Harlech holiday apartment, Snowdonia North Wales.

Local information and places of interest

This section includes a selection of local places of interest to tourists as well as information about shops and medical contacts. This just a snapshot of what you can do and see in the area. Whether you are interested in a beach holiday, golf, walking or visiting attractions there is plenty to do.


Theatr Harlech.

Just along the main road from Glan Gors this theatre hosts plays and live music as well as showing films.


Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle. The building was begun during King Edward I's second campaign in north Wales. It was part of an "iron ring" of castles surrounding the coastal fringes of Snowdonia. Criccieth, Conwy and Caernarfon castles are not too far away. Harlech Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is open to visitors and the opening hours for any specific date can be found on the Cadw web site.


Local Beaches

Harlech has a superb safe sandy beach that is about 5 miles long. If you take account of the tides and set off when the tide is dropping you can walk all the way round the Estuary from Ynys (if you don't mind paddling) to the northern point of Harlech beach and then down the beach, a great afternoon's walk.

Llandanwg beach is south of Harlech, just round a rocky headland which can be walked round on the rock at all except the highest of tides. On the landward side of this beach is the lagoon where yachts come and go and the it is also a good spot for bird watching as well as a superb viewpoint for looking at the Rhinog mountains.

A mile or 2 further south is shell island, which isn't truly an island but the causeway to it from Llanbedr is cut off at high tide, and at the southern end of this a long sandy beach which stretches as far as the Mawddach estuary at Barmouth, about 8 miles - an ideal walk at low tide if you don't mind paddling across the shallow stream that meets the sea at Tal Y Bont.



Bird Reserves

There are reserves near Dolgellau and near Penrhyndeudraeth but all along the coast is a good place for seeing estuary and water birds. Buzzards are common in the cwms and hills inland.

Ospreys come yearly to nest near Penrhyndeudraeth and are a spectacular sight in flight.


Steam Railways

There are preserved narrow gauge railways at Porthmadog (you can go to Caernarfon or Blaenau Ffestiniog and places in between) as well as a miniature steam railway at Fairbourne near Barmouth. There is a ferry acrross to the Fairbourne railway from Barmouth




Royal St David's golf course is a short walk away. This championship standard course is next to the sea and the views out to sea and of teh Lleyn peninsula or back inland over Harlech to the hills, are second to none.


Tourist attractions locally

Chwarel Hen slate caverns at Llanfair just south of Harlech is an interesting walk round slate caverns and right next to them a farm park that is aimed at children. www.llanfairslatecaverns.co.uk

A bit further away is Llechwedd slate caverns at Blaenau Ffestiniog. This is a much larger and deeper slate cavern than the one at Llanfair.  www.llechwedd-slate-caverns.co.uk

Portmeirion. The famous Italianate village is about 8 miles from Harlech in the direction of Porthmadog. You can easily spend a day there and those who are old enough to have seen 'The Prisoner' will be looking over their shoulders on the beach in case large white balls try to attack them.     www.portmeirion-village.com

Medical Needs

There is a pharmacy in upper Harlech & a doctors surgery in lower Harlech. Inside 36 Glan Gors is a contact number for NHS direct & if things really do get bad, the area is served by an air ambulance, which often lands on the school field nearby, to fly directly to Ysbyty Gwynedd at Bangor. There is a hospital just beyond Porthmadog, Allt Wen, with an A & E department. Allt Wen is also where visitors to the area can be seen by a GP serive if they have any non-urgent medical need (please see the local surgery for a contact phone number).


Shops & Restaurants

While this area isn't a magnet for shopaholics, there are enough shops in the area for you to buy the food you need for self catering, many of which also sell takeaway food. Harlech main street has a selection of restuarants and cafes and there is a good pub/restaurant in lower Harlech about 7 minutes walk away. There are supermarkets and many more restaurants in both Porthmadog & Barmouth and in the villages between Harlech and Barmouth as this coast is mainly a tourist area.

Harlech also has a few antique/curio shops.

36 GlanGors Harlech N Wales. Comfortable quiet apa | Self Catering Breaks"



Apart from all the walking that can be done in the mountains of Snowdonia, the coast near Harlech is ideal for walking as there are many tracks and lanes as well as the beach and dunes. The Rhinog mountains behind Harlech, while being lower than the high mountaiins of Snowdonia, are rougher and less well known, and therefore a lot quieter. There are also byways and lanes in the cwms that are ideal for wandering on - using these, the nominal 4 mile walk along the main road from Harlech to Llanbedr can be made into a scenic cwm walk of 10 miles (or more).



St Tanwg's Church, Llandanwg

The ancient church of St. Tanwg is situated in the sand dunes at Llandanwg. The church is reputed to have been founded in the fifth century by St. Tanwg and can be said to be one of the oldest Christian foundations in Britain. The present building dates to the early Medieval period and was almost buried by the dunes until cleared in recent times. The building is frequently open to visitors and is well worth a visit.