Saint Tudwal's Islands

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Saint Tudwal's Island West
Saint Tudwal's Island East with West island in the background

Saint Tudwal's Islands (Welsh: Ynysoedd Tudwal) are a small archipelago lying south of Abersoch on the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales, at the western end of Tremadog Bay. They were apparently referred to as the Studwells in the early 19th century.[1][2]

There are two main islands: Saint Tudwal's Island West (Welsh: Ynys Tudwal Fawr)(52°47′56″N 4°28′18″W / 52.7988°N 4.4718°W / 52.7988; -4.4718 (Saint Tudwal's Island West)) and Saint Tudwal's Island East (Welsh: Ynys Tudwal Fach) (52°48′19″N 4°27′43″W / 52.8053°N 4.4620°W / 52.8053; -4.4620 (Saint Tudwal's Island East)), plus the Carreg y Trai rocks. The East island is currently owned by author Carla Lane and the West island was recently purchased by adventurer Bear Grylls and converted into a holiday home. On 22 August 2013 it was reported that he was facing a planning investigation by Gwynedd Council, after installing a slide into the sea.[3] He has since taken the slide down, saying it was never intended to be permanent and that he would clear it with the council before using it again.[4]

The islands are known for their seal population. The western island houses the St Tudwal’s Lighthouse, and the eastern has the remains of a priory. The western island reaches 144 feet (44 metres) and is the higher of the two.

Saint Tudwal's Island East[edit]

Saint Tudwal's Island East (Welsh: Ynys Tudwal Fach) is a grass covered, privately owned, kidney-shaped island, about 550 yards (500 m) in length and 220 yards (200 m) in width.

The highest point on the island is 125 feet (38 m) above sea level. It is located just over 0.62 miles (1.00 km) off the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd. The nearest settlement (apart from the lighthouse on Saint Tudwal's Island West) is Machroes. Small ships sail from the nearby town of Abersoch to take passengers to view the wildlife. The island is believed to be the original hermitage of Saint Tudwal, which is presumably where its name comes from. The remains of a priory, referred to in the 1291 tax rolls, can be found on its eastern side.


  1. ^ use in 21 March 1835 Welsh newspaper article)
  2. ^ The Cambrian, 30 December 1809, p. 3 about the wreck of the sloop Spencer
  3. ^ Bear Grylls: St Tudwal island slide planning probe by council at Retrieved 22 Aug 2013.
  4. ^ Bear Grylls: St Tudwal island slide taken down at Retrieved 11 Aug 2014.

External links[edit]