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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST


A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

LOCATOR MAP
Llangefni
Rhosneigr

Menai Bridge
Gaerwen

Beaumaris

Conwy
Aber Tal-y-Bont Rowen

Abergele

St Asaph

Caerwys Nann

Bangor
Glasinfryn

CONWY
Langernyw Llanfair Talhaiarn Henllan Llansannan Pandy Tudur Bylchau Gwytherin Bodfari

Aberffraw Newborough

Llanddeiniolen

Bethesda
Trefriw

Caernarfon
Llanberis
Llandwrog Talysarn Penygroes Clynnog-Fawr Llanllyfni Trefor Llanaelhaearn Pant Glas Prenteg Morfa Nefyn Tudweiloig Nefyn Rhyd-Ddu Glanaber Beddgelert Salem

Denbigh
Nantglyn

Pentre Llanrhaeadr

Llanrwst
Capel Curig

DENBIGHSHIRE
Ruthin
Clawddnewydd

Betws-y-coed

21

Pentrefoelas Penmachno Glasfryn Cerrigydrudion Gwyddelwern Corwen Llanelidan

19 20 16 18
Talsarnau

Blaenau Ffestiniog Ffestiniog

Carrog

9
Llaniestyn

8 11

Y-Ffor

6 1

7 2 3

Criccieth Porthmadog 4

Pwllheli

13 14 15
Harlech

17

26 27
Bala
Trawsfynydd

10
Aberdaron

Llanbedrog

28 24
Llanuwchllyn

25

Llandrillo

12

Abersoch
Llanbedr

Llanfair

GWYNEDD
Ganllwyd

29

Ty-nant

Llangynog

Llanrhaedr-ymMochnant

Dyffryn Ardudwy

Pen-y-bont-fawr

22 23

Bontddu

Llanelltyd

Llanfyllin Llanwddyn Dinas Mawddwy Wern Llanfihangelyng-Ngwynfa

Barmouth

Dolgellau

30 31
Mallwyd
Tal-y-llyn
Corris Cemmaes Road

Fairbourne Llwyngwril

32
Llanegryn

Llangadfan Llanerfyl Pandy Llanbrynmair Llanfair Caereinion New Mills Heniarth

Rhoslefain

Abergynolwyn

Tywyn

33 34

Machynlleth
Pennal Derwenlas Eglwysfach Dylife Pennant Carno Clatter

Aberdyfi

35 36
Ynyslas Borth

Tregynon

Taliesin

Newtown

ADVERTISERS AND PLACES OF INTEREST


Accommodation, Food and Drink
1| 6| 8| 9| 12| 13| 14| 15| 16| 20| 21| 22| 23| 25| 27| 28| 30| 34| 35| Gwynfryn Farm Holidays, Pwllheli Glasfryn Parc Cottages, Y Ffor, nr Pwllheli The Old Rectory, Boduan, nr Nefyn The Lion Hotel, Tudweiliog, nr Nefyn The Sun Inn / Tafarn Yr Haul, Llanegan Queens Hotel, Porthmadog Ffestiniog Railway, Porthmadog Jennys Caf and Restaurant, Porthmadog The Union Inn, Tremadog Lyns Cafe, Beddgelert Dolweunydd Bed & Breakfast, Pentre Du Llwyndu Farmhouse Hotel, Llanaber, nr Barmouth Bryn Melyn Guest House, Barmouth The Bryntirion Inn, Llanderfel, nr Bala Cysgod y Garn Farm Cottage, Frongoch, nr Bala Cyffdy Farm Cottages & Bala Cottage Breaks, nr Bala Royal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau Preswylfa Guest House, Tywyn Medina Coffee House, Aberdovey pg 4 pg 8 pg 9 pg 10 pg 12 pg 17 pg 18 pg 19 pg 20 pg 24 pg 26 pg 31 pg 31 pg 34 pg 36 pg 36 pg 38 pg 46 pg 46

Activities
7| 10| 14| 26| 29| 32| 33| 2| 4| 11| 19| 24| 31| Glasfryn Parc Activity Centre, Y Ffor, nr Pwllheli Pen Llyn Lusitano Stud & Riding Centre, Llaniestyn Ffestiniog Railway, Porthmadog National Whitewater Centre, Frongoch, nr Bala Bala Lake Railway, Llanuwchllyn, nr Bala The Fairbourne Steam Railway Ltd, Fairbourne Talyllyn Railway, Tywyn Oriel Tonnau Gallery, Pwllheli Andrew Kime FRPS, Criccieth Lavender House, Penrhos, nr Abersoch Beddgelert Woodcraft, Crefft Coed, nr Beddgelert Chrisnik Bespoke Gifts & Crafts, Bala Guinevere Gifts, Art & Crafts, Dolgellau pg 8 pg 10 pg 14 pg 35 pg 37 pg 44 pg 45 pg 4 pg 7 pg 11 pg 24 pg 33 pg 39

Arts and Crafts

Gifts
3| Eluned Gifts Emporium, Pwllheli 11| Lavender House, Penrhos, nr Abersoch 19| Beddgelert Woodcraft, Crefft Coed, nr Beddgelert pg 5 pg 11 pg 24

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24| Chrisnik Bespoke Gifts & Crafts, Bala 31| Guinevere Gifts, Art & Crafts, Dolgellau pg 33 pg 39 pg 5 pg 11 pg 24 pg 11 10| 14| 17| 26| 29| 32| 33|

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pg 10 pg 18 pg 21 pg 35 pg 37 pg 44 pg 45

Home and Garden


3| Eluned Gifts Emporium, Pwllheli 11| Lavender House, Penrhos, nr Abersoch 19| Beddgelert Woodcraft, Crefft Coed, nr Beddgelert

Jewellery
11| Lavender House, Penrhos, nr Abersoch

Pen Llyn Lusitano Stud & Riding Centre, Llaniestyn Ffestiniog Railway, Porthmadog Portmeirion Village and Gardens, Portmeirion National Whitewater Centre, Frongoch, nr Bala Bala Lake Railway, Llanuwchllyn, nr Bala The Fairbourne Steam Railway Ltd, Fairbourne Talyllyn Railway, Tywyn

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Specialist Food and Drink Shops


5| Glasfryn Parc Farm Shop & Butchery, Y Ffor 18| D G Davies Family Butcher, Penrhyndeudraeth 36| Gills Plaice, Aberdovey pg 8 pg 22 pg 47

Places of Interest
7| Glasfryn Parc Activity Centre, Y Ffor, nr Pwllheli pg 8

Snowdonia and Gwynedd Coast


In the 1860s the writer George Borrow enthused about the area around Snowdon: Perhaps in all the world there is no region more picturesquely beautiful. Of the three National Parks in Wales, Snowdonia is the most dramatic and also the largest, extending over some 840 square miles and it is certainly the most dramatic. It stretches southwards from Snowdon as far as Aberdovey and Machynlleth, eastwards to Bala, and northwards to Conwy. In the west, the park borders the Llyn Peninsula and the Cambrian coast. The Llyn (Lleyn) Peninsula forms the southern arm of the great curve of Caernarfon Bay. This is one of the most secluded and most beautiful parts of Wales, and over 100 miles of its shoreline are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. During the Middle Ages, Bardsey Island, lying off the western tip of the peninsula, was a place of pilgrimage, and parts of the ancient route to Aberdaron, from where the pilgrims sailed to the island, can still be followed. Reminders of the areas early Christian past can be found throughout Llyn, along with more ancient monuments, such as hill forts, churches and standing stones. This region, like the northern coast and the Isle of Anglesey, has been a favourite holiday destination since the coming of the railways in the mid 19th century. The attractive Victorian resorts along the southern shore of the peninsula are sheltered and provide plenty of scope for sailing, swimming and fishing. Though born in Manchester, the place where David Lloyd George lived until he was 16 years old Llanystumdwy is a popular place to visit. However, the whole region is filled with splendid attractions to see and exciting things to do. Perhaps the most popular of all is the fantasy village of Portmeirion, built from the 1920s to the 1970s by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, made famous by the TV series The Prisoner in 1966 and 1967. Another major attraction is the great bulk of Harlech Castle, which occupies a spectacular site perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking Cardigan Bay. From the earliest times, this region was mined for its minerals. Gold was mined here long before the Romans arrived and, as recently as the 19th century, there were mini-gold rushes in a belt that stretched from Bontddu along the line of the River Mawddach. Copper, lead and slate were also mined up until the start of the 20th century, and the scars left by those industries can still be seen today. Several of the mines have found new roles as visitor attractions, along with the little railways that once carried the minerals from the mines and quarries to the coast.

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

GWYNFRYN FARM HOLIDAYS Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 5UF Tel: 01758 612536 Fax: 01758 613771 e-mail: gwynfrynfarm@btconnect.com website: www.gwynfrynfarm.co.uk
Gwynfryn Farm Holidays is a fantastic 100-acre organic dairy farm offering award winning self catering family holidays. Ideally located less than 30 minutes drive from Abersoch, Portmeirion and Snowdonia, the farm sits on the Lleyn Peninsular where you can enjoy walking, cycling, fishing or relaxing on sandy beaches. The farm buildings date back to 1824 and the barns have been imaginatively renovated into 12 holiday cottages equipped with home comforts and sleeping between 2 and 8 people. You can get involved in farm life by collecting eggs for breakfast, watching the milking and feeding the lambs, goats, calves, rabbits, pigs, hens and Penny the pony. There is also an indoor pool, tennis courts, an adventure play area and plenty more to keep both children and adults entertained whatever the weather. On warm summer days you can make the most of the picnic area, enjoy a barbeque and watch the sun set. If youd prefer not to slave over a hot stove on your holiday, a hearty farmhouse breakfast and home cooked meals can be delivered to your cottage on request and there are plenty of great restaurants nearby. A personal welcome is guaranteed as owners Alwyn and Sharon Ellis live on the farm with their two daughters, Gwenllian and Elin. Book early to avoid disappointment, pets welcome.

ORIEL TONNAU GALLERY 21 Stryd Penlan, Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 5DE Tel: 01758 612806 e-mail: llio@tonnau.com website: www.tonnau.com
Situated in the heart of the seaside town of Pwllheli, Oriel Tonnau Gallery opened its doors for the first time in 2006 with the aim of making high quality Welsh creative talents accessible to all. The sea theme within the gallery brings together the unique styles of more than sixty artists who exhibit here. The broad range of contemporary work on display includes original paintings, photographs, prints, glass art, blacksmith art, crafts, textiles, jewellery and greetings cards. The exhibitions are changed three times a year, which means there is always something new to enjoy at the gallery for regular visitors. Owners Llio Meirion and Myrddin ap Dafydd have created a friendly and informal atmosphere within the gallery, making the experience of visiting enjoyable and relaxing. Behind the deceptively small shop front you will find a long building with plenty of well lit exhibiting space. At the end of the gallery there is a delightful tea room serving local homemade cakes. Many of the artists accept commissions, so if you cannot find exactly what you are looking it is worth asking a member of staff about commission work. You can also purchase many items through their website.

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The Llyn Peninsula Pwllheli


A Penarth Fawr B Lifeboat Station

Pwllheli is the chief town of the Lleyn Peninsula and is often referred to as the jewel in the Welsh scenic crown. Like Nefyn, it was granted a charter in 1355. This was given by the Black Prince to Nigel de Loryng, the local lord of the manor who had helped the Prince win the Battle of Poitiers. A popular holiday resort with all the usual amusements, this is also still a market town with a market held each Wednesday. Its once busy port, where wine was imported from the Continent, is now home to pleasure craft, with a 420-berth marina and an annual sailing regatta. During the season, boat trips are available to Bardsey Island. As well as being an ancient town, Pwllheli has played its part in the more recent history of Wales. During the National Eisteddfod in 1925, three members of the Army of Welsh Home Rulers met with three members of the Welsh Movement at the towns Temperance Hotel and joined forces to form the political party, Plaid Cymru. The hotel, on the market square, is now a pet shop but a plaque commemorates the meeting.

Pwllhelis Lifeboat Station operates an allweather carriage-launched Mersey Class boat and an inshore D craft. The station can be visited from 10am to 3pm daily. Just a mile inland from the resort is Penarth Fawr, an interesting 15th-century manor house with an unusual aisle truss hall and a fireplace dated to 1615. For children, Glasfryn Parc offers a wide range of activities including go-karting, indoor play areas, archery, fishing and ten pin bowling.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Around Pwllheli
LLANYSTUMDWY 6 miles E of Pwllheli on the A497
A Highgate A Parish Church of St John C Memorial Gates B Lloyd George Museum G David Lloyd George E Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm & Farm Park

This peaceful little coastal village is best known as being the home of David Lloyd George, the Member of Parliament for Caernarfon for 55 years and the Prime Minister who, from 1916, was responsible for social reform as well as seeing the country through the end of World War I and its aftermath. Though born in Manchester, Lloyd George grew up here, and his childhood

ELUNED GIFTS EMPORIUM 41 High Street, Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 5RT Tel: 01758 614788 e-mail: marionjones@btinternet.com website: www.eluned.co.uk
Marion Jones opened this charming gift shop three years ago, selling a fantastic range of sweets, chocolates, small toys and many other inspired gifts. Within the four rooms that make up the Eluned Gifts Emporium youll find a dazzling assortment of home and garden accessories including many well known brands such as Gisela Graham tableware and mugs, and beautiful jewellery from Carrie Elspeth Fashion. Marion also offers bespoke wedding services to include beautiful table decorations, invitations and flower arrangements.

