Harlech is dominated by its castle, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Harlech Castle was built between 1283 and 1289 by Master James of St George for the English King Edward I, the conqueror of Wales. Designed on a concentric plan with a small but powerful inner ward dominated by an impressive twin-towered gatehouse and four round corner towers. It is has many similarities with the Krak des Chevaliers, Crusader Castle in Syria, over which Harlech has an important advantage: its own water supply.
Harlech was seized by Owain Glyn Dŵr during a rebellion/secessionist war in 1404 and held successfully by him for four years.
The old town centre, where most shops and restaurants are, sits upon the hillside around the castle, with more recent development being on the plain beneath the castle. The only two roads linking the two parts directly are very steep and narrow, and one is one-way (down) only.
Harlech is on the A496 and B4573. The A496 is narrow and twisty in places, particularly north of Harlech towards Maentwrog.
Bus routes 38 and 39, to Dolgellau - Barmouth - Porthmadog.
By TrainHarlech station is on the main Machynlleth to Pwllheli Cambrian Coast line.
phone: +44 1766 780552address: Castle SquareOne of four world heritage list castles in Wales. Be aware that road signs direct drivers to the car park at the foot of the rock upon which the castle stands, from which it is a very steep climb. There is however a pay car park next to the entrance to the castle in the town, though this is small and will be busy at peak times. On street parking in the town is free but roads are narrow and spaces limited.
phone: +44 1766 781395Home of the 18th century author, Ellis Wynne.
Ffordd Pen LlechThe steepest street in the world as of 2019, according to the Guinness World Records. The street has a gradient of 1:2.67, which means the street gains (or loses) one metre of elevation for each 2.67 metres of distance.
Royal St David's Golf Clubis one of Wales's premier golf links
address: Harlech, Snowdonia National Park LL46 2UGMiles of sandy beach; great for nudists. Half of beach is dog-free.
HillwalkingHarlech is one of the main centres for walking in the Rhinog range of mountains, which are sometimes referred to as the Harlech Dome. These run north/south, following the coast from Harlech to Barmouth, and separating the fertile coastal plain of Ardudwy from the rest of North Wales.
phone: +44 1766 781306address: Castle Court, High Street, Harlech, Gwynedd, LL46 2YE
Golden Inn Restaurantphone: +44 1766 780908address: High St Harlech Gwynedd LL46 2YBBeware that service can be very slow here
phone: +44 1766 780204address: High Street, Harlech LL46 2YA · Harlech
- Chip Shop on road up to castle from lower town (closed Saturday nights!)
castle cottagephone: +44 1766 780479A restaurant well situated near the Castle
address: High StreetAward winning Tea Shop serving over 30 loose leafs teas (no tea bags) also Rain Forest Alliance Coffees and Segafredo Extra Strong. Open March to October, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Hufenfa'r Castelladdress: Castle SquareProbably the best ice cream made in Harlech
phone: +44 1766 780479address: Y Llech, Harlech, LL46 2YLCastle Cottage is composed of two 400-year-old buildings.
Morlun B&Bphone: +44 1766 780776address: Old Llanfair Road, Harlech, LL46 2SSSeaside/country B & B set in a tranquil environment with a beautiful garden overlooking the sea, sandy beaches and mountains of Snowdonia.
phone: +44 1341 280540address: 28, Castell Morfa, Harlech, LL46 2GASelf-catering 3 bedroom 4 star bungalow lies in a quiet cul-de-sac off A496 in Southern Snowdonia, has a fine view of the World Heritage Site, off-road parking: close to railway station.
phone: +44 1766 780087address: Maelgwyn House, Ffordd Isaf, Harlech, Gwynedd, LL46 2SW
address: LL47 6YG
phone: +44 1766 780448address: Llanfair, Harlech, Gwynedd, LL46 2RB
phone: +44 1766 770000