Car-free adventures aroundBarmouthGwynedd

Seaside Barmouth, with its Victorian cottages and steep, winding alleys, its classic waterfront promenade and spectacular viaduct, is a perfect base for adventures by train, ferry, bike or foot. A long sandy beach on the coast of Snowdonia – what could be more spectacular? If that’s not enough, there’s the glorious Mawddach estuary to explore, there are castles and wildlife reserves dotted along the coast and fabulous visitor attractions like The Ffestiniog Railway.

  • County: Gwynedd
  • Great for: beaches | boat trip | castles | scenic train | walking | wildlife |
  • Refreshments: pubs, cafes and restaurants in Barmouth - elsewhere as listed in text
  • Please note: researched/updated May 2018. If anything’s changed or you have tips to share, do get in touch: features@goodjourney.org.uk
  1. 3. Get the Ferry to Fairbourne

    Besides the spectacular viaduct over the Mawddach estuary, the Barmouth ferry runs from 10am to 4pm every day and connects with the Fairbourne steam railway.

    • It costs £2.50 to cross from Barmouth’s harbour quayside to Barmouth Ferry Station at the mouth of the beautiful Mawddach Estuary on a small motorboat ferry.
    • Ferries have been crossing the Mawddach estuary to Barmouth since Roman times and in the middle ages local monks used to operate them. Famous ferry passengers have included William Wordsworth and Charles Darwin.
    • From Barmouth ferry to Fairbourne village, the little Fairbourne Railway has splendid views, with Cader Idris mountain on one side and the sea on the other.
    • Fairbourne Station hosts a large model railway a museum and a licensed, café, usually open when trains are running, which serves cakes, sandwiches and ice creams as well as tea, coffee, wine, cider and the award-winning, locally brewed Purple Moose beers. The Harbour View Café, right by the beach at Barmouth Ferry Station, serves a similar range of drinks and snacks, and overlooks Barmouth Bridge and the estuary.
    • Fairbourne is famous for its two-mile-long golden sandy beach backed by a pebbly bank with great views of the woods and mountains. Windsurfing and sailing are popular on the windy westward side and along the top end, there are “dragons’ teeth”, concrete anti-tank blocks left over from World War Two, designed to stop the enemy landing.
    • A pleasant half hour’s stroll and steep climb from Fairbourne bring you to the Blue Lake, tucked away in a fold in the hills, in the old Goleuwern Slate Quarry. The water is a clear unearthly blue, very cold and reputed to be bottomless. It’s marked on OS Explorer Map OL23.
  1. 4. Hike or bike the Mawddach Trail

    This ten-mile walk and cycle route along the beautiful Mawddach estuary follows a disused railway. You can follow it all the way along the estuary, to the historic market town of Dolgellau, and back on the T3 bus. Or just as far as the picturesque George III at Penmaenpool.

    • If you’d rather cycle, you can hire bikes from Birmingham Garage in Barmouth (near the harbour, 01341 280644).
    • For a shorter walk, try Barmouth’s town heritage trail. Discover Victorian cottages and steep, winding alleys in Old Barmouth and 15th-century Ty Gwyn (“white house”), which is the town’s oldest building.
    • The classic Panorama Walk above Barmouth provides dramatic views and routes of differing lengths, from one mile to six. On the way you pass the site of the Victorian pleasure gardens, relics of 19th-century manganese mining and a First World War memorial on Craig y gigfran (“raven rock”).

     

     

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount

Visit car-free in 2019!