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home, Highgate, is now just as it would have been when the great statesman lived there. The Lloyd George Museum features a Victorian schoolroom and an exhibition of the life of this reforming Liberal politician. It is open Easter to October, and at other times by appointment. When Lloyd George died in 1945, he was buried beneath the boulder where he used to sit and think while young. It stands on the outskirts of the village, across the river from the Parish Church of St John. Opposite his grave is a set of Memorial Gates presented to the village by Pwllheli in 1952. They feature an elephant and a castle elephants are part of the towns coat of arms. He won this tribute in Parliament from Winston Churchill: As a man of action, resource and creative energy he stood, when at his zenith, without a rival. His name is a household word throughout our Commonwealth of Nations. He was the greatest Welshman, which that unconquerable race has produced since the age of the Tudors. Much of his work abides, some of it will grow greatly in the future, and those who come after us will find the pillars of his lifes toil upstanding, massive and indestructible. Visitors to the Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm & Farm Park at Llanystumdwy will meet

rabbits of various breeds and other friendly animals including Shetland ponies, lambs and goats. Pony rides are available, and theres a caf and a play area.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

CRICCIETH 8 miles E of Pwllheli on the A497


A Criccieth Castle I Criccieth Festival A Parish Church of St Catherine

Criccieth Castle

This small family resort lies near the northeast corner of Cardigan Bay and enjoys fine views down the Llyn coastline and north-eastwards to Snowdonia. Unlike many of the other resorts on the peninsula, Criccieth is more reminiscent of a south coast seaside town than one set in North Wales. An attractive Victorian town, it is dominated by Criccieth Castle, which stands on a rocky outcrop with commanding views over the sea. Built in the early 13th century by Llywelyn the Great as a stronghold of the native Welsh princes, it was captured in 1283 and extended by Edward I; but the core of the structure the powerful twin towered gatehouse still exists from the original fortification. Despite Edwards strengthening of the defences, in 1404 the castle was taken by Owain Glyndwr and burnt and the castle walls still bear the scorch marks. One of the best preserved of the 13th century castles to be found in the North Wales countryside, the romantic ruins of Criccieth Castle have inspired many artists down the centuries including JMW Turner, who used it as the backdrop for a famous painting of stormwrecked sailors. The annual Criccieth Festival is renowned for its traditional

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

ANDREW KIME FRPS The Golden Eagle Gallery, 42 High Street, Criccieth, Gwynedd LL52 0EY Tel: 01766 522554 or 07802 384306 e-mail: info@imagesofsnowdonia.com website: www.imagesofsnowdonia.com
Andrew Kime is, without a doubt, Snowdonias leading landscape photographer. He discovered his passion for landscape photography at the age of seven and nowadays this passion is also his profession. His work is exhibited, alongside the work of other local photographers, at The Golden Eagle Gallery in Criccieth. Since moving to live within the Snowdonia National Park over ten years ago, Andrew has captured many stunning images that convey the sheer natural beauty of the area. With its mountains, lakes, moors, woodland and coast, he calls the area a photographers dream and professes that he still has much more of this unique and wonderful landscape to discover and explore. At both The Golden Eagle Gallery and via Andrews website there is the opportunity to browse and purchase his photographs as signed, high quality prints & canvases. The gallery is open 6 days a week, (3 days during the winter months of January to March, although Andrew will open by appointment at other times). His photographs are frequently published in photography and nature magazines and on calendars and cards. You may even have seen them on ITVs Waterworld and Countrywise. Andrew also runs a successful range of photography workshops at both beginner and advanced levels.

Celtic music and song. The Parish Church of St Catherine was founded on what is thought to be the site of a Celtic monastery by Edward I when he captured the castle and gave Criccieth its royal charter in 1284. In about 1500 it was enlarged by the addition of a northern isle and arcade, and in the 19th century it was fully restored, with the aisle (which was in imminent danger of collapsing) being rebuilt.

LLANGYBI 5 miles NE of Pwllheli off the B4354


C St Cybis Well C Garn Pentyrch

St Cybi was in the process of setting up religious cells and a monastery in Holyhead. It is sheltered by an unusual building with beehive vaulting, which is thought to be unique in Wales. Behind it is the Iron Age fort of Garn Pentyrch. A story tells of a boy who played with the fairies among the stones of Garn Pentrych, and who eventually disappeared for two years, though he looked no older when he came back. The Parish Church of Llangybi is medieval, and services are held here only five times a year.

NEFYN 12 miles NW of Pwllheli off the A499


A Old St Marys Church C Garn Boduan B Llyen Historical and Maritime Museum

Just to the north of the village is St Cybis Well, which was reputed to have curative properties for such diseases and illnesses as warts, blindness, scurvy and rheumatism. The well was established in the 6th century when

Once a herring fishing village, this resort was granted a charter in 1355, along with Pwllheli,

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

GLASFRYN PARC Y Ffor, nr Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 6PG Tel: 01766 810202 e-mail: info@glasfryn.co.uk website: www.glasfryn.co.uk FARM SHOP AND BUTCHERS
Located in the shadows of the distinctive Arthurian Eifl mountain range, overlooking the stunning coastline of Bae Ceredigion, Glasfryn Farm Shop is extremely popular with people all over the country. The award-winning farm shop prides itself on selling quality fresh, local and seasonal Welsh produce. It has a strong local following and its farm-raised meat is available directly from the farm shop and delivery order across the UK. As well as offering traditionally cured bacon, burgers, sausages (including gluten free), game, vegetables and produce, homemade ready meals, puddings, and preserves are also on sale alongside handmade Welsh chocolates, biscuits and salsas. The Welsh Black Beef and lamb that is sold in the shop, is used in the homemade meals, and is raised on the farm at Glasfryn.

HOLIDAY COTTAGES
Whether youre looking for an adrenalin packed weekend, a romantic hideaway or a larger gathering of family and friends, our charming self-catering holiday cottages offer the ideal places to stay. Seven quality cottages sleeping two to 14 people. Personally supervised, guests return year on year. Most cottages have sea views, all have woodburning stoves, central heating, and are surrounded by beautiful gardens, woodlands and lakes. Within a short hop of Glasfryn Activity Parc they are conveniently located for those seeking the thrills of go karts, wakeboarding and quad biking. Yet all offer seclusion and tranquility on a real working farming estate.

ACTIVITY CENTRE & WAKEPARK


Open every day from 9am until late; Glasfryn Activity Parc is popular with families keen to enjoy a family day out in North Wales. The centre has an endless list of activities on offer including gokarting, wakeboarding, archery, quad biking and ten pin bowling. Situated at the heart of the Llyn Peninsula, the activity centre is one of the most popular and wellknown in Wales. There are activities for all ages, with a fantastic soft play centre that is always a favourite with younger visitors. The play area has a separate ball pool, play mat area and a play frame for older children. There is a cafe and separate dining room which serves delicious home cooked meals from 9am 9pm.

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by the Black Prince. It was here in 1284 that Edward I celebrated his conquest over Wales. Housed in Old St Marys Church, whose tower supports a sailing ship weather vane, is the Lleyn Historical and Maritime Museum, an excellent place to visit to find out more about this interesting and beautiful part of Wales. On the hilltop above Nefyn is the spectacularly sited Nefyn Golf Course. As one golfer remarked playing here is literally playing on the edge of the world it makes the adrenaline pump! A 26-hole championship course, it provides a view of the sea from every hole. To the southwest of Nefyn is Garn Boduan, an Iron Age hill fort where the foundations of over 100 buildings can still be seen. Three defensive walls surrounded the fort, though its position alone made it almost impregnable. It can be accessed from the

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Garn Boduan, Nefyn

B4354, close to its junction with the A497. Just to the west of Nefyn aound the headland is the picture-postcard village of Porthdinllaen, owned by the National Trust. One of the most photographed locations in Wales, it consists of a pub, a cluster of cottages and a lifeboat house. The sandy beach here is regarded by many as the best in the Llyn Peninsula.

THE OLD RECTORY Boduan, Nefyn, nr Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 6DT Tel: 01758 721519 e-mail: theashcrofts@theoldrectory.net website: www.theoldrectory.net
The Old Rectory is a unique and special place to base your visit to The Llyn Peninsula, with great walks and beaches close by. New owners Gary and Lindsay Ashcroft extend a warm welcome to new and returning guests and offer an outstanding level of service. There are three individually styled and comfortably furnished guest bedrooms complete with twin of super king-size beds and en-suite bathrooms. All of the rooms enjoy garden views and benefit from televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryers and complimentary sherry and bottled water. The hearty home cooked traditional or continental breakfasts will set you up for the day ahead. They feature delicious local and home made bread, jams and marmalades. In addition to these rooms there is a beautiful self-catering cottage which sleeps up to 6 people. It has inglenook fireplace, two bedrooms, bathroom and shower room and benefits from a private sunny garden. The location is ideal for those wishing to explore Snowdonia National Park, play golf or take part in sailing and other water sports. Caernarfon Castle is only 30 minutes north and there is stunning countryside and coasts to explore on the beautiful Llyn Peninsula. When you want to relax and unwind there are plenty of comfortable sofas and books to read in the beautiful drawing room, with log fire in the cooler months, or sit and enjoy the tranquil gardens.

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10

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

THE LION HOTEL Tudweiliog, nr Nefyn, Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 8ND Tel: 01758 770244 e-mail: martlee.lion@gmail.com website: www.lionhoteltudweiliog.co.uk
The Lee family warmly welcome you to The Lion Hotel which is perfectly placed on the northern coastline of the Lleyn Peninsular with stunning beaches only half a mile away. Situated in the heart of a peaceful village, this pub is a long standing favourite with locals and tourists alike, offering quality accommodation, food and drink all year round. The constantly changing menu features daily specials and reflects the areas best seasonal produce. All meals are made using locally sourced produce where possible and all dishes are freshly cooked to order. Diners here strongly recommend the dessert creations on offer, which also change daily. The bar offers a selection of real ales and a good selection of soft drinks, lagers and fine wines. The owners dont take table bookings, preferring to work on a more casual first come first served basis. Outside there is ample car parking and a lovely beer garden with tables, chairs and benches allowing guests to take advantage of al fresco dining. There is even a small play area to keep children entertained. The Bed and Breakfast accommodation comprises four comfortably furnished and tastefully decorated en-suite bedrooms equipped with flat screen televisions, WiFI and tea and coffee making facilities.

PEN LLYN LUSITANO STUD & RIDING CENTRE Llaniestyn, nr Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 8SW Tel: 01341 730741 e-mail: penllynlusitanos@aol.com website: www.lusitanocymru.co.uk
The Pendlebury family has been breeding and training horses at the Pen Llyn Lusitano Stud & Riding Centre on the beautiful Lleyn Peninsula for over 35 years. It is recognised as one of the foremost studs in the land, holding the finest bloodlines. The riding centre is open all year offering riding breaks for all ages and skill levels, from beginners to the most experienced. Riders can trek along quiet country lanes, in the mountains and on the nearby beaches. There are pure- and part-bred Lusitanos for sale and the unique way of training at Pen Llyn, with patience and kindness, means that many clients buy and keep their horses at the centres livery stables. The beautifully even-tempered Lusitano horses are ideal for dressage, and the centre offers lessons in classical dressage. Janine Pendlebury was born into riding and gives wonderful displays and theatre events all over the country. The Pendleburys run Autism clinics at Pen Llyn and train other riding centres to help disadvantaged children in the UK. Rowan Isaacsons life was transformed through the motion of riding Lusitano horses, which helped to control his autism. His father, Rupert, wrote the best-seller Horse Boy about his sons experience, which has now been made into a film. Rupert states that Janine Pendlebury is a true genius (she is) able to take all the stress out of dressage and replace it with joy.

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11

TREFOR 8 miles NW of Pwllheli on the A499


C Trer Ceiri D Yr Eifl D Gurn Ddu D Bwlch Mawr

LLANBEDROG 3 miles SW of Pwllheli on the A499


A Plas Glyn y Weddw A Parish Church of St Pedrog C Myndd Tir y Cwmwd H Tin Man

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

This coastal former quarry village is dominated by Yr Eifl (The Rivals), which rises to the southwest and from whose 1850 foot summit there are stunning views out over Caernarfon Bay to Anglesey and across the Llyn Peninsula. On the south-eastern slopes of the hill is Trer Ceiri (Town of Giants), one of the finest Iron Age forts in the country. A stone wall surrounds this once heavily populated circle of 150 huts, some of it three feet high. The road between here and Clynnog Fawr passes by the Gurn Ddu and Bwlch Mawr hills, which sweep down towards the sandy beach.

Named after the 6th century St Pedrog, this enchanting village boasts a fine beach with multi-coloured beach huts and one of the oldest public art galleries in Wales, Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw. In 1896, this imposing neoGothic mansion was bought by a Cardiff Businessman, Solomon Andrews, who developed it into a centre of the arts, complete with pleasure gardens. Inside, theres an astonishing hallway with galleries, an enormous stained glass window, and an impressive hammer beam roof. The exhibitions combine items from the gallerys permanent collection and touring works,

LAVENDER HOUSE Bron y Berth, Penrhos, Abersoch, Gwynedd LL53 7HL Tel: 01758 614343 website: www.lovelavenderhouse.co.uk
Accessories Gifts and Furniture Retail Outlet Lavender House has something for everyone, whether it is a small memento of your visit, or a stylish decorative piece. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, browsers are always welcome. We have an extensive selection of Homeware, Gifts, Jewellery, as well as a large selection of Furniture. Our showroom is attractively converted into room settings that display our products beautifully to give you inspiration. We have bespoke pieces of Glassware also Driftwood Coastal pieces. Stock is frequently changing so there is always something different to see. There is a large free car park. Its well worth a visit as we are open 7 days a week. NEW: We are also looking to develop an irresistible Coffee/Tea and Cake Shop Spring 2011. Hope to see you soon... Lavender House is situated just off the A499, 3 miles from Pwllheli on the Abersoch Road.

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usually with a Welsh theme. Another attraction here is the delightful conservatory overlooking the sea. From the beach, a steepish path leads to the summit of Myndd Tir y Cwmwd and some stunning views. Also surveying the vista is the Tin Man a striking modern sculpture built locally and made of beachcombed material

ABERSOCH 6 miles SW of Pwllheli on the A499


A Castellmarch E Tudwals Islands F March Amheirchion

A popular family resort with safe beaches, Abersoch is noted for its many watersporting activities. It is home to Wakestock, the annual wakeboarding and music festival. The towns sheltered harbour attracts a wide variety of pleasure craft. Just off the coast lie St

Tudwals Islands named after the saint who founded a religious cell there in the 6th century. Both islands are now privately owned and are the home of bird sanctuaries. The site of the 17th century mansion, Castellmarch, was said to be the home of March Amheirchion, one of King Arthurs knights. Reputed to have the ears of a horse, March (the name is Welsh for horse) kept them hidden and killed anyone who saw them burying the bodies in a nearby reed bed. However, one day a man cut one of the reeds to make a pipe and, when it was played, it made no sound other than the words, March has horses ears. When March heard about this, he set off to kill the man for mocking him, but relented when he himself tried to play the pipe and got exactly the same words. Thereafter he made no attempt to hide his ears.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

THE SUN INN / TAFARN YR HAUL Llanengan, Abersoch, Gwynedd LL53 7LG Tel: 01752 712660 e-mail: yrhaul@hotmail.com
Offering fine dining at reasonable prices, The Sun Inn is just five minutes from the sea and is a favourite with locals and visitors to the area. Locally sourced fish, tasty steaks and succulent gammon are among the most popular dishes with diners here. Many pop in for refreshments or something to eat after walking the nearby coastal path or sandy beach and are still able to enjoy some fantastic views from the comfort of the pub. The cosy bar area has two wonderful bay windows and from the outdoor patio area customers can take in views across to Hells Mouth. The outside tables are really popular with families and diners in the summer months, with many people choosing to dine al fresco. Diners are advised to book for the Carvery on a Sunday lunchtime. Three real ales are served at The Sun Inn and there is a good variety of wines and lagers available from the well-stocked bar. This pub is a fantastic find and is the ideal place to relax, unwind and sample some delicious cuisine.

