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Things to do in Gwynedd

Gwynedd in north west Wales is situated north of Ceredigion and south of the Isle of Anglesey.

The county encompasses the lovely Lleyn Peninsula and Cambrian coast, with attractive seaside resorts and award-winning beaches.

Inland is Snowdonia National Park, with spectacular scenery and Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.


Bangor is a University City and one of the oldest diocese in Britain. The town and Cathedral are dominated by Bangor Mountain, there are good shopping facilities, a Victorian pier, Museum and Art Gallery.

To the east is Penrhyn Castle an extravagant example of 19th century neo-gothic architecture, with an intriguing interior. The tourist information centre can be found in the Town Hall, on the Menai Strait.

Penrhyn Castle
Penrhyn Castle

Bangor Pier
Bangor Pier


The ancient county town of Caernarfon has many interesting buildings such as Caernarfon Castle. Designated a World Heritage Site, it is home to the Museum of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. On a hill above the town is Segontium Roman Fort, dating back to AD77. Nearby is Plas Menai, the National Water Sports Centre on the Menai Strait.



A short distance inland is Llanberis, a popular base for walkers and climbers visiting Snowdonia. From Llanberis you can take a trip on Snowdon Mountain Railway, taking you to the Summit of Snowdon (3,3560 ft/1085m), and back. Padarn Country Park offers a great day out with walks, lakes and attractions including the National Slate Museum and Llanberis Lake Railway, one of the 'Great Little Trains of Wales'.

Snowdon Railway
Snowdon Railway

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog was once a major centre of slate mining. Today visitors can enjoy Llechwedd Slate Caverns and board a train travelling within the mountain, traversing spectacular caverns. The narrow-gauge heritage Ffestiniog Railway, runs from Blaenau Ffestiniog to the harbour at Porthmadog.

Steam Train at Blaenau Ffestiniog
Steam Train at Blaenau Ffestiniog

Southern Snowdonia

South Gwynedd encompasses the northern part of Cardigan Bay, with lovely estuaries, sandy beaches, seaside towns and villages. Southern Snowdonia lies inland with its mountains, lakes and rivers, and the following towns, each of which has a tourist information office:

  • Aberdovey
  • Barmouth
  • Tywyn
  • Harlech
  • Bala
  • Dolgellau


Aberdovey's harbour overlooks the Dyfi estuary, a holiday resort with miles of sandy beaches, popular with sailors, surfers and golfers.



Barmouth is another old shipbuilding town, today a popular seaside resort lying on the estuary of the Mawddach River and Cardigan Bay. This lively town has good facilities for visitors. The cliffs known as Dinas Oleu, became the first property to be acquired by the National Trust in 1895. Attractions in the town include the RNLI Museum, on the Promenade. Three miles north is Carneddau Hengwm with two chambered tombs and a short distance north west at Pen-y-dinas are the remains of an Iron Age camp.


Tywyn is a good base for exploring the Tal y llyn and Dysynni Valleys. The beach is safe for surfing and jet skiing, Tywyn is home to the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. The Tal y llyn steam railway runs through the Fathew Valley to Nant Gwernol, where there are lovely forest walks.

Harlech Castle
Harlech Castle


Harlech situated on Tremadog Bay is dominated by spectacular Harlech Castle. Designated a World Heritage Site, it was built in late 13th century by Edward I as one of his 'iron ring' of fortresses. Harlech has a good beach and is home to Royal St. David's Golf Club.

Menai Bridge
Menai Bridge


Bala is a little market town situated on the shore of Lln Tegid. At more than four miles long and almost one mile wide, Lln Tegid is the largest natural lake in Wales. It's also a great attraction for water sports enthusiasts. The Bala Lake Railway runs along the shore to Llanuwchllyn. Nearby at Frongoch is Canolfan Tryweryn, the National White Water Centre - a unique year round white water venue.


Dolgellau is a picturesque market town surrounded by beautiful countryside. Many of the buildings are of local dark slate. The town lies at the foot of the Cader Idris mountain range in South Snowdonia. A few miles north is Coed y Brenin Forest, renowned for world class mountain bike trials.

The Llyn Peninsula

The main towns on the Llyn Peninsula are Abersoch and Pwllheli. Much of this coastal area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast, most is in the care of the National Trust. The lovely peninsula is renowned for unspoiled beaches and rolling green countryside.


Aberdaron, was the last stopping point for pilgrims making their way to the 6th century monastery on Bardsey Island off the southern tip of Llyn Peninsula. Today boat trips run to the island from Pwllheli and Porthmeudwy to see the marine life, birds, rare plants and to enjoy the tranquillity of the tiny island.

Conwy Castle
Conwy Castle


Abersoch is an attractive village and a popular sailing and water sport centre. There is a sheltered harbour and a golf course, along with fine sandy beaches. Nearby, the impressive bay Porth Neigwl or Hell's Mouth, has powerful tides and is a great place for surfing.

