Things to do in HarlechPublished on 8 Oct 2018 by Gwion Llwyd
Harlech is a small town along the west coast of North Wales on Cardigan Bay. Its castle, set up high on the rock is the focal point of the town from which there is a small selection of cafes and restaurants. Beautiful sandy beaches, mountains and waterfalls are all within a short drive away. It is a picture perfect place to visit with a variety of activities to do on the doorstep.
ROYAL ST DAVIDS GOLF COURSE
Home to one of the first links golf courses in the UK. This 18 hole course offers a stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia Mountains, Harlech Castle and Cardigan Bay. A state of the art RSD Academy opened in 2017.
SNOWDONIA ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
Snowdonia adventure activities is an independent Adventure Activity provider offering a full range of activities including gorge walking, canyoning, kayaking, climbing, mountain biking, SUP and going underground.
If you are looking for something to do on those rainy days, the leisure centre at the bottom of town has a great indoor climbing wall and bouldering room.
The swimming pool is also located at the leisure centre. During the holiday months they put on a number of great activities for the kids and so it is certainly worth checking out the timetable for a full list of what is on offer. A cafe is on site serving hot and cold food at good prices.
LLANFAIR SLATE CAVERNS
A great introduction to one of the oldest slate mines in the country along with a small petting farm on site, playground and a soft play area. A great activity to cover different ages and when combined, all activities can fill a day. A cafe and gift shop are also on site.
Harlech beach is great for swimming. There is a 10 min walk from the car park across the golf course and sand dunes. The toilets are located in the car park but other than that, no facilities are available on the beach, so you will need to take your supplies. There is a spar at the top of the road leading down to the beach which sells most things you will need. An ice cream van is usually found at the end of the day in the car park.
Llandanwg, in Lanfair is the best beach for facilities and ease of getting onto. The car park is just next to the beach, but if you are early you can get free parking on the left hand side of the road just before the car park. A cafe offering light lunches, coffees and ice cream is just by the beach as are the toilets. The beach itself is very rocky which makes its perfect for rock pools and great for kids.
Bennar is the beach in Dyffryn Ardudwy. There is a car park 5-10 min walk from the beach. This beach is great for swimming and the sand dunes will provide hours of fun for children. Limited on facilities again, you will need to stock up before you go. There is a spar in the village itself with the best butchers around.
Please note that the car parking fares for the beaches range from £4 – £6 for the day. Dogs are allowed on all 3 beaches, but make sure you look to see which side of the beach they are allowed on as the fines can be heavy if you fail to adhere to the designated areas. Campfires and BBQ’s are allowed on all 3 beaches.
ZIP WORLD has offers 10 incredible activities in North Wales…
- Blaenau Ffestiniog is where you will find Bounce Below (an underground trampoline experience), Zip World Caverns (an incredible, underground exploring activity) and Titan (first 4 people zip line).
- Conwy Valley is home to Zip Safari (a series of 23 zip lines through the trees), Plummet (jump from a 100ft tower), Skyride (Europe’s highest 5 seater swing), Treetop Nets (nets suspended in trees 60ft above the ground to run around in), Fforest Coaster (an alpine coaster that runs throug the forest at exhilarating speeds) and Tree Hoppers (a woodland experience for younger ones).
- Bangor is where you will find Velocity (the fastest zipline in the world and the longest in Europe).
SURF SNOWDONIA is an artificial surf lagoon where they create continuous and perfect waves. Perfect for beginners and those who are looking to improve. No waiting around for the next set of waves. At the centre, there is also a total wipeout waterwall, the ‘blob’ which will see you flying in the air, a soft play centre, a skate ramp and a couple of onsite restaurants/cafes
THE NATIONAL WHITE WATER CENTRE on the river Tryweryn in Bala offers one of the best places in the country to white water raft. The water levels are dam-controlled meaning its rapids still thunder down the river during the summer months so you will never be disappointed by the conditions.
The walks in the surrounding area are both incredible and numerous suggested walks
If you love a treasure hunt, you’ll be pleased to know that there are lots of geocaches hidden around the area. Children love these and and so if you’re having trouble convincing them that a walk is good fun, this could be your answer!
