Cemlyn Nature Reserve

Cemlyn Nature Reserve_Lin Cummins

Sandwich tern

Sandwich tern_Ashley Cohen

A real wildlife haven with a spectacular seabird colony at its heart. A visit to Cemlyn is filled with possibility – you never know what might turn up!


Isle of Anglesey
LL67 0EA

OS Map Reference

OS Explorer Map 262
A static map of Cemlyn

Gwybod cyn i chi fynd

25 hectares

Pris mynediad


Manylion parcio

Off road car parking near viewing areas

Anifeiliaid pori


Llwybrau cerdded

Walking the full length of the shingle ridge can be very strenuous and the steep shingle makes it unsuitable for prams and wheelchairs. Between late April and August visitors are asked to walk on the seaward side of the ridge to decrease disturbance to the tern colony. Alternatively easier walks are available around the adjacent headland.


The shingle ridge is inaccessible for wheelchair users and prams, and challenging for those of limited mobility.  The tern colony can, however, be also seen from a bit further away across the lagoon: walk back along the road from the western car park, watching out for any approaching traffic. During the spring-summer breeding season, please obey the wardens and fencing, staying on the seaward side of the ridge to avoid unnecessary disturbance to the birds.


Ar dennyn

When to visit

Amseroedd agor

Open at all times

Amser gorau i ymweld

Summer for breeding terns; winter for visiting wildlfowl and waders

Am dan y warchodfa

Situated on the wild north coast of Anglesey, with its unique, elliptical shingle ridge, Cemlyn is an incredible site to visit. The ridge, known as Esgair Cemlyn, is an important habitat for specialist plant species such as sea kale, sea campion and yellow horned-poppy. Beyond the ridge, the shallow lagoon is an interesting habitat for aquatic species such as the rare spiralled tassleweed; whilst surrounding areas of gorse and grassland provide habitat for a wide range of butterflies and birds. Year round, waders and wildfowl can be seen around the lagoon at the adjacent shorelines. The site is best visited from May through to July when the islands within the lagoon host the nesting colonies of Sandwich, common and Arctic terns. It is the only nesting colony of Sandwich terns in Wales and a true wildlife spectacle – not to be missed! 

Did you know?
The wildlife at Cemlyn, and the birds in particular, have been monitored by wardens every summer since 1981, providing a fascinating look into our changing coasts.

Cemlyn is on the north coast of Anglesey, to the west of Wylfa Nuclear Power Station. Turn off the A5025 at Tregele. To reach the ‘beach’ (east) car park, follow the road taking a sharp Right at the first fork. To reach the ‘Bryn Aber’ car park (west and closest to the warden’s viewpoint – SH 329 935), continue Left, taking the option to the Right at each subsequent fork. 

Cysylltwch â ni

Dynodiad amgylcheddol

Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
Special Protection Areas (SPA)

Cemlyn Nature Reserve map and guide

Wild activities with 30 Days Wild

Wild activities (C) Caroline Fitton

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Silver-studded blue butterfly, LPI_210712_0001.tif _ linda pitkin


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Little tern with chick - Margaret Holland