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Glan y Môr Elias Local Nature Reserve

Summary (optional)
A promenade walk from Llanfairfechan - enjoy stunning sunsets and views of the coast and Carneddau. Amazing birdwatching all year around.
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Why visit?

  • Unique wildlife
  • Easy flat circular walk
  • Benches for rests

Glan y Môr Elias Local Nature Reserve is a dynamic saltmarsh and shingle spit, home to a wide variety of protected plants, wildfowl and waders.

The reserve’s grassland is an important area for pollinators and a safe haven for ground nesting birds, whose populations are in decline.

Out to sea, the expanse of mudflats is an important link to why rare birds flock to this part of the coast. Traeth Lafan mud flats is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Take a short circular walk, and admire the characteristic maze of saltmarsh channels.  Please keep to the paths and away from the saltmarsh edge or shingle – it’s important not to stress the birds and make them take flight, using up valuable energy.  They are busy resting and roosting in the winter and breeding in the summer.

The whole shoreline and reserve is grazed at certain times.  Signage at the reserve entrance will update you about what animals are grazing and when.

Keep dogs on a lead or close at heel.  Dogs running free can kill livestock and birds by causing distress.

Why is it special?

These important coastal wetlands provide us with vital carbon sinks, helping to store carbon and counteract global warming. The rich sediment also provides nutrients to a host of strange critters.

The complex relationships within this unique ecosystem are playing out in front of you each day with each tide.

Discover the wildlife

In winter, look out for large numbers of whistling wigeon, together with smaller flocks of teal feeding on the saltmarsh. Up to 5000 oystercatchers roost at high tide.In summer, the raucous sandwich tern roost and swoop by. You’ll also hear the distinctive call of the skylark – a ground nesting bird and protected species.

Why not download our free wetland spotters guide?

How to get there

Walking & cycling

Glan y Môr Elias is a short walk or cycle, West, along from the Llanfairfechan promenade.

Public transport

Llanfairfechan train station is a request stop and is next to the site with access via the promenade. There are also regular local busses which stop at the Station Road junction, a 5 minute walk to the beach.


Follow the A55 to junction 14 or 15 for Llanfairfechan. Follow the main road to the crossroads with traffic lights. Take the turning down Station Road to to the promenade car park (LL33 0BY).


  • Public toilets on the promenade (charged)
  • Beach front cafes
  • Car parking at the promenade (LL33 0BY).
  • Interpretation panels with information about wildlife
  • Benches on site for rest stops

Nearby Sites

Tyddyn Drycin, one of our woodland sites, is just a short drive or bike ride away into Llanfairfechan via Penmaenmawr Road off the A55. Or head up to the top of the village to Nant Y Coed, another of our woodland sites.

You can find walk route information for Glan y Môr Elias, Tyddyn Drycin and Nant y Coed in the Llanfairfechan Walks leaflet.

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