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RHIW 11 miles SW of Pwllheli off the B4413


A Plas yn Rhiw G RS Thomas

LLANFAELRYS 12 miles SW of Pwllheli off the B4413


A Parish Church of St Maelrhys

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

This hamlet lies in a miniature pass and overlooks Porth Neigwl (Hells Mouth), a four mile sweep of beach so called because of its reputation for strong currents. It is now a favourite place for wind surfing. Sheltered from strong gales by Mynydd Rhiw, Plas yn Rhiw is a small, part-medieval, part-Tudor, part-Georgian manor house that was given to the National Trust in 1952 by the unconventional Keating sisters from Nottingham. The three spinsters, Eileen, Lorna and Honora, purchased the property in 1938 and lovingly restored it after it had lain neglected for some 20 years. This they did with the help of their friend Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect of Portmeirion. The house is surrounded by glorious grounds, which were also restored by the sisters, providing fabulous views over Porth Neigwl. Visitors can wander through ornamental gardens and, in the spring, the bluebell and snowdrop woodlands. At one time the poet and clergyman RS Thomas (19132000) lived in one of the estate cottages where he wrote some of his finest poetry.

The delightful Parish Church of St Maelrhys is a simple oblong measuring about 42 feet long by 12 feet wide. The nave and font date from the 15th century.

ABERDARON 13 miles SW of Pwllheli on the B4413


A Parish Church of St Hywyn C Castel Odo

Plas yn Rhiw

The small and delightful village of Aberdaron, the lands end of the peninsula, boasts the unusual distinction of being further from a railway station than anywhere else in England and Wales. This small and charming village features in history books because of a treaty signed here in 1405. The Tripartite Indenture made Wales independent under the rule of Owain Glyndwr. The English later reneged on the deal. Close to the sea, and originally dating from the 6th century, the Parish Church of St Hywyn is thought to have sheltered the 12th century Prince of Wales, Gryffydd ap Rhys, from marauding Saxons. During the Civil War, it once again proved a place of sanctuary as Cromwells soldiers also sought refuge here. It was founded in the 6th century by St Hywyn. Its oldest parts date from the 12th century, though most of the building dates from an enlargement made in 1417. It was closely associated with the abbey on Bardsey Island, and had the right of sanctuary. One of Aberdarons most famous native sons was Richard Robert Jones, the son of a local carpenter. A strange vagabond, known as Dic Aberdaron, this self-educated linguist is said to have

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spoken 35 languages and is renowned for having compiled dictionaries in Welsh, Greek and Hebrew. The minister at St Hywyns for many years was the celebrated poet RS Thomas (1913-2000). He wrote many inspired lines about his beloved country, summed up in this extract: Every mountain and stream, every farm and little lane announces to the world that landscape is something different in Wales. A mile or so from the village lies Castel Odo, an Iron Age fort providing evidence that there have been five different occupations of the peninsula dating back to the 4th century BC.

UWCHMYNYDD 15 miles SW of Pwllheli off the B4413


A Church of St Mary C Porth Oer D Mynydd Mawr D Braich-y-Pwll

side of the Peninsula, Porth Ysgo and Penarfyndd cover 245 acres of beaches and cliffs, while two miles northwest of the village, Mynydd Anelog is an 116-acre area of ancient commonland with the remains of prehistoric hut circles. Here, as in the other NT stretches of coastland on the Peninsula, is found our friend the chough, a relative of the crow with a distinctive red bill. Apart from here, this rare bird is usually found only in Pembrokeshire and on a part of the western coast of Scotland. The curiously named Porth Oer (Whistling Sands), located off the B4417 by Methlem, is worth a visit as at certain stages of the tide the sands seem literally to whistle when walked upon. The noise is caused by the rubbing together of minute quartz granules.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

BARDSEY ISLAND 17 miles SW of Pwllheli off the B4413


A Abbey of St Mary A Lord Newboroughs Crypt

A Lighthouse C Hermits Cave Situated on the wild and beautiful tip of the Llyn Peninsula, it was from here that the first According to tradition, some 20,000 saints are pilgrims set out across the two-mile wide Barsey Sound to Bardsey Island in the Middle Ages. On the summit of Mynydd Mawr, the National Trust has converted an old coastguard hut into a small information point. The National Trust is responsible for much of the land towards the tip of the Lleyn Peninsula, including the ecologically outstanding coastal heath of Braich-y-Pwll where the ruins of the Church of St Mary, once used by the pilgrims, can still be seen. This heath is the spring and summer home of a variety of plant life and birds, including fulmars, kittiwakes, cormorants, guillemots and the rare chough. A similar variety has its home on the tiny islands of Dinas Fawr and Dinas Bach. Five miles east of Aberdaron, on the south
Porth Oer, Bardsey Island

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buried on this wild, whale-shaped island in the Irish Sea. Since medieval times it has been a place of pilgrimage and has inspired many legends. One says that this is King Arthurs Avalon, another that his magician Merlin sleeps in a glass castle on the island. Settlement of the island is thought to have begun during the Dark Ages, although it was the death of St Dyfrig on Bardsey in AD522 that initiated the stream of pilgrims. At one time it was considered that three pilgrimages to this holy island was equivalent to one to Rome. Little remains of the 12th century monastery and the island is now an important bird and field observatory. Bardsey is best known for its vast numbers of breeding shearwaters. The Bardsey Island Trust runs a boat from Pwllheli most days and, if the weather is favourable, also picks up from from the hidden fishing cove of Porth Meudwy by Aberdaron. Next to the abbey ruins is Lord Newboroughs Crypt, where the once owner of the island is buried. There is also the Hermits Cave, though it is doubtful if a hermit ever lived here, as it is too small. The Lighthouse on the south of the island was erected in 1821, and is the only square lighthouse maintained by Trinity House. The islands name is Norse in origin, and the Welsh name, Ynys Enlii, means Island of

Currents a reference to the treacherous waters that separate Bardsey from the mainland.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Llanberis
A Dolbadarn Castle B Welsh Slate Museum D Snowdon C Snowdon Mountain Railway C Llanberis Lake Railway C Electric Mountain C Dinorwig Power Station D Llyn Llydaw D Padarn Country Park D Glyder Fawr D Pass of Llanberis G Marged Ifan J Kingfisher Trail I Snowdon Race I Snowdon Marathon E Cwm Derwen Woodland and Wildlife Centre

Llanberis Pass

Occupying a superb lakeside location, Llanberis is effectively Base Camp for walkers preparing to tackle the 3560 foot-high bulk of Snowdon. This is the highest peak in Wales and the most climbed mountain in Britain. On a clear day, the view from the summit is breathtaking, with Ireland sometimes visible. Many reach the summit the easy way, with the help of the Snowdon Mountain Railway, Britains only rack and pinion system built in 1896 that has carried millions to the top of the mountain over the years. It is not surprising that this mountainous and inhospitable area is also steeped in legend and mystery. The eagles of Snowdon have long been regarded as oracles of peace and war, triumph and disaster, and Snowdons peak is said to be a cairn erected over the grave of a giant who was killed by King Arthur. Llyn Llydaw, a lake just below Snowdon, is yet another contender for the Lady of the Lake story. Arthur himself is supposed to have been fatally wounded at the

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Battle of Camlann, which some people have identified with cwm-y-llan, or the valley of the lake. For those wanting another train ride, or are content with a more sedate journey, the Llanberis Lake Railway near Llanberis takes a short trip round Llyn Padarn, during, which there are several different views of the mountain. The railway runs through Padarn Country Park, which gives access to 800 acres of Snowdonias countryside and also includes Llyn (Lake) Padarn. The Kingfisher Trail is designed specifically for wheelchairs. By the side of the lake is Cwm Derwen Woodland and Wildlife Centre, with a woodland discovery trail and a timewalk exhibition with an audio-visual display. Here, too, is the Welsh Slate Museum, which tells the story of the slate industry through a variety of exhibitions, a restored slate-carrying incline, a terrace of quarrymens cottages, audio-visual shows and demonstrations. The De Winton waterwheel is the second largest in Britain and once provided all the power for slate mines. Bus tours take visitors deep into the mountain tunnels and the machinery rooms of the Electric Mountain, which control the vast quantities of water used by Dinorwig Power Station. In Europes largest man-made cavern the worlds most powerful hydroelectric generators are in action. In such a rugged setting, where life has always been harsh, it comes as no surprise to find that it is said that the strongest woman ever to have lived came from Llanberis. Born in 1696, Marged Ifan died at the ripe old age of 105. At 70, it was said, she could outwrestle any man in Wales and could also catch as many foxes in one year as the local huntsmen in 10. After receiving many offers of marriage, Marged is said to have chosen

the smallest and most effeminate of her suitors. Tradition has it that she only beat her husband twice: after the first beating he married her and after the second he became an ardent churchgoer! The Snowdon Race takes place every July, leaving from Llanberis, and finishing there as well. The mountain is five miles away, and is 3560 feet high. The Snowdon Marathon, held every October, also starts and finishes at Llanberis. The Pass of Llanberis (along the A4086) is one of the most desolate stretches of road in Wales and is dominated by Snowdon to the south and the curiously shaped Glyder Fawr (3279 feet) to the north. Sheep graze beside the narrow road, which in some places is almost blocked by boulders and rocks. This area provided a suitably barren terrain for the exterior scenes in the film Carry On Up The Khyber Guarding the entrance to the pass and overlooking Llyn Padarn are the substantial remains of Dolbadarn Castle, which was built by Llywelyn the Great. After the battle of Bryn Derwin, where Llywelyn defeated his two brothers, the victor held Owain ap Gryffydd prisoner here for some 22 years. The last stronghold of the independent princes of Gwynedd, it was from here, in 1283, that Dafydd ap Gryffydd fled from the English forces of Edward I.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Around Llanberis
NANT PERIS 2 miles SE of Llanberis on the A4086
A Parish Church of St Peris C Well of Peris

Once known as Old Llanberis, the village lies at the opposite end of Llyn Peris from its larger

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namesake Llanberis and at the entrance to the Pass of Llanberis. The Parish Church of St Peris dates originally from the 12th century and is worth visiting because of its 15thcentury ceiling and chancel screen with a poor box having three locks. It stands on the site of St Periss original church, and was founded in the 6th century. The Pass of Llanberis was once known as Nant y Mynach, or valley of the monks, and it may refer to the foundation of the early church. The Well of Peris, which lies just north of the village centre, was, until relatively recently, much visited for its healing powers, as well as for making wishes. A successful request was said to be signalled by the appearance of a sacred fish.

Porthmadog
B Maritime Museum B Ffestiniog Railway B Welsh Highland Railway B Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

Porthmadog enjoys a stunning setting with Moel y Gest rising almost 800 feet as a backdrop and the wide expanse of the Glaslyn estuary stretching to the north and east. At low tide, cattle graze alongside herons and other seabirds and waders. Its a bustling town with many family-run

specialist shops and restaurants, and an open air market every Friday from Easter to Christmas. The towns attractions include one of the rare cinemas in this area, the Porthmadog Pottery, where visitors can try throwing pots, and the Rob Piercy Gallery featuring works by local artists. Just over 200 years ago there was nothing but marshland where Porthmadog now stands. Its transformation was the work of one man, William Madocks, who was also responsible for neighbouring Tremadog. Member of Parliament for Boston, Lincolnshire, and a great entrepreneur, Madocks drained the mud flats that made up this estuary to create land for grazing cattle in the early 19th century. The Cob embankment, built to keep the tides at bay, enclosed some 7,000 acres of land and the River Glaslyn was re-routed to produce a deep water channel that was ideal for the docks. Naming Porthmadog after himself (nearby Tremadog was named after his brother), Madocks saw the beginning of the blossoming of the town in the 1820s. The history of the town and its waterfront is described in the Maritime Museum where the importance of the trade in slate and Porthmadogs shipbuilding industry is told. The work was completed in the 1820s and the towns economy began to thrive. At its peak, some

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

QUEENS HOTEL Station Road, Porthmadog, Snowdonia LL49 9HT Tel: 01766 512583 website: www.hotelporthmadog.com
The Queens Hotel occupies a beautiful period building dating back to the 18th century. Its former life as a school is now far behind it with the owners having converted it into a high end hotel attracting business clients and holiday makers alike. Comfortable accommodation includes nine single, double and family rooms, six with en-suite facilities. The hotel restaurant offers an impressive menu of home cooked food with a choice of a la carte dishes and a large vegetarian selection. Food is served from 11am to 10pm daily. Awarded three stars by the Welsh Tourist Board.

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST


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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

JENNYS CAFE & RESTAURANT 8-12 High Street, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9LP Tel: 01766 513760 website: www.jennysrestaurant.co.uk
Jennys would like to offer her customers a warm welcome and provide a unique dinning experience within the Snowdonia region. A traditional family business that prides itself on producing homemade food that has something to suit everyones taste. Established eleven years ago Jenny has developed an ever growing reputation, with locals and visitors alike enjoying the hospitality and treats on offer. The restaurant offers a wide variety of dining options from early morning breakfast for a hearty start to the day, through lunchtime with daily specials available and Sunday Roast to late afternoon dining, also on offer is a Junior Menu for the younger customers. Jennys cafe offers the option of a lighter meal or snack, with the deli section within the cafe having a vast array of takeaway available and picnic hampers. Favourites from the deli section include the home roasted meats, pies, salads, with special requests catered for. For those summer days we have outdoor seating available. Special occasions are catered for in the function room and outdoor catering is also provided. No visit to Jennys is complete without tasting one of the many puddings on offer, with favourites including Queen of Puddings, Traditional Fruit Pies, Bread & Butter, Traditional Rice Pudding, and a vast array of Tray Baked Treats, with the towering Lemon Meringue Pie always getting extra special attention from Jennys customers. However, as with the early bird, get there early to treat yourself to these delights. Jennys is able to provide seating for up to fifty in the cafe, eighty in the restaurant and a further forty five in the function room. There is disabled access and toilets available. Jennys, where possible, endeavours to use local produce including meats from the award winning Glasfryn Parc Farm, fish from the award winning Llandudno Smokery and dairy from South Caernarfon Creameries. Jennys is located in Porthmadog on the High Street next to the Harbour, and two minute walk from the Ffestiniog Welsh Railway. There is customer parking avaialble at the rear of the premises.

