Porth y Swnt (porth-ee-sunt, which translates as ‘gateway to the sound’) is very different from any other property I have visited so far and I wasn’t even sure whether to include it on my list as it is simply an interpretation centre for the Llŷn Peninsula. I was travelling to the end of the Peninsula to visit another nearby property, though, so I thought I’d stop by to have a look.
The centre opened its doors for the first time in 2014 and it seems fairly experimental in its presentation of the life of the peninsula through the use of poetry and art installations. Visitors are given an audio guide so they can listen in to information about different aspects of the Llŷn, which are classified as follows: The Deep, which tells of the importance of the sea to farmers and fishermen as well as the pilgrims who travelled off shore to Bardsey Island and its monastery (later demolished during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries); The Way, which focuses on the landscape, human activity on the land and the wildlife; The Light, which talks about the beauty and colours of the landscape and also exhibits the optic that was removed from Bardsey Island lighthouse in 2014; and The Sound, which describes the tidal forces in the Sound and includes an atmospheric installation in which you can create currents and whirlpools by moving your hands (or your head, as one fellow visitor tried!) over the bowl.
This is certainly something a little different and may not be to everyone’s taste but for those considering a trip to Bardsey Island or spending some time walking in the area it is a good starting point.
Highlights: The Sound interactive exhibit