Mirroring Worms Head at the opposite end of the bay, Burry Holms marks the western extent of Llangennith beach. Usually a beautifully quiet place to visit, it becomes an island at high tide leaving the whole area to its resident wildlife and sometimes the odd hardy fisherman. In Welsh, the island is known as Ynys Ianwol and has a rich history known to stretch back over 9000 years to the Mesolithic period, when it was inhabited by nomadic hunters. At this point in time the sea was over 12 miles away. An excavation by the National Museums and Galleries of Wales yielded evidence of the early inhabitation, including tools made from flint, bone and wood along with charred hazelnut shells. Later, in the iron age, a hill fort and ditch were built enclosing around 5 acres on the west side of the island. By medieval times a hermitage/ecclesiastical monastic settlement stood on the east side of the island, known as ‘the church of the isle’ or ‘the hermitage of St. Kenydd-atte-Holme’. Interestingly, excavations in the early 1960s also uncovered second century roman pottery, suggesting continual occupation of the site. The island is a haven for wildlife and wild flowers - don’t forget your binoculars but also don’t forget to check the tide times before you leave, so as not to get cut off.
Following a 20 minute drive from Parc-Le-Breos B&B, to get to Burry Holms is about a 30 minute walk. You can either park at Hill End caravan site (left at the mini roundabout in Llangennith, and follow the road to the end) then walk along the beach, or you can park at Broughton caravan park (straight on at the mini roundabout in Llangennith and follow the road to the end, there is a victors car park at the site entrance), then from the car park take the footpath at the left (south) side of the car park and follow it through the dunes to the beach.
The Llangennith side of Burry Holms is popular for all sorts of water sports. The Broughton side can however have strong rips, especially approaching low tide, so is best avoided.
Burry Holms offers an opportunity for good rock fishing. There are often good bass to be caught here, but don’t forget that the island can only be accessed for a few hours either side of low tide.
Just to the west of Burry Holms is a small beach, which to my knowledge doesn’t really have a name. On days when Llangennith is 4 foot or more and the tide is about half way in, you can get a lovely shaped wave in this little cove, nowhere near as big as on the main beach but the shelter here makes a big difference. If your surfing 3 peaks, its often worth casting your eye this way. Just around from the head is a fairly exposed reef break known as Sheep's Jaw - it works at around low tide with its best swell direction from the west. Offshore here is from the south east.