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116,000 tons of Blaenau Ffestiniog slate left Porthmadog heading for ports around the globe. Porthmadog is also home to both the recently extended Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway, the worlds oldest narrow track passenger-carrying railway. It winds its way up 650 feet to the slate mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog, a journey of some 13 miles passing through stunning scenery. Maintaining the theme of transport, the Madog Car and Motorcycle Museum displays a gleaming collection of vintage British vehicles from the 1930s to the 1950s. Just to the southwest of Porthmadog, Black Rock Sands is one of the few beaches in Britain where you can step out of your car straight onto the sands, which stretch as far as the eye can see. The surrounding dunes are a site of special scientific interest and provide glorious views across the whole of Cardigan Bay.

Porthmadog, by William Alexander Madocks, is a wonderful example of early 19th-century town planning and contains many fine Regency buildings. Madocks, who was the MP for Boston in Lincolnshire, bought the land in 1798 and built Tremadog on the reclaimed land in classical style, with broad streets and a handsome market square framed by a backdrop of cliffs. He hoped that the town would be a key point on the intended main route from the south of England to Ireland, but his rivals in Parliament preferred the North Wales route, with Holyhead becoming the principal port. The little town of Tremadog, with its well-planned streets and fine buildings, remains as a memorial to Madocks, who died in Paris in 1828, where he is buried in the Pre Lachaise cemetery. Peniel Methodist Chapel is unusual in that it is in the shape of a Greek temple, while the Parish Church of St Mary is a good example of a Gothic revival church. Inside is a plaque commemorating the Madocks family. The soldier and author TE Lawrence TREMADOG (of Arabia) was born in Tremadog in 1888, at 2 miles NW of Porthmadog on the A487 Snowdon House, now a backpackers hostel, A Peniel Methodist Chapel and the poet Shelley and his wife stayed in A Parish Church of St Mary G TE Lawrence the town for several weeks in the autumn and This village, developed, like its close neighbour winter of 1812-13.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Around Porthmadog

THE UNION INN Market Square, Tremadog, Gwynedd LL4 99R Tel: 01766 512748 website: www.union-inn.com
Charlotte and Peta Panter and their family have been running The Union Inn for the past four years, creating a vibrant and friendly atmosphere for their guests who can expect to enjoy a great mix of a la carte dining, cosy bars with wood burning stoves and sunny terraces for lazy afternoon drinks. A professional chef delivers speciality steaks and homemade curries, with a wealth of vegetarian options daily from 12-2pm and 5:30-9pm. A host of finely kept real ales are also available with traditional Welsh brews like Purple Moose in plenty. The Union is a big part of the local community and holds a weekly quiz night.

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GOLAN 4 miles NW of Porthmadog off the A487


A Brynkir Woollen Mill

PORTMEIRION 4 miles SE of Porthmadog off the A487


A Plas Brondanw A Brondanw H Portmeirion Pottery

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Between the entrances to two wonderful valleys, Cwm Pennant and Cwm Ystradllyn, and a mile off the A487 Porthmadog to Caernarfon road, is the Brynkir Woollen Mill. Originally a corn mill, it was converted over 150 years ago for woollen cloth production and, though now modernised (the River Henwy is used to generate electricity although the waterwheel still turns), visitors can still see the various machines that are used in the production process: Tenterhook Willey, carders, spinning mules, doubling and hanking machines, cheese and bobbin winder, warping mill and looms. A wide variety of woollen products made at the mill are on sale.

This very special village, in a wonderful setting on a wooded peninsula overlooking Traeth Bay, was conceived and created by the Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1972. An inveterate campaigner against the spoiling of Britains landscape, he set out to illustrate that building in a beautiful location did not mean spoiling the environment. In looks, this is the least Welsh place in Wales: the 50 or so buildings, some of, which consist only of a faade, were inspired by a visit Williams-Ellis made to Sorrento and Portofino in Italy. In the 1960s, the village provided some exotic settings for the cult TV

Portmeirion Village and Gardens


Portmeirion, Gwynedd LL48 6ET Tel: 01766 770000 Fax: 01766 771331 website: www.portmeirion-village.com
Few places in Wales, or indeed anywhere else, are as fascinating as Portmeirion, the brainchild of the inspired Welsh architect, conservationist and tireless campaigner for the environment Sir Clough WilliamsEllis. On his own private peninsula on the coast of Snowdonia, he designed Portmeirion to show how a beautiful place could be developed without spoiling it. He transformed the site into a largely Italian-inspired fantasy, building some properties and rescuing others from elsewhere and rebuilding them here. Nothing is ordinary, and visitors will find a surprise at every turn - a castle, a lighthouse, a bell tower, a town hall, a triumphal arch, a tollgate, grottoes, statues and colonnades. Clough Williams-Ellis opened the main house as a hotel, and from the start Portmeirion attracted the famous; Nol Coward wrote Blithe Spirit while staying here in 1941. The hotel has 14 guest rooms, and 26 more are spread among the houses and 11 in Castell Deudraeth, a superbly modernised Victorian mansion. There are restaurants and several shops, two of them selling the famous Portmeirion pottery and one selling memorabilia of the cult TV series The Prisoner, which was filmed here. The woodland gardens are an attraction in their own right, and beautiful gardens also surround the Clough Williams-Ellis ancestral home at nearby Plas Brondanw.

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

D G DAVIES FAMILY BUTCHER High Street, Penrhyndeudraeth, nr Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL48 6BN Tel: 01766 770239
In the same family for nearly 30 years, D G Davies Family Butcher has built up a fine reputation for quality and service to its customers. Glyn and Medwyn set great store by prime Welsh produce, including Conwy Valley and Salt Marsh lamb, Welsh Black beef and pork from the Dee valley. Venison comes from Scotland, and winter game mainly from Shropshire. This outstanding butcher cures its own bacon and sells a variety of sausages (including gluten-free) and burgers, as well as bulk supplies for the home freezer. Also on display in the cool cabinets or on the shelves are cooked meats, jams and chutneys, mustards and sauces. D G Davies, easily identified on the High Street by its cheerful red and green canopy, is open from 9 to 1 Monday and Thursday and from 8 to 5 Tuesday.

series The Prisoner. Each year, devotees of that series gather at Portmeirion to enact their favourite scenes. The Portmeirion Pottery was established in 1960 by Cloughs daughter Susan WilliamsEllis, and her husband, Euan. Susan had studied under Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland, and her classic designs include Botanic Garden (1972) and the recently relaunched Totem from the 1960s. Williams-Ellis ancestral home, Plas Brondanw, lies some five miles away, up the A4085 northeast of Garreg, and the marvellous gardens here make the extra journey well worthwhile. Designed to please the eye, and also provide some fabulous views over the mountain scenery, there are, among the splendid plants, charming statues and elegant topiary terraces. Although less well known than the village and gardens at Portmeirion, the gardens at Brondanw are considered by some to be Clough Williams-Ellis most important creation, and certainly the most beautiful. Sir Clough continued working up until his death at the age of 94 in 1978.

MAENTWROG 5 miles E of Porthmadog on the A496


A Plas Tan-y-Bwlch

Lying in the Vale of Ffestiniog, this peaceful and attractive village is home to Plas Tan-yBwlch, built in the 19th century for the Oakley family. It is now owned by Snowdonia National Park and is used as a residential centre for courses. The 19th-century terraced gardens provide glorious views of the surrounding area, and there are picturesque walks through woodland. Among the magnificent trees and rhododendrons is an oak wood that provides a small reminder of the vast oak forests that once covered much of Wales.

FFESTINIOG 9 miles E of Porthmadog on the A470


C Sarn Helen D Vale of Ffestiniog D Cynfal Falls

From this village, situated above the Vale of Ffestiniog, there is a delightful walk, beginning at the village church, to Cynfal

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Falls, just below the village. Above the falls stands a rock, known locally as Pulpud Huw Llwyd after a local mystic who preached, baptised and cast out devils from here. Three miles to the northeast, Gamallt is a remote 300-acre moorland that supports a variety of plant life as well as water beetles, sandpipers, ring ousels, wheatears and meadow pipits. Archaeological remains include a large Iron Age settlement, and the important Roman road known as Sarn Helen (NT).

BLAENAU FFESTINIOG 12 miles NE of Porthmadog on the A470


A Church of the Holy Protection C Pant-yr-ynn Mill C Ffestiniog Railway C Llechwedd Slate Caverns D Tan-y-Blwch County Park

This was once the slate capital of Wales. Stretching across from the feet of Manod towards the Moelwyn Mountains, the legacy of the slate industry is visible everywhere, from the orderly piles of quarried slate waste to the buildings in the town. Today, the industry lives on in Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Winners of many top tourism awards, they take visitors underground to explore the world of a Victorian slate miner and the man-made caverns of cathedral proportions. The excavations took place on 6 levels and there are 25 miles of tunnels carved into the hillside. One tour includes a short ride on an underground tramway along a tunnel cut in 1846 to the enormous Cathedral Cave. The Gloddfa Ganol mine, where digging began in 1818, was once the worlds largest, and today slate is still being turned into commercial products. On the surface, there is a Victorian village depicting the life of the miners and their families in the early 1900s, the period when

Llechwedd reached its peak of production. There are preserved houses and shops, including one selling sweets, toffee and chocolate made to original Victorian recipes. The prices are Victorian too, so you will have to change your money into shillings and pence at the Old Bank. Old style currency is also necessary to buy a drink at the Miners Arms pub. Standing at the foot of Manod Bach, beside the waterfall at Bethania, Pant-yr-ynn Mill is the earliest surviving slate mill of the Diffwys Casson Quarry. Built in 1846, it later saw service as a school before being converted into a woollen mill in 1881. It worked until 1964, when it was closed down and the machinery scrapped. The original part of the building has been preserved and the waterwheel restored; it is now home to an exhibition dealing with Blaenau the town, the communities, the landscape and the changes to it made by the 20 quarries in the vicinity. The exhibition includes drawings and paintings by resident artist and industrial archaeologist Falcon D Hildred. The town has one of the few Orthodox churches in Wales. The Church of the Holy Protection is in Manor Street, housed in a former shop. It was founded in 1981, though there have been Orthodox Christians here since the end of World War II, when Greek women who married Welsh soldiers came home with them. Over the years, many local people have joined the congregation. The church sees itself as the successor to the traditions and saints of the old Celtic Church, which disappeared when Roman Catholicism was introduced. As well as having a mainline train service, Blaenau Ffestiniog is the end, or the starting point, of the narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway, which runs (and at times corkscrews

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

BEDDGELERT WOODCRAFT Crefft Coed, Beddgelert, Snowdonia LL55 4YB Tel: 01766 890586 e-mail: shop@beddgelertwoodcraft.com website: www.beddgelertwoodcraft.com
You can find our shop in the heart of the beautiful village of Beddgelert which is nestled amongst the imposing landscape of Snowdonia. The woodcraft shop has been trading for over 30 years showcasing fair trade art and handicraft. We have over 4000 items on display from around the world spread across three showrooms. The items include hand carved and painted animals and birds, jewellery, beads, ceramics, beautiful mosaic bowls and carved Welsh dragons. Incense, musical instruments and ethnic crafts complete the range. All the craft items have been personally selected, commissioned and purchased directly from the artists and craftsmen. We have made many friends from all over the world by taking a personal interest in where the items come from. We ensure the craftsmen and women receive the income from the orders directly, allowing them to sustain and educate their families. The village of Beddgelert is located on the junction of the A498 and A4085, 7 miles from Porthmadog. The shop, is open from 10am to 5pm, although you should make sure to ring ahead in the low season to avoid disappointment.

LYNS CAF Church Street, Beddgelert, Snowdonia LL55 4YA Tel/Fax: 01766 890374 e-mail: lindawheatley@btinternet.com website: www.beddgelerttourism.com
Situated in the heart of Beddgelert in the foothills of Snowdon, Lyns caf is a very popular and welcoming establishment. Beddgelert, one of the most beautiful villages in Snowdonia, has long been renowned for the splendid hospitality it offers to visitors. This really is a pleasant little spot, ideal for those who wish to climb Snowdon the highest mountain in Wales. Some come to see the famous landmark, Gelerts Grave. Some to see Beddgelert in Bloom in the summer. Some to shop. Some just to stroll around this delightful village. Some for serious hiking and climbing. The comfortable, light and airy interior is complemented by the delightful tea garden at the rear, where customers are treated to a menu perfect for walkers after exploring the local area. Choose from the popular Big Breakfast, sandwiches, soups, morning coffee, lunches, clotted cream teas and evening meals. The caf holds a table License and is the perfect place for eating at any time of the day. Open throughout the day for most of the year.

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its way) through the vale to Porthmadog. It is hoped a further stretch of track will extend the line to Caernarfon in 2011. When trains start running over the completed link travellers will be able to journey from Caernarfon right through to Blaenau Ffestiniog almost 40 miles of narrow-gauge steam. Originally built to carry slate down to the sea to be shipped around the world, the railway has since been renovated by enthusiasts and volunteers. There is a comprehensive service giving passengers the chance to admire the scenery of the vale on their journey to the coast. There are many stopping off points so walkers can take advantage, en route, of Tan-y-Blwch County Park and other beauty spots. To the northwest of the town, at First Hydros power station, is the Ffestiniog Visitor Centre, the ideal place to discover the wonders of hydro-electricity. Opened in 1963 by Her Majesty the Queen, the station consists of reservoirs and underwater passages constructed inside the mountains and the displays and exhibitions at the centre explain not only how the electrical power is generated but also the development of electricity over the years.

