Striding Out in Harlech

My posts about our Welsh sojourn are almost at their conclusion, but I couldn't resist showing you a couple of holiday snaps from our trip to Harlech last Friday. We'd spent quite a bit of the week hearing this place being talked about, but had mistaken it for a lot of throat clearing by native Welsh speakers. It was only when we visited the Tourist Information office in Tywyn that we realised our error. We'd gone in there to check film times at Barmouth's Dragon Theatre, only to be told they weren't showing that week and 'cough cough' (Harlech) was our nearest cinema whilst Tywyn's was closed for decoration.

In the end we didn't get our film fix, but I thought another trip on the train to have a gander at Harlech would be a good thing for our holiday's last day. We'd gone for the train trip option because a) train trips are fun b) there's a long detour to get round the Mawddach estuary by car and c) we were facing a long car journey home the day after. Once aboard we discovered d) the trip is cheaper using the £6 day rover ticket option - allowing us go anywhere on the Cambrian Line between Aberystwyth and Pwllheli. Bargain!

To get to the above view takes a brisk 10 minutes up the 1 in 4 hill from the station. I'm proud to report I lasted longer than 'Mr super fit trains at least 4 times a week competitive swimmer' NAH before needing to demand a rest to admire the view of the way up. There must be something in Bunny Guinness' advocation for gardening as the new fitness regime after all. Once up there lunch was in order and it was a grand day for a picnic whilst looking at this view from outside the castle:

You can see that Snowdon wasn't wearing its usual cloud hat and coat for once. Post lunch was a bit dramatic as we suddenly found ourselves caught up in a wasp swarm and were forced to take shelter in The Castle Hotel whilst they angrily buzzed their way up the hill. After that we needed some further refreshment and comfort and found the local artisan ice cream maker (very friendly) was just the job. NAH went for Hokey Pokey (honeycomb) and I had Coconut. Luckily we went for the single cone option - a double one would have probably involved eating an entire tub of ice cream each. We also went for the dipped in chocolate option, so mine took on the distinct style of a very upmarket Bounty. I'm pleased to report the ice cream was on par with our Beddgelert discovery last October - and theirs was rated number 8 in the UK by The Independent. Hmm, perhaps we need to add an extensive ice cream survey to our current Bara Brith project?

The town is full of quaint little places and gardens to discover, so we had an extremely pleasant couple of hours 'just looking' before hurling ourselves back down the hill for the train back to Tywyn.


  1. That hill is a good work out :)
    Glad you had fun in Harlech.
    PS You picked a good week. It hasn't stopped raining here this week!

  2. LOL - you thinking "Harlech" was throat clearing. What a great view. I wish there were castles around here to explore.

  3. Karen - how's this week going there?

    MMD - It's lovely isn't it? We're so lucky over here.


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