Where the north shore of the Mawddach Estuary and the south-western slopes of Snowdonia meet on the Cambrian coastline is the beautiful location for one of Gwynedd’s most popular seaside resorts, Barmouth (Abermaw).
Barmouth boasts a wide expanse of fine sandy beach, with safe bathing, which stretches for almost two miles, backed by a promenade, which is a lovely place for a quiet evening stroll. A thriving seaside resort, Barmouth hosts typical seaside attractions, including donkeys, trampolines, candy-floss, swing-boats and amusement arcades as well as a pleasant shopping area.
Straddling the sublime Mawddach Estuary are 113 rickety looking wooden trestles carrying the mainline railway across the wide tidal expanse. It is an extraordinary piece of 19th century railway architecture, recently renovated, due to the destructive nature of the wood-boring Teredo Worm. Much photographed, this bridge has carried visitors to Barmouth since 1866. Due to the arrival of the railway and the Victorian visitors’ penchant for salt water bathing, much of Barmouth’s growth, popularity and architecture date from this period.
Before the arrival of the railway, Barmouth was renowned as a shipbuilding centre and bustling port. Today’s quay is still busy, with boats offering fishing trips and pleasure cruises or a ferry ride across the Mawddach to Fairbourne. Nearby is the RNLI Museum, with displays of life-saving paraphernalia, old photographs of Barmouth and model ships.
The medieval tower house, Ty Gwyn, now used as a local museum, with a shipwreck theme, is one of the oldest buildings in Barmouth. Built in 1460, it is believed to have been used as a meeting place for local supporters of the House of Lancaster in the War of the Roses.
Ty Crwn, (round house), is a 19th century prison, its shape designed so the devil had no corner to hide in and its curtain wall used to separate men and women prisoners. It was mostly used for the incarceration of drunken sailors.
Dinas Oleu, a four acre hill, behind Barmouth was the first property donated to the National Trust by philanthropist Fanny Talbot, a friend of two of the trust’s founders.
Barmouth is the starting place for many pleasant walks. The Mawddach estuary, with its steeply wooded slopes and its mountainous background is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful areas in Wales; a nine mile walk along its banks will take you to Dolgellau. A much shorter walk is the Panorama Walk, with equally breathtaking views.
Barmouth is an ideal destination for those visitors seeking a lively centre, with safe sandy beaches in an area of remarkable beauty.