Betws-y-Coed
A Parish Church of St Michael A Waterloo Bridge A Pont-y-Pair A Ty Hyll B Motor Museum B Conwy Valley Railway Museum D Swallow Falls D Gwydyr Forest Park D Conwy Falls D Machno Falls D Fairy Glen Ravine

A sizeable village at the confluence of four beautiful forested valleys, Betws-y-Coed lies on the edge of the Gwydyr Forest Park as well as in the Snowdonia National Park. The

Forest Park offers horse riding, canoeing, mountain biking and over 20 miles of trails through mountain forests. The stone walls in the park were built to enclose game by sailors after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The village first came to prominence with the setting up in 1844 of an artists colony by David Cox and other eminent Victorian countryside painters; their work inspired others, and the coming of the railway in 1868 brought tourists to what soon became a busy holiday centre. The Parish Church of St Michael, near the railway station, has been in use since the 14th century and remained the towns major place of worship until the influx of visitors required a larger and more prestigious building. The village is home to two museums. The Motor Museum houses a unique collection of vintage and post-vintage cars, including a fabulous Bugatti Type 57. There are usually 30 vehicles on display and the collection is housed in mellow stone buildings on an old farm overlooking the beautiful River Llugwy. The Conwy Valley Railway Museum has displays on both the narrow and standardgauge railways of North Wales, including railway stock and other memorabilia. There are working model railway layouts, a steam-hauled miniature railway in the grounds, which cover over four acres, and a 15in-gauge tramway to the woods. As the village is close to the point where the Conwy, Lledr and Llugwy rivers meet, it seems natural that these waterways should play an important role in the development, building and beauty of Betws-y-Coed. Thomas Telfords Waterloo Bridge, a marvellous iron construction built in 1815, gracefully spans the River Conwy, and carried an inscription saying

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Swallow Falls, Betws-y-Coed

that it was built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo, while the Pont-y-Pair (bridge of the cauldron), dating from around 1470, crosses the River Llugwy. Further downstream, an iron suspension footbridge spans the river by the church. However, the main attractions that draw people to this area are the waterfalls: the spectacular multi-level Swallow Falls on the River Llugwy, Conwy Falls, Machno Falls and Fairy Glen Ravine. The villages most famous, and certainly most curious, attraction is Ty Hyll, the Ugly House (now the HQ of the Snowdonia Society), which stands close by the River Llugwy. Apparently this building, which looks as though it was literally thrown together from rough boulders, is an example of hurried assembly (possibly by two outlaw brothers) in order to obtain freehold on common land in the 15th century. The house was often used as

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an overnight stop by Irish drovers taking cattle to English markets. The scenery around Betws-y-Coed is truly magnificent, and within minutes of leaving the town centre there are numerous well-marked walks lasting anything from an hour to all day and suiting all energy levels.

Burial Chamber, which dates from around 1500BC. They are the remains of a long barrow with three burial chambers, one with its 14ft wide capstone still in position. The site has been described as A Tomb with a View as there are grand vistas of Snowdonia all around.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Around Betws-y-Coed
CAPEL GARMON 2 miles E of Betwys-y-Coed off the A5
C Capel Garmon Burial Chamber

DOLWYDDELAN 6 miles SW of Bewts-y-Coed off the A470


A Parish Church of St Gwydellan A Dolwyddelan Castle

Surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia mountain range, this tiny village has an additional attraction for the superstitious visitor, as there are two legends associated with the village inn. The first involves the daughter of an innkeeper, who fell in love with a local farmhand. One night the young man rode up on his white horse and the girl climbed down from her bedroom window and rode off with him, never to be seen again. The second legend concerns a friendly fair-haired lady who watches over all the events here. No one knows for sure whether the two stories are connected. Close by the village is the Capel Garmon

Dolwyddelan Castle

The Parish Church of St Gwydellan dates from the 15th century. It was built by a man called Meredydd ab Ieuan, who lived in Cwn Penamnen. However, a band of brigands had taken over an old hospice once owned by the Knights of St John, and were terrorising the area. Rather than leave the place unattended when his household worshipped at the original parish church, some distance away, he had it pulled down, and erected this one nearer his home, so that he could rush to defend it if it were attacked. It contains St Gwyndellans Bell, which dates from the 7th century, and was discovered in Victorian times on the site of the former church. Here can be seen the stark remains of Dolwyddelan Castle (CADW), which is unusual among Welsh castles in that it was constructed by a native Welsh prince rather than by either the English or the Normans. Built between 1210 and 1240 by Llywelyn the Great to control a strategic pass through the mountainous region of his kingdom, the fortress fell to Edward I in 1283. In 1488, the place was acquired by Maredudd ap Levan who built the village church that now houses his kneeling brass effigy. After Maredudds death, the castle fell into ruin and the

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modern roof and battlements seen today were added in the 19th century when the core of the castle underwent restoration. However, the beauty of the castle is very much its lonely setting and from here there are stunning mountain views. A walk starting at Dolwyddelan provides a succession of glorious views over the surrounding mountains, particularly Snowdon and Moel Siabod. The last part of the walk is along paths and lanes and across meadows by the River Lledr.

PENTREFOELAS 8 miles SE of Betws-y-Coed on the A5


A Parish Church of Pentrefoelas A Watermill

The Parish Church of Pentrefoelas is one of the few in Wales that does not have a dedication. It is Victorian and replaced a church built in 1760, which itself was built on the site of an old chapel. Once an upland estate village, Pentrefoelas is now becoming a focal point to mark the continuation and revival of crafts and skills that were used to maintain the estate.

sturdy Penmachno Bridge has five arches, and was built in 1785. To the northwest of the village centre, and in the secluded Wybrnant valley, is Ty Mawr Wybrnant (NT), the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan (1545-1604) who was the first person to translate the Bible into Welsh. Now restored to how it probably appeared in the 16th and 17th centuries, the house contains a display of Welsh Bibles, including Morgans of 1588. A pleasant one-mile walk starts at the house and takes in woodland and the surrounding fields. To the northeast of the village and approached by a walk alongside the River Machno, lies Tyn y Coed Uchaf, a small farm that gives visitors an insight into the traditional way of life of the Welsh-speaking community in this area.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Harlech
A Harlech Castle A Lasynys Fawr G Ellis Swynne A Parish Church of St Tanwyg E Morfa Harlech

PENMACHNO 5 miles S of Betws-y-Coed on the B4406


A Penmachno Woollen Mill A Penmachno Bridge A Ty Mawr Wybrnant C Tyn y Coed Uchaf

This delightful village of picturesque stone cottages, set in a wooded valley, lies beside the River Machno from which it takes its name Surrounded by glorious countryside, Penmachno is situated within an area that is a stronghold of Welsh culture. Here can be found the traditional Penmachno Woollen Mill where visitors can see the working power looms as they weave the cloth, then browse through the shop among the finished articles and other Welsh craftwork on display. The

Harlech means bold rock, and it is an apt description, as the town clings to the land at the foot of its spectacularly sited castle. Another of Edward Is Iron Ring of Fortresses, which was begun in 1283, Harlech Castle (CADW) is perched on a rocky outcrop for added strength and it is, today, a World Heritage Site. The castles situation, close to the sea, has not only proved a great defence, but was also useful during its blockade by Madog and his men in 1294, when supplies transported in from Ireland enabled the 37 men inside to hold fast. If the use of power and strength to impress and intimidate an indigenous population was ever

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aided by architecture then Harlech is a prime example. Situated 200 feet above sea level, its concentric design, with lower outer walls, by the architect James of St George, used the natural defences of its site to emphasise its impregnability. However, in 1404, Owain Glyndwr managed to capture the castle and held it for five years while using the town of Harlech as his capital. Outside the castle stands the View from Harlech Castle monumental equestrian Statue of the Two Kings representing St Tanwyg dates from about 1840, and Bendigeidfran, King of the British, and his replaced an earlier church situated south of nephew, Gwern, heir to the Irish throne. The the town. St Tanwg came to Britanny from statue, by Ivor Roberts, depicts a scene from Wales in the 6th century. The Mabinogion, a 14th/15th century cycle of Some of the scenes in the early James Bond Welsh and Irish legends. The song, Men of Harlech, has immortalised film From Russia With Love were shot in Harlech. Just outside the town is the famous the siege during the War of the Roses when the castle was held for the Lancastrian side for Royal St Davids championship golf course, which is considered by many to be the best seven years before it finally became the last stronghold to fall to the Yorkists in 1468. The course in the country. Also outside the town, to the north, lies Morfa Harlech, a nature last time Harlech saw action was 200 years reserve with woodland trails that occupies the later, during the Civil War, when it again flat land between the town and Llanfihangel-ywithstood attack and was the last castle in Thaethau. Wales to fall to Cromwells forces. The panoramic views from the castles battlements take in both Tremadog Bay and the mountainous scenery behind the town. Though not as imposing as the castle, LLANFAIR Lasynys Fawr is another building worth a 1 miles S of Harlech on the A496 visit. The home of Ellis Swynne (1671 A Parish Church of St Mary 1734), a clergyman and one of Wales most C Llanfair Slate Caverns talented prose writers, famous for writing Gweledigaetheu y Bardd Cwsc, (Visions of the Between 1853 and 1906, Llanfair was a Sleeping Bard), regarded as one of the great prosperous slate mining village and the old, works of Welsh literature (see also Llanfair). deep quarries, the Llanfair Slate Caverns, in Dating from 1600, the house is an excellent use until 1906, are now open to the public, example of its period. The Parish Church of who can don a miners helmet and set out on a

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Around Harlech

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self-guided tour. The caverns are accessed from the main tunnel, which opens out into a cathedral-like cavern. It was man-made, like all the tunnels in the complex. Also on site are a craft shop, caf, picnic area and childrens farm park. The tiny Parish Church of St Mary, among sand dunes, is Victorian, and in its churchyard Ellis Swynne is buried. Though the village is called Llanfair, the parish is called Llanfair juxta Harlech, meaning Llanfair next to Harlech, to differentiate it from other parishes in Wales called Llanfair.

DYFFRYN ARDUDWY 5 miles S of Harlech on the A496


C Arthurs Quoit

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Neolithic remains, as well as the remnants of Iron and Bronze Age settlements, abound in this area and in this village can be found two burial chambers. Perhaps the most interesting is Arthurs Quoit, the capstone of which is said to have been thrown from the summit of Moelfre by King Arthur.

LLANABER 8 miles S of Harlech on the A496


A Parish Church of St Mary

LLANBEDR 3 miles S of Harlech on the A496


A Parish Church of St Peter D Rhinog Fawr D Shell Island A Roman Steps

This village is an excellent starting point for walks along the lovely valleys of the Rivers Artro and Nant-col and into the Rhinog Mountains. At 2360 feet, Rhinog Fawr may not be the highest local peak, but from its summit it commands superb views over the Coed y Brenin Forest to the Cambrian Mountains. The Roman Steps (see under Ganllwyd) are best reached from Llanbedr. The Parish Church of St Peter (Bedr is Welsh for Peter) is worth visiting to view the Llanbedr Stone, which was brought down to the church from an Iron Age hut circle above the village. It has an unusual spiral decoration. More correctly described as a peninsula that is cut off at high tide, Shell Island is a treasure trove of seashells and wildlife, and the shoreline, a mixture of pebble beaches with rock pools and golden sands, is ideal for children to explore. Seals are often seen close by and there is plenty of birdlife surprising, considering the fairly regular aircraft activity from the nearby Llanbedr airfield.

Found close to the cliff tops, the Parish Church of St Mary is said to have been used by smugglers who hid their booty inside the tombs in the churchyard. Dating from the 13th century and later, this place of worship, which was once the parish church of Barmouth, has an interesting doorway that is one of the best examples of early English architecture.

BARMOUTH 9 miles S of Harlech on the A496


A Barmouth Bridge A Ty Gywn D Dinas Oleu B Lifeboat Station & Museum D Panorama Walk

Occupying a picturesque location by the mouth of the River Mawddach, Barmouth was once a small port with an equally small shipbuilding industry. As the fashion for seaside resorts grew in the 18th century, the character of Barmouth changed to accommodate visitors flocking here for the bracing sea air and the two miles of sandy beaches. Those suffering from scurvy were even fed seaweed. It is rich in vitamin C and grows in abundance in the estuary. However, the Barmouth seen today is, like many other

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

LLWYNDU FARMHOUSE HOTEL Llanaber, Barmouth, Gwynedd LL42 1RR Tel: 01341 280144 e-mail: intouch@llwyndu-farmhouse.co.uk website: www.llwyndu-farmhouse.co.uk
Llwyndu Farmhouse Hotel is situated at the base of the Rhinog Mountains overlooking Cardigan Bay with stunning views over the Lleyn Peninsular. Guests can catch a bus or train to the hotel from any section of the Ardudwy Way walking trail, which stretches over 24 miles of stunning North Wales countryside Hosts Paula and Peter Thompson offer a warm welcome and you will instantly feel at home in this beautiful Grade II listed farmhouse. It was built in the late 16th Century and enjoys many historical features including exposed stone walls, traditional beams, mullion windows, inglenook fireplaces and spiral staircases. The luxury guest accommodation offers modern comfort whilst remaining sympathetic to the age and character of the building. Three of the rooms are situated in the main farmhouse and three are in the adjacent converted granary. All rooms enjoy en-suite facilities and some have four poster beds. In the restaurant, the Mediterranean-influenced menu combines traditional and modern cuisine. Talented chef Peter creates the dishes using top-quality local produce including sea bass and Welsh black beef. The breakfasts are also not to be missed, with a choice of prime bacon and sausages, juicy kippers and naturally smoked haddock.

BRYN MELYN GUEST HOUSE Panorama Road, Barmouth, Gwynedd LL42 1DQ Tel: 01341 280556 e-mail: info@brynmelyn.co.uk website: www.brynmelyn.co.uk
The promise thats contained in the address (Panorama Road) is amply fulfilled at Bryn Melyn Guest House, where all but one of the guest bedrooms command stunning views from large picture windows over the Mawddach Estuary, the Cadair range of mountains and out to sea. David and Heather Brown are the resident owners of this splendid guest house, an Edwardian building with a sympathetic modern extension. Since taking over here in 2009 they have transformed the accommodation with new beds and carpets, Freeview TVs and very smart new en suite facilities with walk-in showers, pampering towels and complimentary shampoos and gels. The eight rooms, all on the first and second floors, comprise six doubles and two twins, some with space for a Z-bed. The tariff includes an excellent breakfast, and evening meals are available with notice. Bryn Melyn is a lovely place to relax and unwind in quiet, civilised surroundings. The lounge bar, conservatory and terrace are pleasant spots to take stock after a days sightseeing or to plan the next days activities; the owners provide plenty of local guide books and maps, as well as board games and puzzles. Free Wi-Fi access, ample parking spaces, bicycle storage. Its a short walk from the guest house to the centre, the restaurants and the beaches of this charming Victorian seaside town, and the whole of the Snowdonian National Park is easily accessible.

