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Kinmel Dunes Local Nature Reserve

Summary (optional)
Come and explore a fascinating natural sand dune system with onsite facilities, a short circular walk and beautiful sandy beach!
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Why visit?

  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Onsite facilities
  • Unique wildlife

Kinmel Dunes is one of our protected Local Nature Reserves (LNR).  It was once part of a much larger coastline sand dune system, but now forms a thin strip between Towyn and Rhyl. The dunes are a valuable habitat for a wealth of plants and animals.

The best time to spot flowers and wildlife here is May to August.

The rolling dunes also shelter an expansive sandy beach within Kinmel Bay - meaning you can finish your nature walk through the dunes with some shell hunting and sandcastle building.

The Dunes Trail is a 1 mile long circular walk that allows you to explore the whole site safely and without disturbing the wildlife. The Dunes Trail also includes a small section of the North Wales Coastal Path.

What wildlife will you discover?

Whether low to the ground amongst the bare sand or further back in amongst the taller grasses, here’s a few flowers that add a splash of colour to look out for:

  • Meadow buttercup
  • Wild carrot
  • Common cat’s-ear
  • Hare’s-foot clover
  • Lucerne

Fluttering amongst the flowers, from April to September you’ll spot these butterflies and more:

  • Small white
  • Green-veined white
  • Orange tip
  • Meadow brown

If you sit quietly on a patch of south-facing bare sand around midday, you may spot a common lizard.

The resident kestrel is often seen at the eastern end of the dunes hunting for a common vole or shrew

You may be lucky enough to hear the beautiful sound of a skylark. It’s vulnerable between May and August as it nests on the ground, which can easily be destroyed accidentally by dogs and people. Skylark numbers are declining massively due to habitat loss - being designated a Local Nature Reserve safeguards the dunes against development.

Blown through during bad weather you may spot scarce visitors such as a Lapland bunting or snow bunting while they are on migration.

Sitting on one of the benches at the viewpoint, positioned at height in the dunes, you’ll be in a good position to spot a common porpoise out to sea.

You can find more information on species lists on the Aderyn website or at the North Wales Wildlife Trust.

How to get there

Walking & Cycling 

The site is a short 20-30 minute walk from Towyn or Rhyl sign posted from the main road. This site can also be accessed by Route 5 of the National Cycling Network.

Public transport

The nearest bus stop is Kinmel Bay bus station just 5 minutes’ walk from the site with regularly scheduled local buses.

The nearest train station is Abergele & Pensarn.


From the west take the A55 to junction 23A. From the east take the A525 exit.


  • Interpretation panels with site maps and information about local wildlife
  • Refreshments kiosk with toilets (open during the summer months)
  • Seating along the promenade and at the viewpoint
  • 5 minutes’ walk to ASDA Rhyl store with a café and toilets open all year round
  • Pay and display parking at the end of St Asaph Avenue
  • Wheelchair accessible promenade walk

Dogs on leads are welcome on site. The west of the reserve is a dog exclusion zone. Please use the dog bins provided.

Discover more about the dunes habitat and wildlife

What’s nearby?

If you follow the Wales Coastal Path, you can also visit Pensarn SSSI, just 3 miles west of Kinmel dunes.

Visit Conwy provides information about local accommodation and facilities.

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