A week on The Llŷn Peninsula

Earlier this year Mrs. FMF asked me if I fancied a week’s vacation on the Llŷn Peninsula in May. Sure I said and she arranged it all. There would be me, Mrs. FMF, Miss FMF and an old friend (Val) from The Wirral and her daft dog Dexter. I have an estate car (shooting brake) but I think it’s the smallest estate car sold in the UK. Well there’s lots of rear leg room and comfort but for any real storage you need to put the seats down. With 4 of us and a dog and our clothes etc. it would be a tight squeeze. Certainly no room for my usual SOTA box, rucksack and everything else. Just as well I had been developing a tiny SOTA expedition kit! The 2 radios, batteries, charger, SWR meter, headphones, paddle fits in a box 18x16x16cm. Boots and antenna are extra. Everything fitted in with some 3D tetris played with bags. There was more 3D Tetris when we added our guest’s bags at New Brighton. Total journey was 330miles with a stop for coffee on the way and lunch to collect Val taking just over 8.5hours. No point rushing, we’re on holiday.

SOTA aims had to fit in with our holiday plans but I had primary targets of GW/NW-058 (Carn Fadryn), GW/NW-064 (Mynydd Rhiw), GW/NW-066 (Garn Boduan), GW/NW-068 (Carneddol) and GW/NW-077 (Mynydd Anelog). Stretch targets included GW/NW-072 ( Mynydd Enlli / Bardsey Island), GW/NW-075 ( Yr Eifl), GW/NW-050 ( Gyrn Ddu ) plus anything else if there was excess SOTA time. As it was I activated all 5 primary targets.

Finally why a holiday here? Well Mrs. FMF always came here as a child, we’d had a family holiday here when we lived on The Wirral 25+ years back and it’s a really nice place. I’ll let the pictures (we had good weather) do the talking.

Average day by the coast

Average day on the beach

Walking back from one of the best beach pubs in the UK ( Ty Coch, Nefyn)

Interesting native wildlife outside your holiday home.

All activations used a Hamshop.cz 40/30/20 trapped EFHW with AA5TB match unit, 5m travel pole, QCX minis for 30m and 20m, home brew SWR meter, Wombled batteries from e-cigs, Palm Paddle. The antenna was always deployed as an inverted sloping L with about 4.5m vertical and the rest sloping to 1m AGL.

GW/NW-068 (Carneddol)

Park at SH304331 on the hard standing by the farm entrance, lots of space. Walk straight up to the top, about 15mins walk. 8 QSOs around teatime Saturday evening, 4x 20m, 4x 30m. I thought there was a problem with the antenna as the bands were dead. There had been an X class flare earlier :frowning: Still TF3DC was ODX.

The view towards Pwllheli and Snowdonia

Looking North towards GW/NW-075 ( Yr Eifl)

GW/NW-058 (Carn Fadryn)

This was before everyone else was properly awake (they were on holiday). Most mornings there was a marine layer of cloud that took a while to burn. The wind was really howling. Park at SH277345. There’s an obvious track to the summit, about 35-40mins. Wonderful walk that makes you glad to be outdoors. Radio was a bit slow, 7 QSOs, 4x 30m, 3x 20m, all local Europeans.

Approaching the summit

Carn Fadryn summit trig point

Happy activator, MW0FMF (MR0FMF)

View to Mynydd Anelog, left and Mynydd Rhiw, right.

GW/NW-066 (Garn Boduan)

By far the best walk of the week. It starts in a car park in Nefyn, wanders past small cottages, works up a hillside, then through forested areas then zap, out at the base of a rocky cliff with a very simple path to the fort at the top. WX was splendid too. 13 QSOs, 7x 20m 6x 30m

This view is why you do SOTA activations. GW/NW-075 ( Yr Eifl)

Closer view of gear, QCX mini for 20m and a 1.5Ahr Wombled battery, SWR meter with resistive bridge: the switch puts a 6db pad in circuit and tune for minimum deflection the flick switch, wristwatch, AA5TB matchbox, headphones, pencil.

The old fort ruins on the summit.

Looking back down to Ty Coch beach pub about 5km distant

View of the cliffs when you leave the woods. Easy path climbs to the summit.

I could climb this summit every day of the week year after year and never get bored.

GW/NW-077 (Mynydd Anelog)

I dropped the ladies and Dexter in Aberdaron and made for the parking place a few miles outside. Walk was delightful and trivial on tracks. Very windy again at the top. I operated with a view of Bardsey Island. Another 13 QSOs, 7x 30m, 6x20m, all Europeans.

View to Bardsey Island.

View along the headland showing the rough coast. I didn’t manage to get a good combined photo of both.

