One of the many pleasures to be had on the British seaside is to walk along the beach looking for interesting shells, and there can be few better places for doing this than the appropriately named Shell Island - or Mochras to the Welsh - just off the coast to the south of Harlech. The island, which was formed when a local landowner diverted the River Artro, is actually more of a peninsula, accessible via a causeway. Care should be taken because it is a tidal causeway which is subject to flooding at high tide. There are over 200 kinds of shells to be found here, including oyster, scallop, razor cockle, cowrie and many others. The shells are brought onto the island by offshore currents and by winter storms. There is a campsite at Shell Island with the same name which is one of the largest in Europe, and if you want to find out more about the shells found here there is a display on them in the snack bar. Just inland the village of Llanbedr has an interesting 16th century church with a stone which was found in the hills nearby showing a spiral pattern thought to date from the Bronze Age. The church also has examples of the so-called Brute Angels, stone memorials created by a family of stonemasons called Brute decorated with angels.
Map of the area.
|Northern Tip of Shell Island. Photo by Nigel Mykura, via Wikimedia Commons.|