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resorts, a product of the railway age, and the Victorian architecture is still very much apparent. Ty Gywn is one of its older buildings, dating from the 15th century. The house, now the home to a Tudor exhibition, is said to have been built for Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, later Henry VII. It is thought to have been used as the meeting place where the plot to overthrow Richard III was hatched. The ground floor is now a restaurant while the first floor is devoted to local shipwrecks. The town is also home to a Lifeboat Museum. Its Lifeboat Station, which has seen service for 180 years, houses a Mersey Class and a D Class inshore. It is open for visits every day from 10am to 4pm. From the quay, passenger ferries leave for Fairbourne on the other side of the estuary whenever there are enough passengers, and sea angling and sightseeing boat trips are also available. In late June, the harbour is the starting point for the Three Peaks Race, a 2-3 day event in, which competitors have to sail their monohull yachts to Caernarfon, the English Lake District and Fort William in Scotland. At each destination, they then have to run up the highest peak in each country. The current record is 2 days, 14 hours and 22 minutes. At the junction of the Quay and Church Street, the Last Haul Sculpture depicts three fishing generations hauling in a catch. The block of Carrara marble from which it is carved has an unusual history. Back in 1709 a Genoese galleon with a cargo of the famous marble the stone that Michelangelo favoured foundered about 5 miles out to sea near Barmouth. About 40 of the 2-ton blocks still lie on the sea floor but in the 1980s one block was raised and then carved by local sculptor Frank Cosksey into this striking work of art. Mr Cocksey has recently added a sculpture of

Lord of the Rings character Gollum to his outdoor gallery. The harbour is overlooked by Dinas Oleu, a small hill that was the first property given to the newly formed National Trust in 1895. It was a gift from the local wealthy philanthropist, Mrs Fanny Talbot, who was a friend of two of the Trusts founding members. Panorama Walk is a scenic walk created as a tourist attraction at the turn of the 19th century. There are several viewpoints along its route, the best being the one from the promontory at the end of the path. Built in 1867, and half a mile in length, the Barmouth Bridge that carried the railway across the river mouth has a walkway from where there are magnificent views of the town, coast and estuary. The swing bridge section is nowadays only opened for maintenance purposes.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

BONTDDU 9 miles SE of Harlech on the A496


Looking at this pleasant village it is hard to imagine that more than 100 years ago it was a bustling centre of the Welsh gold mining industry. Apparently, there were 24 mines operating in the area around Bontddu, and it was one of these mines that provided the gold for royal wedding rings.

Bala
C Tomen y Bala D Llyn Tegid F Tegi G Rev Thomas Charles

Located at the head of a lake, Llyn Tegid, and surrounded by the sublime scenery of Snowdonia National Park, this agreeable town is famous for its watersports and its coarse and fly fishing.

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Roman and Norman remains have been found here, but the town was really founded in around 1310 by Roger de Mortimer, who was looking to tame the rebellious Penllyn district. The town was, by Tudor times, a small, and by all accounts not very successful, market town, but it later became an important centre for the knitted stocking industry that flourished in the 18th century before the Llyn Tegid, Bala Industrial Revolution put paid to it. Today, though tourism is certainly an important part of the towns economy, it Charles, was the inspiration for the foundation has remained a central meeting point and a of the Bible Society. Notable sons of Bala market place for the surrounding farming include Thomas Edward Ellis, a Liberal communities. Member of Parliament who worked hard for Welsh home rule, and Owen Morgan However, it is perhaps as a religious centre Edwards, who was a leading light in the Welsh that Bala is better remembered. The Rev Thomas Charles, one of the founders of the educational system. There are statues to both these worthies in the town. The son of Owen Methodist movement in Wales in the 18th Morgan Edwards, Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards, century, first visited Bala in 1778, and moved here in 1783 after marrying a local girl. Charles established the Welsh Youth Movement, which saw the great need for Welsh Bibles and other has a camp at Bala Lake. religious books, and he joined forces with a Tomen y Bala is to the north east of the printer from Chester to produce a series of town, and is thought to be the motte of a books and pamphlets. The story of Mary Norman castle, which would have been built Jones, who walked some 25 miles from of wood. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Llanfihangel-y-Pennant to buy a bible from knitters of the town congregated here in fine

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

CHRISNIK BESPOKE GIFTS & CRAFTS 18 High Street, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7AG Tel: 07879260238 e-mail: sales@chrisnik.co.uk website: www.chrisnik.co.uk
The delightful Chrisnik Bespoke Gifts & Crafts has been branded the cutest gift shop in Bala and it has to be said that many of its customers agree. Inside you will find a charming collection of personal gifts and tasteful household accessories. From cards, candles and cushions to lamps, mugs and bread bins, there is plenty to browse both in store and online and new stock is added regularly. Owner Niki is extremely passionate about the shop and what it sells and named it in memory of her late husband, PC Chris Dent.

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

THE BRYNTIRION INN Llanderfel, nr Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7RA Tel: 01678 530205 e-mail: thebryntirioninn@aol.com website: www.bryntirioninn.co.uk
Located four miles north of Bala on the B4401, The Bryntirion Inn is a delightful old hostelry that dates back to 1695. It is owned and run by the cheerful couple Martin and Linda, who took over here in 2003. They have created a welcoming atmosphere for everyone (including dogs), whatever their reason for visiting. The happy combination of a friendly ambience, good food, well-kept ales, a log fire in the winter and a sunny courtyard in the summer has proved to be a great success. Known best for its excellent cuisine and facilities, The Bryntirion draws in a good crowd ranging from locals to holiday makers and couples who take advantage of the pleasant bed and breakfast attached, ideally located in a rural location within easy distance of most of the norths best attractions. Martin is a qualified chef with more than 30 years experience. His menu is predominantly based on fresh local produce with dishes such as braised shoulder of Welsh lamb with rosemary gravy; and Welsh black beef, mushroom and ale casserole served in a Bryn Bara, featuring prominently on the menu. Youll also fine Welsh beef and gammon steaks, as well as tasty fish, poultry and vegetarian dishes. Food is served from noon until 3pm and from 6pm to 9pm Monday to Saturday, and from noon until 8pm on Sunday. Booking is recommended on Saturday evenings. The Bryn, as it is known by its regulars, serves real ales from the award-winning Purple Moosee Brewery, a micro-brewery based in the historic harbour town of Porthmadog, as well as other guest beers. The inn won an award from CAMRA in 2010 after being judged the best in the Vale of Clwyd. High chairs are available for young children and further popular features here include a monthly quiz and music nights. If you are planning to stop over when visiting the picturesque Dee Valley region of north Wales, the inn boasts one double/twin and one double room. Both have en-suite facilities and a hearty breakfast is included in the tariff. WiFi is available for guests in both the bar area and all of the bedrooms. Fishing day tickets are available for use on the River Dee for salmon, trout and grayling.

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weather to socialise as they worked. It was also used as a pulpit during open air religious services. To the southwest of the town, Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) is the largest natural lake in Wales and feeder of the River Dee. Four miles long, nearly three quarters of a mile wide and up to 150 feet deep, the lake is a popular centre for all manner of watersports; it is also the home of Tegi, the Welsh version of Scotlands Nessie. Formed during the Ice Age, the lake is an important site ecologically and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Ramsar site (Wetlands of International Importance). Many uncommon wetland plants flourish on its banks, and the birdlife includes coots, mallards, pochards, wigeons and great crested grebes. The fish life is interesting, too, and Bala is the only lake in Wales, which is home to the gwyniad, a whitescaled member of the herring family that

feeds on plankton in the depths of the lake. Along the eastern bank runs the narrow gauge Bala Lake Railway, which provides the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Tegi .

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

Around Bala
FRONGOCH 2 miles N of Bala on the A4212
A Chapel Celyn C Llyn Celyn C Arenig Fawr

Just to the northwest of the village lies the reservoir Llyn Celyn on whose banks is a memorial stone to a group of local Quakers who emigrated to America to escape persecution. The modern chapel close by, Chapel Celyn, that was built as a reminder of the rural hamlet, was flooded when the reservoir was created in the 1960s. Overlooking Llyn Celyn is Arenig Fawr,

NATIONAL WHITE WATER CENTRE Canolfan Tryweryn, Frongoch, Bala, LL23 7NU Tel: 01678 521083 e-mail: info@ukrafting.co.uk website: www.ukrafting.co.uk
Bala is renowned for its variety of outdoor activities and watersports. Located outside the town on the River Tryweryn, is the National White Water Centre (Canolfan Dwr Gwyn Genedlaethol) which has been offering exhilarating white water rafting trips for 25 years and the centre has become the best year-round white water facility in the UK. You can book a variety of sessions including fun family trips along the lower river, one hour taster trips, fast flowing group sessions on the upper river or all day white water sessions. Running the rapids isnt to everyones taste so you may prefer to watch the rafts and kayakers from our relaxing riverside cafe fronted by a patio which is the perfect spot to take some action shots...or sit back and soak up the atmosphere! The cafe serves hot and cold food, tasty home-baked cakes and homemade soups every day, as well as being listed on the Cilydd Tea Trail guide for its extensive choice of quality teas. Or for a more leisurely view of the river take a walk along the delightful Tryweryn Trail; booklets are available with fascinating details and illustrations of the wildlife you will find on your riverside journey. Mature mossy oak, and delicately shaped willow and alder await your exploration of this special riverside environment.

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

CYSGOD Y GARN FARM COTTAGE Frongoch, nr Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7NT Tel: 01678 521457 e-mail: carys@frongoch.co.uk website: www.snowdoniafrongoch.co.uk
Cysgod y Garn is a beautiful Welsh country farmhouse retreat located in the historic village of Frongoch at the heart of Snowdonia. Situated close to Bala Lake, the traditional stone-built cottage stands in its own grounds and boasts spectacular rural views. It is popular with walkers and cyclists because of its fantastic surroundings, but is also the perfect place to stay if you want to sit back and relax or explore the historic sites nearby. The cottage, which stands within the Snowdonia National Park has plenty of charm, with the convenience of modern facilities.

which has, on its 2800 foot summit, a memorial to the crew of a Flying Fortress that crashed here in 1943. After the Easter Uprising of 1916 in Ireland, a former German prisoner of war camp near the village was used to hold 1600 Irish prisoners, among them Michael Collins. It earned the nickname of the Sinn Fin University, as impromptu lessons were given by

some of the prisoners on guerrilla tactics. When Lloyd George came to power in 1916 he closed it down. A plaque marks where it stood.

LLANUWCHLLYN 4 miles SW of Bala on the A494


J Penllyn Forest D Cwm Hirnant D Llyn Efyrnwy B Bala Lake Railway

This small village at the southern end of Bala

CYFFDY FARM COTTAGES & BALA COTTAGE BREAKS Cyffdy Parc, Nr Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7YU Tel: 01678 540443 Fax: 01678 540550 e-mail: info@balacottagebreaks.co.uk website: www.balacottagebreaks.co.uk
Cyffdy Farm Cottages offers four beautiful and luxurious 5 star self-catering properties located on a secluded historic farmstead. Each cottage enjoys comfort and privacy and has been sympathetically restored to offer all modern comforts whilst retaining their character and charm, including beams and vaulted ceilings. Crisp fresh bed linen and soft fluffy towels are provided for guests and the well appointed cottages enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from every window. The four cottages can be booked individually or as a group. Bala Cottage Breaks also offers additional cottages of matching quality and comfort in and around the bustling market town of Bala. Guests are able to take advantage of a relaxing pampering service, babysitting service, restaurant transport service and breakfast or barbecue hampers. Cakes, champagne and flowers can also be requested. Visitors can experience a vast range of activities and attractions within easy reach and all of the cottages. They are perfectly placed for touring the coastal and mountainous areas, including Snowdon which is just 50 minutes away. The town of Bala is famous for water-based activities as it is the home of the largest natural lake in Wales, Llyn Tegid. There are many excellent bars, pubs and restaurants in Bala as well as shops stocking the finest Welsh produce.

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

BALA LAKE RAILWAY The Station, Llanuwchllyn, nr Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7DD Tel: 01678 540666 e-mail: balalake@btconnect.com website: www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk
Run by the company and a team of voluntary helpers, the narrow-gauge Bala Lake Railway operates a four-times-a-day service between Easter and the end of September. Four steam and one diesel locomotive haul the trains from Llanuwchllyn to Bala, enjoying wonderful views along the lake shore on their 25-minute journey. The trains run on the track bed of what was once part of the standard gauge Great Western Railway line from Ruabon to Barmouth, a line that was closed under the Beeching proposals in the early 1960s. The main station is at Llanuwchllyn (the village above the lake), where there is a buffet and souvenir shop. Here, visitors can see the engine being prepared for its journey to Bala and on most days can have a look in the loco shed. All trains stop at Llangower, the mid-point along the lake, and at the other stops, Bryn Hynod and Pentrepiod, passengers can board by signalling to the driver and alight by telling the guard in advance. The trains all finish their days work at Llanuwchllyn. Volunteers provide the train crews and fill other posts connected with the running and maintenance of the Bala Lake Railway, one of the Great Little Trains of Wales.

Lake is a stop on the Bala Lake Railway, which follows the lake for four miles with various stops where passengers can alight and enjoy a picnic or a walk. Spreading up from the eastern banks of the lake is the Penllyn Forest, which can be reached and passed through via Cwm Hirnant on an unclassified road that weaves through the forest to moorland and eventually reaches Llyn Efyrnwy (Lake Vyrnwy). Llanuwchllyn has long been a stronghold of Welsh tradition and has statues to two eminent Welshmen, Sir Owen Morgan Edwards and his son Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards, both closely involved in preserving Welsh language and culture.

