comforts included, try staying in one of the cosy self-catering cottages in the village.