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Above and below:- Criccieth, Gwynedd, West Wales - © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales
Criccieth is a beautiful seaside resort town on Cardigan Bay, on the Southern side of the Llyn Peninsula. Known as the ‘Pearl of Wales on the Shores of Snowdonia’, this attractive Victorian seaside resort is popular with tourists for its fantastic beaches and its traditional Welsh charm.
The town began developing into a seaside resort back in 1868, when the Welsh Coast railways were beginning to be constructed. Since then, Criccieth has become a popular location for those seeking relaxing coastal breaks in the UK.
The beach is separated into two different areas, both with incredible views of the surrounding Snowdonia Mountains. The beach is known for its tranquil atmosphere, you won’t find an abundance of amusements or arcades, making it the perfect location for a peaceful morning or evening walk.
Although you won’t find any distracting arcades, there are still all the essential amenities – toilets, parking, picnic benches and disabled access.
In the summer months, Criccieth reaches highs of over 20°C. Visitors and locals alike can be found sunning themselves on the soft sands of the beach during these months. The Eastern part of the beach is best for those with children, as there are shallow areas of water for them to safely splash around in.
The Western part of the beach is a bit pebblier, but still makes for a fantastic walk.
Overlooking the town on its headland stands the remains of the 13th century Criccieth Castle. The origin of the name ‘Criccieth’ has been disputed over the years, but many believe it is a reference to welsh words ‘crug caeth’. These words translate to ‘hill captives’ - the hill on which the castle was built upon was once used as a jail.
Criccieth has a rather small population of around 2000, but there are still plenty of things to see and do within this quaint Welsh town. The town has also managed to retain the historic Welsh language, with over 64% of its residents being able to speak it fluently.
There are plenty of accommodation and dining choices in Criccieth, including a number of seafront hotels which offer beautiful coastal views.
Criccieth Castle was originally built by Llywelyn the Great, in the early 13th century. Llywelyn was a Prince of Gwynedd, and ruled Wales for over 40 years. After his reign, the castle was succeeded by his son.
Much later, Edward I took control of Criccieth Castle, which eventually led to the Welsh residents of the area revolting against this. Just over 100 years later in 1404, the castle was completely sacked and was never reoccupied – leaving only what can still be seen today.
An exhibition on the Princes of Gwynedd can be found within the castle, where visitors can learn more about the town’s rich history.
There are a number of attractions surrounding Criccieth. Whether you’re up for an adventurous day of paintballing and segway riding at Dragon Raiders or a fun day out to the nearby animal park, you won’t have to travel too far to enjoy what North Wales has to offer.
There are also plenty of walking trails around the area, including the Criccieth Heritage Walk and the Wales Coast Path.
This coastal resort offers superb views of Tremadog Bay, sandy beaches, fine restaurants and good accommodation. Criccieth Castle, built by Llewelyn the Great in the l3th Century dominates the skyline and hosts an exhibition reliving Gerald of Wales' journey through Wales. Today the town attracts watersports enthusiasts. It is home to the famous Cadwaladers ice cream first produced in the 1920's.
The Welsh Language and Culture
Welsh is the first language of over a million people, and in the area of Snowdonia, the Llyn Peninsula and the Cambrian Coast around 70% of the population are Welsh speakers. Welsh is one of the oldest living languages in Europe and shares its roots with Breton, Gaelic and Cornish. The sense of community is very strong and Snowdonia's appeal springs from its unique heritage, culture and language, which touches on everyday life, giving this area a truly distinctive character.
Welsh Highland Railway in Porthmadog
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