‘Criccieth is a small town in the Gwynedd region of North Wales and sits around 5 miles to the west of Porthmadog, on the Llyn Peninsula’
It is also known as ‘The Pearl of Wales on the Shores of Snowdonia, although Criccieth is slightly easier for me to remember. As with many other seaside towns in North Wales, it is very popular with visitors and has a range of beautiful old B&Bs and hotels running with views of the Irish Sea. Criccieth has a resident population of around 1,700 people, but this can swell considerably during the summer months.
If you have some time to spend in town, this is a quick guide on what to see and do.
At the Porthmadog end of the town is the Memorial Hall, which is famous for having its foundation stone laid by local lad, David Lloyd George. For anyone not familiar with British politics, Lloyd George held the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer before becoming Prime Minister from 1916 – 1922. The hall is well used for community entertainment and features heavily in the annual Criccieth Festival, held each June in various venues throughout the town.
It would be wrong not to include it, even just from the standpoint of the views it fords across the sea (and across the town). Although the Castle itself is largely in ruins (in comparison to its neighbouring castles), it does look utterly spectacular as you approach it sitting on top of the hill, jutting out across the water. The site is run by Cadw and prices are fairly reasonable, given there’s not a great deal of the structure left to walk around. It’s worth the entrance fee for the view, though.
The town actually has two beaches, split by the castle rocks. Marine Beach is to the west of the building and it pretty rocky, whilst the main beach is more sandy and lies to the east of the castle. It also has spectacular views. I prefer Marine Beach simply from the point of view that I like walking along between it and the rows of pastel coloured houses on the promenade. It’s a beautiful walk and has great vantage points of the castle from below. Also: it leads directly to the ice cream shop, so it wins hands down…
The waters at Criccieth are pretty temperate, being controlled by the Gulf Stream, which makes them a lot warmer than you’d expect. They’re also a good place to spot Porpoises, who also enjoy the warm water.
It’s illegal to visit Criccieth without popping to Cadwaladers for coffee and ice cream. The company is a Welsh institution and has been operating, mainly in the North, for a loooong time. They made incredible ice-cream, in a myriad of flavours, which LT likes to test out on a regular basis. You know, just to make sure they’re keeping their standards up. Their Criccieth ice cream parlour is also a Cafe and has some fantastic views out across the Irish Sea. There are few things better than rounding off an afternoon in town than by stopping for a rest and some much needed calories. I don’t eat ice cream personally as it doesn’t agree with me, but even I struggle not to order one of their special sundaes. The range is fantastic, but you’d probably have to have someone airlift you back to your car afterwards…they are NOT for the calorie conscious. However, isn’t that what being on holiday is all about???
What are your favourite sights in Criccieth?