Dolgellau
A Dollgellau Bridge A Parish Church of St Mary B Quaker Heritage Centre B The Magic of Music D Cadair Idris G Dafydd Ionawr J Precipice Walk I Ty Siamas

Meaning meadow of the hazels, Dolgellau is the chief market town for this southern area of Snowdonia. Its grey stone buildings flanking narrow streets are pleasantly situated beside the River Wnion with Cader Idris rising in the background. The town is very Welsh in custom, language and location and is the base for Ty Siamas, the lively National Centre for Welsh Folk Music, which occupies the stately

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

ROYAL SHIP HOTEL Queens Square, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 1AR Tel: 01341 422209 Fax: 01341 424693 e-mail: royal.ship.hotel@btconnect.com website: www.royalshiphotel.co.uk
Located at the heart of the historic market town of Dolgellau, the Royal Ship Hotel is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The former coaching inn dates back to the 19th century and is ideally situated for visitors wanting to explore the beauty of north and mid Wales. A family run hotel, this historical building has been modernised and extended over the years. Gourmet breaks are available all year round. Behind its attractive ivy-clad facade, 23 individual furnished bedrooms are available and there is a fantastic bar and restaurant area, providing guests with the ideal atmosphere for a memorable stay. Choose from single, double, twin or family rooms of which 17 are en-suite, the remaining rooms have private bathrooms allocated, some boasting attractive views over the town square and the Cader Idris mountain range. All rooms are nonsmoking and equipped with tea & coffee making facilities and television. Bathrobes and slippers are available at reception. The reasonable tariff includes a generous breakfast that is served between 8am and 9.30am every day. The kitchen at the hotel offers a wide selection of traditional Welsh and British dishes, as well as more contemporary options. Every dish is prepared with a continental touch. Award winning menus are available from the bar and restaurant area throughout the day. Lunch is served between 12pm and 3pm and dinner is served between 6pm and 9pm. A smaller menu comprising lite bites and snacks is also available, so guests will never go hungry. The Royal Shop Hotel is a very popular place to dine in Gwynedd, so much so that it is advisable to book ahead, particularly at weekends, to avoid disappointment. The hotel is often the host of international food extravaganzas throughout the year, which attract plenty of attention. Diners can choose from a senior citizens menu, a healthy eating childrens menu, the main a la carte menu, the bar menu or the daily specials board. Welsh organic Aran lamb Henry, Robinsons steak & ale pie and butterflied tranches of grilled pork fillet presented on Lyonnaise potatoes topped with garlic mushrooms in cream and finely chopped herbs are among the dishes listed. Situated in the Snowdonia National Park, one of the most picturesque countrysides imaginable, surrounded by mountains, rivers and fishing lakes, the Royal Ship Hotel is the perfect place for a relaxing holiday or short break. The Cambrian coastline is only a few minutes drive away.

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former Market Hall and Assembly Rooms on the main square. The Centre hosts regular performances, has its own recording studio, displays of musical instruments, a caf/bar and a gift shop. Owain Glyndwr held a Welsh parliament here in 1404 but few early buildings remain. Amongst them are the seven-arched Dollgellau Bridge, which dates from the early 17th century and the Parish Church of St Mary, built in 1716. Inside, there is an effigy of a knight, Meurig ab Ynvr Fychan, who lived in the 14th century and in the churchyard is a monument to Dafydd Ionawr (1751-1827) the Welsh poet. In the late 1700s there was a small rural Quaker community around Dolgellau. The Quaker Heritage Centre in Eldon Square tells the story of this community and also of the persecution that led them to emigrate to Pennsylvania. North of the town, the three-and-a-half-

mile Precipice Walk offers superb views. The local gold mines provided the gold for the wedding rings of both Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) and Diana, Princess of Wales. Within the Parish Church of St Mary there is an effigy of a knight, Meurig ab Ynvr Fychan, who lived in the 14th century. The church itself was built in 1716, and in the churchyard is a monument to Dafydd Ionawr (17511827) the Welsh poet. To the southwest of Dolgellau is Cadair Idris (the chair of Idris), which rises to 2927 feet and dominates the local scenery. On a clear day, a climb to the summit is rewarded with views that take in the Isle of Man and the Irish coast as well as, closer to home, the Mawddach estuary. Much of the area around the mountain became a national nature reserve in 1957. An old legend says that anyone who sleeps on its slopes either wakes up either mad or with the ability to write great poetry.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

GUINEVERE Unit 3/4 Neuadd Idris, Eldon Square, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 1PY Tel: 01341 422205
Based in the historic town of Dolgellau, Guinevere is a family run gift shop that was established over 20 years ago. The business has been developed with quality and service in mind with the customer as the number 1 priority. This gift shop offers the best in retail therapy, with the accent firmly on those gifts and souvenirs that capture the wonder of Wales. Guinevere has a particular interest in jewellery and has been an outlet for Clogau Welsh Gold since its inception, each piece of Clogau Gold jewellery is of an original design and hand-crafted to a high standard. All designs have a deep sympathy for Welsh history and this is realised in many of the collections with particular motifs and gem arrangements associated with Welsh legend. With a selection of original paintings and prints by local artists, lovespoons, picture frames, watches, miniature clocks, willow figurines, collectables and much more, Guinevere has gift ideas for every occasion.

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Around Dolgellau
LLANELLTYD 2 miles NW of Dolgellau on the A470
A Cymer Abbey A Parish Church of St Elltyd D Kenric Stone

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

This hamlet gives its name to the attractive valley in, which it is found and, which is, in turn, surrounded by the Coed y Brenin Forest Park, an area of some 9000 acres around the valleys of the Rivers Mawddach, LLANFACHRETH Eden, Gain and Wen. Originally part of the 3 miles N of Dolgellau off the A470 Nannau Estate, founded by Cadougan, Prince A Nannau Hall J Precipice Walk of Powys, in 1100, the forest was acquired by To the south of this beautifully located village the Forestry Commission in 1922, when extensive planting of conifers took place. is the Precipice Walk where two scenic Ganllwyd was once a centre for gold mining footpaths skirt round a lake. Precipitous they and, during the 1880s, the nearby mine at are not, but they do open up some glorious Gwynfynydd was prosperous enough to views over the Mawddach river valley, its attract some 250 miners. The mine had estuary and out to sea. Nearby is Nannau Hall, the ancient seat of produced around 40,000 ounces of gold by the time it closed in 1917; it re-opened from the Vaughan family, who owned much of the land in this area. It is said that an earlier house 1981 to 1989. The mine is on the route of one
A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

This is the point at, which the Rivers Wen and Wnion, boosted by other waters further upland, meet to form the Mawddach estuary. Close by, just across the River Wen lie the serene ruins of Cymer Abbey (CADW), which was founded by Cistercian monks in 1198. This white-robed order was established in the late 11th century in Burgundy and they arrived in Britain in 1128 to seek out remote places where they could lead their austere lives. Cymer was one of two Cistercian abbeys created in the Snowdonia region during the Middle Ages the other is Conwy Abbey and Cymer held substantial lands in this area. Despite this, the abbey was poor and it also suffered badly during the fighting between England and Wales. In fact, by the time of the Dissolution in 1536 the abbeys income was just 51. Visitors to the site can see the remaining parts of the church, refectory and chapter house set in picturesque surroundings.

Precipice Walk, Llanfachreth

on the site belonged to Howel Sele, a cousin of Owain Glyndwr, who, during a dispute with Glyndwr over Seles Lancastrian sympathies, shot at but missed his cousin while out hunting. Glyndwr was so enraged that he killed Sele and hid his body in a hollow oak. This hiding place was later to receive a mention in Sir Walter Scotts Marmion as the spirits blasted tree.

GANLLWYD 5 miles N of Dolgellau on the A470


C Roman Steps D Dolmelynllyn D Rhaeadr Ddu D Coed y Brenin Forest Park

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of the four waymarked trails that takes in waterfalls, forest nature trails and an old copper works. Orienteering is a good way to explore the park and it offers some of the best mountain biking in the UK. Bikes can be hired at the visitor centre, which has a caf, shop and exhibitions. There are also riverside picnic sites and a childrens adventure play area. Broadleaved woodlands once covered the land and some of these woodlands still survive at the National Trusts Dolmelynllyn estate. On the slopes of Y Garn, a path through this expanse of heath and oak woodland leads to Rhaeadr Ddu (Black Waterfall), one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Wales. Also in the heart of the forest, but reached from Llanbedr, can be found a series of hundreds of steps, known as the Roman Steps, which climb up through the rocks and heather of the wild Rhinog Mountains. In spite of their name they are certainly not Roman; they are thought to have been part of a late medieval trade route between the coastal region around Harlech and England.

Down a minor road close to the power station are the remains of a small Roman Amphitheatre that also served as a fort. In the village centre is a statue in honour of Hedd Wynn, a poet and shepherd who was awarded the bardic chair at the 1917 Eisteddfod six weeks after he had died on Flanders field. The Parish Church of St Madryn was originally dedicated to St Mary, and then to the Holy Trinity before assuming its present dedication when the Church of Wales was disestablished. It was badly burnt in 1978 and rebuilt in 1981. It is connected to St John Roberts, who was born in the village to a Protestant family, but later converted to Roman Catholicism. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in London in 1610 and canonised in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the 40 martyrs of England and Wales.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

DINAS MAWDDWY 8 miles E of Dolgellau on the A470


A Pont Minllyn A Meirion Mill F Gwilliaid Cochion Maeddwy

TRAWSFYNYDD 10 miles N of Dolgellau off the A470


A Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station D Llyn Trawsfynydd C Roman Amphitheatre G Hedd Wynn G St John Roberts

Set amidst an almost Alpine-style landscape of steep, wooded hills this village is a popular base for walkers and anglers. Its oldest structure is a medieval packhorse bridge, Pont

To the west of the village stretches Llyn Trawsfynydd, a man-made lake developed in the 1930s as part of a hydro-electric scheme. On its northern shores stands Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station, which opened in 1965 and was the countrys first inland nuclear station, using the lake for cooling purposes.

Llyn Trawsfynydd

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Minllyn. A gateway to the upper Dyfi valley, it was once alive with quarries and mines, but all that todays visitors can see of past industry is the traditional weaving of cloth at Meirion Mill, where there is also a visitor centre, caf, and a large craft shop stocked with a wide range of beautifully designed craftware and clothing as well as Portmeirion pottery and Welsh Royal Crystal. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the whole area surrounding the village was plagued by an 80-strong gang of bandits. They were know as the Gwilliaid Cochion Maeddwy (Red Bandits of Mawddwy). They stole cattle and sheep, robbed travellers and attacked farmsteads. Eventually, they were captured and executed in 1554, their burial place being a mound at Ros Goch (Red Moor), two miles from the village. The survivors exacted some revenge by murdering their prosecutor, Baron Lewis Owen.

Industry of a different kind can be found at the Corris Craft Centre, which is home to a variety of working craftsmen and women. An excellent place to find a unique gift, the craft centre is also home to the fascinating King Arthurs Labyrinth a maze of underground tunnels where visitors are taken by boat to see the spectacular caverns and re-live tales of the legendary King Arthur. The caverns of King Arthurs Labyrinth are the workings of the Braich Goch Slate Mine, which was operational between 1836 and 1970. At its peak, the mine employed 250 men and produced 7,000 tons of roofing slate annually.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

PANTPERTHOG 8 miles S of Dolgellau on A487


B Centre for Alternative Technology

CORRIS 6 miles S of Dolgellau on the A487


B Railway Museum B King Arthurs Labyrinth H Corris Craft Centre

This small former slate-mining village, surrounded by the tree-covered slopes of the Cambrian Mountains, was home to the first narrow-gauge railway in Wales. It was constructed in 1859 as a horse-drawn railway, and steam locomotives were introduced in 1878 before the passenger service began in 1883. After closing in 1948, the Corris Railway Society opened a Railway Museum that explains the railways history and also the special relationship with the slate quarries through displays, exhibits and photographs. Part of the line reopened to passengers in 2003 and there are regular services along the mile track on weekends during the season.

The Centre for Alternative Technology is Europes leading Eco-centre. Seven acres of interactive displays demonstrate the power of wind, water and sun and the buildings manifest the latest in eco-friendly materials and design. A visit begins with a ride up the sheer 180 foot hillside on a unique water-balanced railway from which there are dramatic views of Snowdonia. Organic gardens, a whole food restaurant and a green shop are among the other attractions. For youngsters theres a wellequipped eco-adventure playground, an underground mole-hole and free events during the school holidays.

TAL-Y-LLYN 5 miles S of Dolgellau on the B4405


A Parish Church of St Mary D Tal-y-llyn Lake

This tiny hamlet lies at the south-western end of Tal-y-llyn Lake, which is overshadowed by the crags of Cadair Idris to the north and is a great favourite with trout fishermen. The Parish Church of St Mary (at present

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Mary Jones, the 16-yearold daughter of a weaver, walked to Bala in 1800 to purchase a copy from Thomas Charles. As Charles had no copies of the Bible available, he gave her his own copy and the episode inspired the founding of the Bible Society. Mary lived to a ripe old age (88 years) and was buried at Bryncrug, while her Bible is preserved in the Societys Tal-y-Llyn Lake headquarters in London. There is a memorial to her closed), which some people think is one of the in the churchyard of the much-restored oldest churches in Wales, has a plaque dating Parish Church of St Michael. the original building to the 9th century. Some Close by are the ruins of Castell y Bere people claim it is even older. It has an unusual (CADW), a hill-top fortress begun by chancel ceiling of square panels decorated Llywelyn the Great in 1223. Taken by the Earl with carved roses. For the Tal-y-llyn Railway of Pembrokeshire, on behalf of Edward I, in see Tywyn. 1283, the castle stayed in English hands for two years before being retaken by the Welsh MALLWYD and destroyed.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

9 miles S of Dolgellau on the A470


F Gwilliaid Cochion Maeddwy

This small villages pub, The Brigand, recalls the days during the 15th and 16th centuries when the area surrounding the village was plagued by an eighty-strong gang of bandits (see under Dinas Mawddwy).

ARTHOG 6 miles SW of Dolgellau on the A493


D Cregennan Lakes E Arthog RSP B Nature Reserve

LLANFIHANGEL-Y-PENNANT 7 miles SW of Dolgellau off the B4405


A Mary Joness Cottage A Parish Church of St Michael A Castell y Bere

Just to the northeast of this small hamlet stand the ruins of Mary Joness Cottage. After saving for six years for a Welsh Bible,

Overlooking the Mawddach estuary, this elongated village is a starting point for walks into Cader Idris. Beginning with a sheltered woodland path, the trail climbs up to the two Cregennan Lakes from where there are glorious mountain views. The lakes are fed by streams running off the mountains and they have created a valuable wetland habitat that is now in the care of the National Trust. Down by the river mouth there is the Arthog RSPB

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Nature Reserve protecting the wealth of birdlife and wildlife found here.

FAIRBOURNE 8 miles SW of Dolgellau off the A493


C Fairbourne Railway

This growing holiday resort lies on the opposite side of the Mawddach estuary from Barmouth and, from the ferry that carries passengers across the river mouth, runs the Fairbourne Railway. Originally a horsedrawn tramway, the line has carried passengers continuously, apart from World War II, since 1895. The line was converted to a steam railway in 1916. After leaving the village of Fairbourne, the journey offers a splendid view of the distant Cader Idris range and terminates at Barmouth Ferry Station located at the mouth of the Mawddach estuary. The trains are hauled by steam locomotives, which

are half-sized replicas of narrow gauge engines. The line operates at holiday periods and on most days from May to the end of September. The Rowen Centre is named after Fairbourne Beachs original name, Ro-Wen, and contains a large G-Scale model railway, a fish-filled freshwater stream, reptiles, chipmunks and ferrets.

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

LLWYNGWRIL 10 miles S of Dolgellau on the A493


A Parish Church of St Celynin C Carstell-y-Gaer

The village is named after the giant Gwril, who was supreme in this part of the coast. He was said to be the lowland cousin of Idris, who ruled the mountains, and after who Cadair Idris is named. They spent most of their time throwing rocks at each other. A llwyn is a bush or grove in Welsh, so the

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name means Gwrils grove. Above the village is Castell-y-Gaer, a prehistoric hill fort, and a mile south of the village is the wonderful 16th-century Parish Church of St Celynin at Llangelynin, over 600 years old and largely unrestored. Its treasures include wall texts, a rare set of pews named after local families, and the grave of Abram Wood, King of the Welsh gypsies.

TYWYN 14 miles SW of Dolgellau on the A493


C Tal-y-llyn Railway D Dolgoch Falls J National Trail

This coastal town and seaside resort on Cardigan Bay has long sandy beaches, dunes and a promenade, as well as being the start (or

the end) of the famous narrow-gauge (2 feet 3 inches) Tal-y-llyn Railway, which takes you as far as Abergynolwyn, seven-and-a-half miles inland. Like most narrow gauge railways in Wales, it was opened (in 1865) to bring slate from the quarries down to the coast. The original two steam engines are still in service. The area around Tywyn is wonderful walking country, and marked walks include the new National Trail that runs between Machynlleth, Welshpool and Knighton. One of the stations on the line is Dolgoch, from, which a walk takes in three sets of magnificent waterfalls, the Dolgoch Falls. Four walks of varying lengths and difficulty start at Nant Gwernol station and provide an opportunity to enjoy the lovely woodlands and to look at

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

TALYLLYN RAILWAY Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd LL36 9EY Tel: 01654 710472 Fax: 01654 711755 e-mail: enquiries@talyllyn.co.uk website: www.talyllyn.co.uk
Surrounded by the beautiful countryside of midWales, The Talyllyn Railway is a historic narrowgauge steam railway. The railway is extremely popular with locals and visitors and it isnt just rail enthusiasts who like to come here. The railway, which runs from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and Nant Gwernol, is always bustling with families eager to see the views, which include Dolgoch Falls. The Talyllyn railway provides a really great family day out and many people like to explore the area by going on one of the forest walks at Nant Gwernol. A team of volunteers staff the railway and they are always happy to answer questions about the line which runs through the stunning Fathew valley. The Talyllyn Railway is one of a number of narrow-gauge lines built in Wales in the 19th century to carry slate. The original locomotives and all the original carriages remain in regular use and today, the average speed of the train is less than nine miles per hour, so passengers can enjoy the tranquil surroundings and unhurried journey. At Wharf Station there is a delightful selection of souvenirs, books and clothing available to buy.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

PRESWYLFA GUEST HOUSE 2 Brynmair, Tywyn, Gwynedd LL36 9AG Tel: 01654 710005 e-mail: preswylfaguesthouse@hotmail.co.uk website: www.preswylfa.net
Preswylfa Guest House is set in the heart of the Dysynni valley on the edge of Snowdonia National Park; the perfect place for those who love the outdoors. Jane and Lawrence Garvey offer three beautiful rooms , all offering excellent facilities and stunning views across the Broadwater. Preswylfa is ideal for romantic weekends away, families and singles. The Garveys hospitality is unrivalled, offering a range of delicious breakfast options including full English. The Talyllyn Railway is nearby, as is Cardigan Bay with sea and fresh water fishing, pony trekking and golf.

the remains of Bryn Eglwys quarry and the tramway that served it. Inland from Tywyn, the valley of the River Dysinni also attracts walkers because of the unusual geological formations of lava outcrops, which have been compared to a Chinese landscape. One of these outcrops is known as Bird Rock and looks remarkably like a cormorant.

ABERDOVEY(ABERDYFI) 18 miles SW of Dolgellau on the A493


With miles of sandy beach, a beautiful setting and a favourable micro-climate all its own, Aberdovey has good reason to claim the title of Jewel in the Crown of Cardigan Bay. The town also boasts the highest proportion of holiday homes on this coast and also some of the highest prices.

MEDINA COFFEE HOUSE Medical Hall Annexe, Aberdovey, Gwynedd LL35 0EB Tel: 01654 767159
Serving so much more than just coffee, the Medina Coffee House is accessed via a small entrance on the main road in the town of Aberdovey. This popular cafe serves a fantastic range of light lunches and tasty snacks. Since opening in 2007, owners Liz and Peter have created a lively yet relaxed atmosphere for customers to enjoy excellent service and delicious refreshments. Customers can choose from a selection of teas and freshly ground coffees as well as iced teas and coffees, chai, hot chocolates, milkshakes and other soft drinks. Food is served throughout the day, freshly cooked by Liz. Breakfast is available from 10am-12pm and for lunch there is a choice of filled sandwiches, paninis, ciabattas and jacket potatoes all served with a fresh side salad. There is also a small selection of tapas available in two sizes. The desserts and cakes baked freshly on the premises are not to be missed. Diners can sit inside or dine al fresco in the stylish courtyard, which is a real sun trap in the summer and backs onto a steep cliff face, which offers some shade. Medina Coffee Shop is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm in the summer and 10am-4pm in the winter.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

GILLS PLAICE 16 Chapel Square, Aberdovey, Gwynedd LL35 0EL Tel/Fax: 01654 767875
Situated in the peaceful seaside village of Aberdovey, Gills Plaice offers the perfect location to stop and buy fresh fish and seafood, as well as taking the opportunity for a stroll along the beach and around the harbour. The passion and dedication of the staff create an inviting and friendly atmosphere in which customers can purchase wellprepared haddock, sea bass or plaice. Fully dressed crabs, lobsters and shrimps are also available. The owner sources as much local fish as possible - this includes day boat fish such as mackerel, bream, bass, turbot, rock salmon and local trout according to season and weather conditions. The high quality of the fish on sale here has been recognised by no fewer than 6 True Taste of Wales food awards for products such as smoked trout, dressed crab and lobster, and the smoked mackerel pt.

Aberdovey was once one of the most important ports along the Welsh coast. Shipbuilding flourished here alongside the busy port whose records show that on one particular occasion there were 180 ships unloading or waiting for a berth. Today it is a gentle, civilised spot with all the best attributes of a seaside resort (including donkey rides on the beach) and none of the kiss-me-quick vulgarity of many larger places. Bowling, putting, tennis, charter fishing trips and kite-surfing are all available and, of course, golf. The Aberdyfi Golf Club achieved a double accolade in 2008 when it

was declared Welsh Golf Club of the Year and also UKs Most Welcoming Clubhouse. It won an STRI Environment Award in both 2009 and 2010 and is consistently rated in the Top 100 courses in the UK. The 18-hole links course occupies a spectacular site between Aberdovey beach and the Cambrian Mountains. Aberdovey gave its name to a popular Victorian ballad called The Bells of Aberdovey which recounts the legend that the sea drowned a great kingdom here and how on quiet summer evenings bells can be heard ringing out beneath the waves.

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

IMAGE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS


Some images in this publicationhave been supplied by http://www.geograph.org.uk and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

COPYRIGHT HOLDERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:


Criccieth Castle, Criccieth Garn Boduan, Nefyn Plas Yn Rhiw, Phiw Christine Matthews pg 6 pg 9 pg 13 pg 14 pg 15 pg 26 Dolwyddelan Castle, Dolwyddelan View from Harlech Castle, Harlech Llyn Tegid, Bala Dylan Moore Colin Smith Nigel Brown Nigel Homer John Lucas pg 27 pg 29 pg 33 pg 40 pg 41 pg 43

John S Turner Eric Jones Dave Crocker Christine Matthews Ellen Norris

Porth Oer, Bardsey island Llanberis Pass , Llanberis Swallow Falls, Betws-y-Coed

Precipice Walk, Dolgellau

Llyn Trawsfynydd, Trawsfynydd Tal-y-llyn Lake, Tal-y-Llyn

John Lucas

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

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49

Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

TOWNS, VILLAGES AND PLACES OF INTEREST

A
Aberdaron 13
Castel Odo 14 Parish Church of St Hywyn 13

Blaenau Ffestiniog 23
Church of the Holy Protection 23 Ffestiniog Railway 23 Ffestiniog Visitor Centre 25 Llechwedd Slate Caverns 23 Pant-yr-ynn Mill 23 Tan-y-Blwch County Park 25

Aberdovey 46 Aberdyfi 46 Abersoch 12


Castellmarch 12 March Amheirchion 12 St Tudwals Islands 12

Bontddu 32

C
Capel Garmon 27
Capel Garmon Burial Chamber 27

Arthog 43
Arthog RSPB Nature Reserve 44 Cregennan Lakes 43

Corris 42
Corris Craft Centre 42 King Arthurs Labyrinth 42 Railway Museum 42

B
Bala 32
Llyn Tegid 35 Rev Thomas Charles 33 Tegi 35 Tomen y Bala 33

Criccieth 6
Criccieth Castle 6 Criccieth Festival 6 Parish Church of St Catherine 7

D
Dinas Mawddwy 41
Gwilliaid Cochion Maeddwy 42 Meirion Mill 42 Pont Minllyn 41

Bardsey Island 14
Hermits Cave 15 Lighthouse 15 Lord Newboroughs Crypt 15

Barmouth 30
Barmouth Bridge 32 Dinas Oleu 32 Last Haul Sculpture 32 Lifeboat Museum 32 Lifeboat Station 32 Panorama Walk 32 Three Peaks Race 32 Ty Gywn 32

Dolgellau 37
Cadair Idris 39 Dafydd Ionawr 39 Dollgellau Bridge 39 Parish Church of St Mary 39 Precipice Walk 39 Quaker Heritage Centre 39 Ty Siamas 37

Betws-y-Coed 25
Conwy Falls 26 Conwy Valley Railway Museum 25 Fairy Glen Ravine 26 Gwydyr Forest Park 25 Machno Falls 26 Motor Museum 25 Parish Church of St Michael 25 Pont-y-Pair 26 Swallow Falls 26 Ty Hyll 26 Waterloo Bridge 25

Dolwyddelan 27
Dolwyddelan Castle 27 Parish Church of St Gwydellan 27

Dyffryn Ardudwy 30
Arthurs Quoit 30

F
Fairbourne 44
Fairbourne Railway 44 Rowen Centre 44

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

TOWNS, VILLAGES AND PLACES OF INTEREST


Ffestiniog 22
Cynfal Falls 22 Sarn Helen 23 Vale of Ffestiniog 22 Llanberis Lake Railway 16 Llyn Llydaw 15 Marged Ifan 16 Padarn Country Park 16 Pass of Llanberis 16 Snowdon 15 Snowdon Marathon 16 Snowdon Mountain Railway 15 Snowdon Race 16 Welsh Slate Museum 16

Frongoch 35
Arenig Fawr 35 Chapel Celyn 35 Llyn Celyn 35

G
Ganllwyd 40
Coed y Brenin Forest Park 40 Dolmelynllyn 41 Rhaeadr Ddu 41 Roman Steps 41

Llanelltyd 40
Cymer Abbey 40

Llanfachreth 40
Nannau Hall 40 Precipice Walk 40

Golan 21
Brynkir Woollen Mill 21

Llanfaelrys 13
Parish Church of St Maelrhys 13

H
Harlech 28
Ellis Swynne 29 Harlech Castle 28 Lasynys Fawr 29 Parish Church of St Tanwyg 29 Statue of the Two Kings 29

Llanfair 29
Llanfair Slate Caverns 29 Parish Church of St Mary 30

Llanfihangel-y-Pennant 43
Castell y Bere 43 Mary Joness Cottage 43 Parish Church of St Michael 43

Llangybi 7
Garn Pentyrch 7 St Cybis Well 7

L
Llanaber 30
Parish Church of St Mary 30

Llanuwchllyn 36
Bala Lake Railway 37 Cwm Hirnant 37 Llyn Efyrnwy 37 Penllyn Forest 37

Llanbedr 30
Rhinog Fawr 30 Roman Steps 30 Shell Island 30

Llanystumdwy 5
David Lloyd George 5 Highgate 6 Lloyd George Museum 6 Memorial Gates 6 Parish Church of St John 6 Rabbit Farm & Farm Park 6

Llanbedrog 11
Myndd Tir y Cwmwd 12 Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw 11 Tin Man 12

Llanberis 15
Cwm Derwen Woodland and Wildlife Centre 16 Dinorwig Power Station 16 Dolbadarn Castle 16 Electric Mountain 16 Glyder Fawr 16 Kingfisher Trail 16

Llwyngwril 44
Castell-y-Gaer 45 Parish Church of St Celynin 45

Llyn Peninsula 5

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

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Guide to Rural Wales SNOWDONIA AND GWYNEDD COAST

TOWNS, VILLAGES AND PLACES OF INTEREST

M
Maentwrog 22
Plas Tan-y-Bwlch 22

T
Tal-y-llyn 42
Parish Church of St Mary 43 Tal-y-llyn Lake 42

Mallwyd 43

N
Nant Peris 16
Parish Church of St Peris 17 Well of Peris 17

Trawsfynydd 41
Hedd Wynn 41 Llyn Trawsfynydd 41 Roman Amphitheatre 41 St John Roberts 41 Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station 41

Nefyn 7
Garn Boduan 9 Lleyn Historical and Maritime Museum 9 Old St Marys Church 9

Trefor 11
Bwlch Mawr 11 Gurn Ddu 11 Yr Eifl 11

P
Pantperthog 42
Centre for Alternative Technology 42

Tremadog 20
Parish Church of St Mary 20 Peniel Methodist Chapel 20 TE Lawrence 20

Penmachno 28
Penmachno Bridge 28 Penmachno Woollen Mill 28 Ty Mawr Wybrnant 28 Tyn y Coed Uchaf 28

Tywyn 45
Dolgoch Falls 45 National Trail 45 Tal-y-llyn Railway 45

Pentrefoelas 28
Parish Church of Pentrefoelas 28

U
Uwchmynydd 14
Braich-y-Pwll 14 Church of St Mary 14 Mynydd Mawr 14 Porth Oer 14

Porthmadog 17
Ffestiniog Railway 20 Madog Car and Motorcycle Museum 20 Maritime Museum 17 Porthmadog Pottery 17 Welsh Highland Railway 20

Portmeirion 21
Brondanw 22 Plas Brondanw 22 Portmeirion Pottery 22

Pwllheli 5
Glasfryn Parc 5 Lifeboat Station 5 Penarth Fawr 5

R
Rhiw 13
Plas yn Rhiw 13 RS Thomas 13

A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks

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