Shepard’s cottage near the summit. There was something “just right” about this place.

GW/NW-064 (Mynydd Rhiw)

Last one of the trip. You can drive up as far as the Radar Station and there are plenty of places to park that do not obstruct anything. Almost flat walk from here to the trig. I operated near the trig to try to keep out of the wind. 8 QSOs, 5x 20m, 3x 30m, all Europeans.

Mynydd Rhiw trip point

Commercial mast, grassy bank to give me some wind shelter.

Porth Neigwl (Hell’s Mouth) beach, wonderful beach that is over 6km long

S-band RADAR station. I’m assuming this is a fill in for covering Cardigan Bay for RAF Valley which is nearby on Anglesey.

I was meeting the ladies for lunch so I changed out of walking clothes into something better. The wind was strong enough to pull my trousers out of my hands and I had to run off in just my boxer shorts chasing them as they blew them towards the Isle Of Man. Sorry I should have warned you because you can’t un-see me without trousers now :wink:

OK I didn’t get to Bardsey but that was a long shot with everyone else here. There are more summits if you work back towards Snowdonia and these aren’t enough. Still my tiny SOTA kit worked fine despite propagation being rubbish most of the time. If I’d have had more time to spend on the hills rather than squashing activations in with a holiday then I’d have worked many more.

But I cannot recommend enough that you come here and go SOTA activating. There’s loads of places to stay, loads of places to eat and drink and lots to do outside SOTAing. Not only did I manage 5 activations and a full family holiday but also read 2 novels. On top of that I was also able to continue indulging my belief I can be a real photographer creating works of art.


Fab write up and pics Andy, pity I missed you on the hills, I think I was away at the time. You’ll have to come to back and activate Bardsey Island, great place to visit.

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Sounds as if you had good fun Andy - and good weather and company! Wot no 2m and 70cm?? Shame on you as I need to chase Mynydd Anelog (but I’d have to have been fairly close to hear you and on a summit myself (I only count s2s for chasing) and a) I wasn’t in the area and b) I’m still grounded for the forseeable…). Not surprised you enjoyed the visits and the hills - some of them look just like Xmas puddings to me and I think they are a doddle … until I get closer and realise that I’ve got quite a steep little hill to get up. When are you polishing off the WB hills? I like your anchor chain - once I dared look at it as I was afraid it might have been a picture of you chasing your trousers…:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
73 Viki

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Great report, many thanks. It sounds like it was a good family break. :slight_smile:

Do you think your antenna solution is better with the QCX Mini than a linked dipole, which in theory wouldn’t have needed the SWR meter and matching unit?

Very nice write up, thanks! I’ve holidayed on the Llyn for years and there really is nowhere better out of peak season with good weather. If you get chance to repeat, the coastal walk from Aberdaron all the way round to Mynydd Anelog and beyond is well worth it.

Many thanks for the excellent report Andy and the memory evoking photos. I must have been about 5 when I first went to the Lleyn on holiday (1957). My parents used to rent a caravan at Llanbedrog (memories of gas mantles for lighting). Regular haunts were nearby Abersoch, Aberdaron, Nefyn and Sarn Meyllteyrn… with me usually left in the car in the pub car park with a bottle of fizzy orange and a bag of Quavers. It was great to be back there to activate the summits in 2009 and again when I bagged Mynydd Anelog in 2017. A nice part of the world. :grinning:

73, Gerald


Yes. Mrs. FMF wants another trip reasonably soon (not another 25 years)!

No space in the bag.

$64000 question. Always used HF sets with SWR indication on them (IC-706, TS-570, K2, KX2, FT-817) so I feel naked without some kind of SWR indication. Old timers will smile at this and would just dip and load and not worry! Even if I had a dipole I’d want the SWR meter. It’s a Kanga resistive SWR board and a meter from eBay. I think the box was most expensive part. Despite being part retired I’m still time poor so buying a kit was the pragmatic fix. So I don’t know.

We were lucky with good WX. Our last trip was colder and wetter. Considerably so. I was surprised at mention of Quavers when you were young, I thought they appeared in my early teens. But no, 1st sold in 1968 according to the Intarwebz search I did. You live and learn. :wink:


Thanks for an excellent report and lovely photographs Andy. We are off to Aberdaron for a week’s holiday, one month today. Liz, Mrs KXN, is quite looking forward to a few SOTA outings and I have pretty much the same hit list as you. I have to strike a balance, but it shouldn’t be too much of a sacrifice if we get weather anything like the weather in your photographs. I will pack my QCX mini but ssb SOTA is more easily tolerable as a spectator sport, than CW, especially now that Liz has met several of you. Perfect timing with your report Andy.
73, Kevin