LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATION GUIDES:
Gwenfaen’s Pillar, Rhoscolyn
Best at / for: high spring tide, sunset.
Best avoided: during south-westerly storms!
Parking: free parking with close access to the location.
Access: a scramble down a low cliff if you want to shoot from beach level at high tide.
Notes: lovely cliff-top coastal walks and the White Arch is nearby.
Gwenfaen’s Pillar is one of those locations which really needs quite specific conditions in order for the landscape photographer to get the most out of it.
It’s only cut off by the sea during high spring tide. Other high tides still leave a good portion of the rocky beach exposed, making it difficult for a composition to isolate the pillar effectively. That said, since it’s south-west facing, a good sunset behind it can make all the difference. And of course a sunset at high tide is just perfect!
Parking is very easy at the nearby St Gwenfaen’s Church, and the pillar is only about ten minutes walk west of there along public footpaths clearly marked on OS maps.
There is just one note of caution I’d add about this location: access to the entire beach is easy if the water line is anything lower than a high spring tide. But as that’s the ideal condition, you’ll want to be on the left hand side of the beach as you look at the Pillar for the best angle. And that side actually is cut off at high tide by a rock outcrop which runs out from the base of the cliff in the middle of the beach. It’s possible to slide down the slope onto this area, but you might have to wait for the tide to go out a bit to be able to reach the easy path to get back up the cliff.