Who couldn’t love Wales in the springtime? Right now the diverse Welsh landscape is bursting into life and nowhere is it more evident than on a walk along any one of North Wales's beaches. We think a bracing beachside stroll is the perfect way to make the most of the first balmy days of the new season.
But hitting a North Walian beach in April is not without its risks and if you've ever been caught off guard out on the sands, you'll know how fast the clouds close in and the rain starts to pour!
Still, we’ve never let a bit of rain stop us and, just for you, we’ve donned wellies and raincoats and roamed the coast to find the best beaches with places to shelter when the heavens open.
1. Llanddwyn Beach (Newborough, Anglesey)
Worth a visit at any time of year, it is one of Anglesey's - and Britain's - most highly regarded beaches. Llanddwyn has it all: views of Snowdonia, rolling golden sand dunes, and a trail leading through the grass to the nearby Llanddwyn Island Nature Reserve.
Your port in a storm here is The Marram Grass, located at the White Lodge Campsite in Newborough. Here you'll find a quintessentially Welsh menu, which includes local lamb served with potatoes and vegetables and traditional fish and chips with mushy peas.
The owners admit they opened with a love of food but no five-year plan - but that was in early 2011, and this award-winning cafe's popularity shows no sign of waning any time soon.
2. Benllech Beach (Benllech, Anglesey)
A real crowd pleaser, Benllech Beach offers good accessibility for wheelchair users, as well as for prams and pushchairs, and it's also a family favourite because of the miles of golden sand that is exposed when the tide rolls out.
The Bay Cafe is your refuge if the weather takes a turn for the worse, and as it's located right on the shore, you won't have to run far through the rain to get here. Over a cuppa and a snack, you'll enjoy a great view across the beach to the water to see when the sun comes out again.
3. Dinas Dinlle (Caernarfon, Gwynedd)
Dinas Dinlle is a beach of two halves, with a broad sandy foreshore and an upper shingle ridge. As you look along it the sense of perspective can be quite dizzying, as the arrow straight coastline disappears into the distance along the Llyn Peninsula. On a good day, you can also see across to Llanddwyn Island where, on a bad day, fellow beachgoers might well be hiding from the rain in The Marram Grass!
Back on Dinas Dinlle, if you notice dark clouds heading your way, you'll want to head to Bwyty Lleu, a family-friendly cafe with an impressive 52-cover capacity.
Lunch is slightly less formal than the evening service and, if you're lucky, you'll be able to grab the sofa while your kids play in the well-stocked toy box. You can even do some rainy-day souvenir shopping in the adjoining gift shop.
4. West Shore Beach (Conwy Bay, Llandudno)
There's something satisfying about a straightforward name and West Shore Beach is as satisfying as it gets. Whether you plan to fly a kite on the wide sands, feed the swans on the Victorian boating lake or just take a long walk, West Shore is the beach to visit.
Slightly less well-known than Llandudno’s famous North Shore, it’s a beach loved by locals wanting to avoid the crowds and visitors seeking an alternative to candyfloss and arcades.
If things get blustery, it might be time to head for cover. We recommend the friendly West Shore Beach Cafe, run by family team Kevin and Alison. It's easy to find, directly on the promenade next to the golf course, and if the rain isn't too heavy sit out on the terrace and enjoy impressive views of the Great Orme, the Carneddau Mountains and Anglesey.