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Things to do in Barmouth, Gwynedd

Barmouth is a lovely seaside resort in North-West Wales, on the River Mawddacch estuary in Cardigan Bay.

Barmouth Harbour © Dave Wilton
Barmouth Harbour © Dave Wilton


Barmouth is a characterful Welsh town of stone-built houses, three or four storeys high, with beautiful views to the Welsh mountains.

The town's situation on the edge of Snowdonia National Park affords excellent views of the sandy beach, harbour and across the estuary.

Established as a shipbuilding town, Barmouth has been shaped by its interesting history.

Narrow Gauge Railway

A two mile railway track was laid in 1895 by the owner of "McDougall's Flour".

It was used to transport building materials to construct the seaside resort of Fairbourne Village.

Barmouth © Dave Wilton
© Dave Wilton

The line is now used as a narrow gauge railway which transports visitors between Fairbourne station and Penrhyn Point where the Barmouth ferry can be boarded.

Notable Buildings

Barmouth has plenty of local shops and inns to meet most requirements, including excellent local pub food.

Notable buildings include the 19th-century Roundhouse Prison and the unusual mediaeval Ty Gwyn tower house.

Barmouth Bridge &copu; Dave Wilton
Barmouth Bridge © Dave Wilton

The Arousal Cafe may be regarded with some alarm.

It is really named the Carousal Cafe but locals wags steal the letter C each time it is replaced!

The lovely St John's Church has some stunning stained glass windows and a marble font of an angel holding a seashell - a copy of Thorwaldsen's Font in Copenhagen Cathedral.

Barmouth Bridge

The wide river estuary is spanned by Barmouth Bridge, a 900 yard (820m) long wooden bridge which was built in 1867 to carry the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway.

Today it continues to carry local trains and pedestrians can walk across on the side path for a nominal fee.

Barmouth © Dave Wilton
© Dave Wilton


It is a great experience with superb views, particularly at sunset, and is a favourite with photographers.

Barmouth Harbour

The busy harbour has many fishing and leisure craft.

The famous Three Peaks Yacht Race starts from Barmouth each June.

It involves sailing up the coast and running up Snowdon, then Scafell Pike and finally Ben Nevis without any motor transport, and is only for the truly super-fit!

The church Barmouth © Dave Wilton
The Church Barmouth © Dave Wilton

Still on a nautical flavour, visitors can enjoy the RNLI Lifeboat Visitors' Centre, purchase souvenirs to support this worthwhile charity and view the lifeboat from the viewing gallery.

Beach Holidays

The town is an excellent choice for family beach holidays, and visitors seeking peace and quiet in a scenic location. If you're feeling more energetic, there are plenty of opportunities for walking, birdwatching and cycling.

The extensive beach means there's lots of space for children to play beach games, sunbathe, dig in the sand or play in the water - and you're unlikely to find the beach over-crowded.

Narrow street Barmouth © Barmouth © Dave Wilton
Narrow street © Dave Wilton

There are also some arcades and a fun-fair in the summertime to provide extra amusements for the children.

Things to do around Barmouth

Barmouth is only a short drive from the unique Italianate village of Portmeirion - and the impressive Harlech Castle is also nearby - ideal for a day trip.

Other historic monuments include the Segontium Roman Fort near Anglesey, the impressive Criccieth Castle, and the magnificent Caernarfon Castle just 27 miles away.

Snowdonia National Park is right on the doorstep and offers a host of beautiful outdoor scenery for hiking, while those wanting easier terrain can enjoy the Mawddacch Trail, a hiking and cycling path along the old railway track to Dolgellau.

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