This great castle, the site of so many battles and sieges, was one of Edward I’s ‘iron ring’. Unlike Beaumaris, on which building continued for 35 years, Harlech was completed within just seven years (1283–90). Master builder James of St George (1230–1308) personally supervised the building, and it doesn't take much imagination to envisage what a remarkable feat of engineering was required to erect such a vast fortress in such a short space of time.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- Facilities: Induction loop
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year, daily Mar-Jun & Sep-Oct, 9.30-5; Jul-Aug, 9.30-6; Nov-Feb, Mon-Sat 10-4, Sun 11-4 (last admission 30mins before closing). Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan
Also in the area
About the area
The county of Gwynedd is home to most of the Snowdonia National Park – including the wettest spot in Britain, an arête running up to Snowdon’s summit that receives an average annual rainfall of 4,473mm. With its mighty peaks, rivers and strong Welsh heritage (it has the highest proportion of Welsh-speakers in all of Wales), it’s always been an extremely popular place to visit and live. The busiest part is around Snowdon; around 750,000 people climb, walk or ride the train to the summit each year.
Also in Gwynedd is the Llyn Peninsula, a remote part of Wales sticking 30 miles out into the Irish Sea. At the base of the peninsula is Porthmadog, a small town linked to Snowdonia by two steam railways – the Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway. Other popular places are Criccieth, with a castle on its headland overlooking the beach, Pwllheli, and Abersoch and the St Tudwal Islands. Elsewhere, the peninsula is all about wildlife, tranquillity, and ancient sacred sites. Tre’r Ceiri hill fort is an Iron Age settlement set beside the coastal mountain of Yr Eifl, while Bardsey Island, at the tip of the peninsula, was the site of a fifth-century Celtic monastery.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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