Top choice in Llŷn Peninsula

The rugged, ethereally beautiful extremity of the Llŷn Peninsula is where medieval pilgrims set off to reach the holy island of Bardsey; one glimpse of their destination, rising out of the gunmetal-grey sea beyond the surf-pounded rocks, hints at the drama of their final voyage. A path leads down past the remains of St Mary's Abbey to a neolithic standing stone known as Maen Melyn, suggesting that this was a holy place well before the Celts or their saints arrived.

A natural freshwater spring called St Mary's Well (Ffynnon Fair) issues from a cleft in the rock below the high-tide mark. It was held to be holy, and pilgrims would sip the water before setting out. There are sheer drops to the sea and high surf, so don't attempt to drink from the spring yourself.

Inland are strip fields that preserve many of the patterns of ancient land use. Keep an eye out for choughs, a cheeky red-legged relative of the crow, and the rare spotted rock rose – this is the only place on the British mainland where this yellow bloom is found.