After the peace and tranquillity of the coastal path, the hustle and bustle of the lively tourist town of Barmouth comes as a jolt to the unwary walker.
A long-time favourite destination of trainloads of holidaymakers from the West Midlands, Barmouth obliges with the usual attractions along the seafront. But don’t let this put you off - there is much more to Barmouth than candyfloss and amusement arcades.
With its’ superb location, sandwiched between the Rhinog Mountains and the sea, on the mouth of the Mawddach Estuary, and with beautiful wide golden sands, it is easy to see why Victorians flocked here in their thousands and why the town still appeals to visitors today.
The mountains literally tower over you here as you explore the town, whilst from the harbour and iconic bridge the panoramic views over the estuary are magical.
The haphazard streets and crooked steps of the old town lined with old cottages clustered around the quay are a delight to explore. This is the original Barmouth, where local people made a living from boat building and from exporting wool and cloth.
Above the steep streets of the old town is the gorse covered hill of Dinas Oleu (Citadel of Light), the first land to be donated to the National Trust. You can follow a waymarked walk to the top of the hill and enjoy the views of Barmouth and beyond.
The tiny Ty Gwyn Museum is housed in a medieval house on the quay, the oldest house in Barmouth. Here you can find out more about the history of Barmouth and the shipwreck of an unnamed ship off the shores of Barmouth in 1709. The museum is open most afternoons.
Behind the museum is the curious Ty Crwn roundhouse - a lock-up built for imprisoning drunks and other undesirables, with men and one side and women on the other. It is said that its round design was to stop the devil emerging from any of the corners to corrupt the occupants any further!
One of the most unusual theatre venues in the country must be the Dragon Theatre, located in a converted Victorian chapel, which hosts regular events throughout the year.
To the east of the town is the dramatic 2253ft Barmouth Bridge or Barmouth Viaduct, the only surviving wooden rail viaduct in the UK. There was uproar in 2015 when the local council announced its possible closure to cyclists and pedestrians for cost savings. Suffice to say the argument was had - and very clearly won - and we are pretty sure this utterly unique and stunning bridge, vital for trains, cycles and walkers, is here to stay!
The town is part of the Wales Coast Path and you can make a lovely walk over it with some of the best views in North Wales to the mountains of Cadair Idris in one direction and the ocean in the other. In season you can loop back to town using the ferry from Fairbourne.