Sunday, 11 September 2011

Harlech - Best Beach in Britain?

After Conwy and Llanwrst, our next stop and overnight stay was at Harlech in Gwynedd, North Wales. 
Harlech is a small town and seaside resort on the Cardigan Bay coastline. Some of you may have heard of the song Men of Harlech
Its most famous landmark is the medieval castle - Harlech Castle - a world heritage site.
Outside the castle stands a monumental statue of two limbless men on a horse.  Its very powerful.  The bronze equestrian statue represents the Two Kings Bendigeidfran and his nephew, Gwern.
The town has changed so much since the last time we were there.  Old places have closed down and new businesses have sprung up, there is even a pizza take-away in the town.  After the long walk up to the castle we took a leisurely wander through the small town centre, then down to the beach - the most beautiful beach in Britain in my opinion. 
Bottom of the castle, not far from the train station.
A new resident/feature in Harlech is this spectacular metal Welsh dragon measuring 16 foot long and 10 foot wide is bolted below the historic castle.
His name is Dewi - The Welsh Dragon.
We got to Harlech Beach around lunch time - look at it - beautiful. 
Long golden shoreline.  And we are all alone.
Just on the edge of the beach is St Davids Golf Club.  Standing here gives a another perspective of the town: Harlech Castle, Theatr Harlech (Harlech Theatre) and Coleg Harlech (Harlech College).  
Ssshhhh....shortcut through the sand dunes and over the rail tracks to the town....and a drink at the hotel (see above).
Except when we went there in the evening to wet our appetite, we were saddened to see that the St David's Hotel was closed.  We were told by a local that it had closed down about 4 years ago.  It such a shame really.  Harlech has changed a lot since the last time we were there (over 10 years ago), in fact it was home for a year.  Still it will always hold many fond memories in our hearts and its a place I will come back to again. 


  1. Looks like a really lovely place! I would love to see that castle and the dragon!

  2. Awesome dragon!! The shot of the train is exhilarating too.

  3. Fabulous! I wish I can go back somewhere in the UK in november.

  4. Beautiful, we used to go to Wales when I was a kid for the summer holidays. Beach looks gorgeous. Trying to convince the fiance to let me have a 10x16ft dragon now, although I'm not sure where we would put him...

  5. This is my second attempt to comment. I love the solitary beach...but why was the hotel left to vandals rather than being re-purposed and kept up? That is such a waste.

  6. Thank you Lela.
    It is very beautiful!

    Thank you foodfeud.
    He is rather marvellous! Yeah I was quite pleased with the shot of the train too.

    Thank you spécialiste de l'éphémère.
    I think the weather in the U.K is terrible at the moment, in it has been crap all year, so I think you are mad to be wishing to come back here :D But I know why, we do have some beautiful sights here.

  7. Thank you Hanna.
    Childhood memories of Wales - fab!
    I think you will have to try a lot harder to get your fiance to let you have a 10x16ft dragon now. You may have to settle for a desktop one :)

    Hi e,
    I'm sorry to read that you are still having probs commenting, and am glad you did so. I hope whatever the prob. is it sorts itself out.

    The beach is wonderful. I spend many evening there just sitting on the sand dunes looking at the water (very rarely in the water).
    I don't understand why was the hotel left to vandals either, but I did hear that is being demolished now. I agree it is such a waste and thought if one of the colleges or Universities in Wales nearby had money, it could have been saved and as extended student accommodation if nothing else (but noone seems to have money these days).

  8. Wow--the beach is very beautiful. I love the dragon, too! He's awfully cute. I don't mind crap weather, but I know that you've had an especially wretched summer. Hope you have a lovely autumn! :-)

  9. Thanks Lauren,
    It is a beautiful beach.
    Wales is full of dragons, you just have to look harder.
    Thanks for the warm autumnal wish, but guess what - it has began awfully with the tailend of Hurricane Katia hitting some of us.

  10. we love it in north wales, we go regularly to a cottage 4 miles outside llanwrst. conwy, llandudno are regular haunts for us. never been to harlech so may have to give that a try.

  11. Miss Piggy Bank.
    You won't regret visiting Harlech - especialy the beach and the castle, so please do the next time you are there. I don't know when we will be up that way again, but Llandudno will be on the hit list next time :)


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