Portmerion Village
Portmerion Village


The busy market town of Pwllheli is a good base for exploring the area. The town has an excellent marina with berths for over 400 boats and hosts international sailing events. There are two beaches and a leisure centre.


Criccieth Castle is perched on a headland overlooking Tremadog Bay, the town and the beaches below. Criccieth holds two popular fairs and markets annually in May and June. Nearby the village of Llanystumdwy is where David Lloyd George (British Prime Minister 1916-1922) grew up. There is a museum of memorabilia in the town.


Portmeirion Village, is a unique Italianate village designed by Clough Williams-Ellis. Setting for the iconic sixties series 'The Prisoner', this is one of Wales' most popular tourist attractions, which makes for an unforgettable day out.


Days out in Gwynedd

  • Aberconwy House
    Aberconwy House is a 14th-century merchant's house, it is the only medieval merchant's house in Conwy to have survived the turbulent history of this walled town over nearly six centuries.
    Aberconwy House
  • Anglesey Sea Zoo
    The Anglesey Sea Zoo is the largest marine aquarium in Wales with over 150 species from Octopuses and Seahorses to Sharks and Sunstars for you to get up close and personal with!
    Anglesey Sea Zoo
  • Caernarfon Castle
    King Edward I intended this castle to be a royal residence and seat of government for North Wales. The castle's symbolic status was emphasized when Edward made sure that his son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born here in 1284.
    Caernarfon Castle
  • Criccieth Castle
    Criccieth Castle, standing on its headland between two beaches, is a prominent north Wales landmark.
    Criccieth Castle
  • Harlech Castle
    Spectacularly sited Harlech Castle seems to grow naturally from the rock on which it is perched. Like an all-seeing sentinel, it gazes out across land and sea, keeping a watchful eye over Snowdonia.
    Harlech Castle
  • Llanberis Lake Railway
    Discover the timeless appeal of our narrow-gauge steam trains on an hour long excursion along the shores of Lake Padarn in the heart of Snowdonia.
    Llanberis Lake Railway
  • RNLI Visitor Centre
    The Visitor Centre contains a pictorial history of Barmouth Lifeboat Station plus some artefacts pertaining to the lifeboats. There are also some pictures of Barmouth in Victorian times. The Visitor Centre also houses the RNLI souvenir and gift shop.
  • Segontium Roman Fort
    Overlooking the Menai Strait, Segontium Roman Fort dates back to circa AD77, when Caesar Julius Agricola completed the Roman conquest of Wales by capturing the Isle of Anglesey.
    Segontium Roman Fort
  • Snowdon Mountain Railway
    Travel by train on Britain's only Rack and Pinion Railway up Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales 3,560ft (1085m).
    Snowdon Mountain Railway

Places to Visit in Gwynedd

  • Aberdaron
    Aberdaron is a small village with a long sandy beach, near the end of the Llyn peninsula - the Welsh Land's End. It is an attractive, traditional place, still Welsh-speaking, with an ancient church and a pub.
  • Abererch
    We have just received a description of Abererch from one of our readers. This description is currently being prepared for publication and will appear on this page within the next few days.
  • Abersoch
    Abersoch is a large village in Gwynedd on the North Wales coast. It is on the sunny south-facing coast of the Lleyn Peninsula at the mouth of the Afon Soch river.
  • Barmouth
    Barmouth is a lovely seaside resort in North-West Wales, on the River Mawddacch estuary in Cardigan Bay. Barmouth is a characterful welsh town of stone-built houses, three or four storeys high, with beautiful views to the Welsh mountains.
  • Caernarfon
    Caernarfon in Gwynedd, in the west of North Wales, is a small town with many royal connections and a splendid castle.
  • Carnguwch
    Carnguwch is the name of a hill and a parish near the village of Llithfaen on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales...
  • Criccieth
    Criccieth is one of the best known towns on Cardigan Bay, nine miles east of Pwllheli. The town is centred on the walls and ruined remains of Criccieth Castle which has extensive views over the town from its rocky perch
  • Llanbedrog
    This charming Welsh village is located on the Lleyn peninsula between Pwllheli and Abersoch near Snowdonia National Park.
  • Llanystumdwy
    Just two miles west of Criccieth on the coast of North Wales is the coastal community of Llanystumdwy. Situated just to the east of Pwllheli, it is in the Eifionydd region near the scenic Lleyn Peninsula.
  • Morfa Nefyn
    The charming coastal fishing village of Morfa Nefyn lies on the north coast of the beautiful Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales. Its main feature is the long sandy beach set back in a semicircle between two headlands.
    Morfa Nefyn
  • Porthmadog
    The charming community of Porthmadog is in the Gwynedd area of mid and west Wales, five miles east of Criccieth. Porth, as it is frequently known, had its heyday in the 19th century.
  • Pwllheli
    Pwllheli, pronounced Per-thelly is a small market town in Gwynedd in North West Wales. It has a population of around 3,800 people and the majority are Welsh speaking, although English is widely spoken too.

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