Based just north of Dolgellau, Coed Y Brenin is mountain biking heaven. There are six trails catering for all ages and abilities. Free to get in, you can either rent a bike there or take your own. If not all the party are up for cycling, there are also wonderful walking and running trails. Take a picnic as there are lots of picnic tables free to use or there is a cafe that serves food.
THE MAWDDACH TRAIL
The Mawddach Trail is a cycling route that runs from Barmouth to Dolgellau following the old train tracks. If you leave from Barmouth and cycle across the bridge, you turn left at the end and follow the trail all the way down to Dolgellau. A good day trip is to cycle to the George III pub and have lunch or a drink and then cycle the 7 miles back. Its flat all the way and so a good family route as well as for those looking for a leisurely day.
Antur Stiniog is an uplift and downhill MBT track. There are 7 trails and are suited to the more advanced mountain bikers. You will need to pre-book a space and you can hire bikes there. Again there is a cafe and other activities on offer.
If you want a more local ride, follow the signs from Llanbedr to Cwm Bychan. It is approx 5 miles and will take approx 1 -1.5 hours with a mix of hills and flats. Take food and drink with you as there is nothing up in the mountains! If it’s sunny, take your swimmers and stop off in some of the river pools along the way for a quick dip to cool off.
Snowdonia Cycles in Llanbedr rent out bikes to hire if you are unable to bring your own.
The THE BRANWEN at the bottom of town offers a bistro type menu with new modern interiors.
The TY MAWR based in Llanbedr is a great local pub with a large beer garden. A great pub menu which an be enjoyed either in the restaurant or the bar itself. There is a beer festival in September hosted at the pub.
TheTHE VICTORIA INN also based in Llanbedr offers more of a bistro style pub menu and very kid friendly offering a great children’s play area.
THE CASTLE BISTRO based on the high street offers Welsh inspired bsitro style menu.
ASIS offers pizza and pasta which is based just by the castle at the top of town.
THE PLAS is open for coffee, lunch and dinner. A British style menu all offered in a house with incredible history.
THE LLEW GLAS offers homecooked light lunches – they have the best scones in Harlech!
CAFE CASTELL based at the castle itself offers a variety of homecooked lunches, incredible cakes, teas and coffee’s with amazing views of the Snowdonia mountains.
THE CEMLYN offers a more traditional tea room with great views.
Y MAES CAFE situated 25m from Llandanwg beach – light lunches and ice cream are on the menu!
THE HARLECH TANDOORI is always a winner
TONI’S takeaway pizza van outside his world famous (!) Italian restaurant in Taly Bont (towards barmouth) – order your pizza and while you wait, go for a drink in the Yesgethin Pub up the road.
FISH AND CHIPS
THE MERMAID in Barmouth hands down is the place to go. Grab your fish and chips and go and sit on the prom – you won’t regret it. The queues can be long, but its worth the wait we promise!
Your holiday is not complete without an ice cream HUFENFA, in Harlech is most definately where to go.
The Ardudwy Health Centre, Beach Road, Harlech LL46 2UH TEL: 0870 460 9661
Many places only accept cash so make sure you have enough on hand.
- The Post Office in Harlech offers money services – they are open everyday from 9am – 5.30pm and in peak season on a Sunday
- TUC (Londis) near Harlech train Station has an ATM.
- The Victoria Inn Pub in Llanbedr has an ATM.
- The Spar in Dyffryn Ardudwy offers cash back
- Harlech Spar at the bottom of Harlech offers a good range of products and also open until 10pm 7 days a week. They accept card payments. There is a spar at the top of Harlech, but it is more limited and they only accept cash.
- Lifestyle in Llanbedr it offers basic essentials but can be pricey.
- Dyffryn Ardudwy has a Spar – they offer most things you will need as well as a prize winning butchers.
- ASDA and Tesco will deliver to you, but you need to ensure the delivery comes after your arrival.
The Cambrian Coast line runs through Harlech which is supplied by Arriva Wales.
There is a bus service that runs through the villages and run by ARRIVA BUSES. The times are not that often so you really need to plan ahead.
Local taxi firms include: TACSI ID’Z – 01341 241423 | WEST COAST CARS – 0752 7111760 / 0770 4492876
Please find below links to the following village maps: