INTRODUCTION TO BARMOUTH
It is easy to see why many generations of visitors have made Barmouth their destination, attracted by the towns magnificent, and largely unspoilt location, the safe sandy beaches, and much more besides. The scenery includes some of the finest in the UK. There are miles of sandy beach (now awarded the prestigious Blue Flag) shore, boat and freshwater fishing, top quality hill walking, a good variety of shops for a small town, a fine selection of hotels, caravan and camping sites, a theatre, good pubs, clubs, a market, nearby golf courses, a funfair during the summer.…… Where the Mawddach estuary and the Cambrian Mountains meet the sea, Barmouth harbour is still used by a few commercial fishing boats, though nowadays more so by pleasure craft. Generations of children have enjoyed “fishing” for crabs from the harbour wall, while adults may prefer the taste of locally caught lobster in one of the quay side cafes. Above one such establishment ("Davy Jones' Locker", which itself has a fascinating and historic interior), Ty Gwyn Museum presents an exhibition including surprisingly well preserved relics from the nearby Bronze Bell Shipwreck of 1709, featured in a recent S4C documentary.
The railway journey over Barmouth Bridge to Fairborne, offers spectacular views of the estuary and the mountains. Alternatively walk across the bridge, or take the Ferry from the Harbour to Penrhyn point, from where the narrow gauge railway runs to Fairborne village and Nature Centre. Other scenic walks include the Panorama walk, and the ascent of Cader Idris, Wales’ highest peak outside the Snowdon Range.
Within an hours drive are, Harlech Castle, Shell Island, Portmeirion (Scenic village and setting for the TV series “The Prisoner”), Maes Artro (Museum and village of bygone days) Llanfair Slate Mines, the Roman Steps near Cwm Bychan Lake, picturesque Talyllyn Lake and Railway, and the Centre for Alternative Technology.
A little further away are Caernarfon Castle, Mount Snowdon, the Isle of Anglesey and many other attractions. However Barmouth itself has plenty to offer. Climb the windy streets of Old Barmouth, up the hillside of “The Rock” ( JR Tolkien stayed here and this setting is believed to have inspired his creation of Hobbiton) up to Dinas Oleu, the first property gifted to the National Trust in 1895. A viewing platform offers excellent views of Barmouth. Take a fishing or sight-seeing tip form the harbour. At the end of the day, walk along the prom, stopping for a ride on the funfair, a drink or ice cream, in time to watch the sunset over the bay.
It is easy to see why many visitors return to Barmouth. Some return to set up homes or businesses. We did!