Town:Harlechadd to shortlist

Harlech Town & Castle

Harlech Town & Castle

Harlech Town & Castle


LL46 2YA



Harlech is a very attractive coastal town that boasts award winning beaches, many interesting shops and a vibrant arts and crafts scene but it is chiefly known for its castle. Harlech Castle is the towering medieval fortification which rises from the cliff face and affords visitors breathtaking views over the sea and Snowdonia.

Harlech beach is a huge, peaceful beach with its flat sands and sand dunes which are the reason behind the area’s designation as a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

There is good access to the beach from a 440 yard/400m path from the car park close to the railway line crossing. The beach is an ideal place for children to play and an even better spot for adults to sit back and relax. There are dog restriction areas on the beach.

Harlech castle was originally built as part of the 'iron ring' of castles intended to restrict the Welsh people to their Snowdonia stronghold but ironically it was later taken by Owain Glyndwr (the last Welshman to claim the title of 'Prince of Wales') and played host to his coronation and subsequent parliament. It is due to the quality of the original architecture, which is tremendously well preserved, that the castle was able to play such a pivotal role in British history.

During the War of the Roses the castle was held for the Lancastrians until it was taken for the Yorkists by Lord Herbert of Raglan. It was this long siege which gave rise to the popular Welsh air 'Men of Harlech' Harlech Castle was built in 1283 by Edward I and is widely recognised as one the very best examples of medieval defence architecture, a status acknowledged by its designation as a Unesco World Heritage site.

The castle and the town also feature prominently in the Mabinogi (a collection of Welsh myth and folklore) where it is remembered for its association with the legend of Princess Branwen. The Mabinogi paints Harlech as a place of 'otherwordly feasting' at which grief and sorrow are always absent and today the town strives to live up to its mythic hospitality with an impressive choice of restaurants and regular music and arts festivals.

Another major attraction in Harlech is the Royal St. David's Golf Club which is one of the finest 18 hole links courses in the UK.

Harlech also provided Mari Strachan with the setting for her 2009 novel The Earth Hums in B Flat, whilst the Men of Harlech has gained international fame due to its starring role in the 1964 film Zulu and by its popularity with Welsh rugby fans.

Harlech features in Guinness World Records as having the steepest street in the world with the gradient of Ffordd Pen Llech verified at 37.45%. The title had previously been held by Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, with a gradient of 35% at its steepest.

Harlech has a railway station on the Cambrian Coast line from Machynlleth to Pwllheli.

Cash PointDisabled toiletsPicnic sitePostboxPublic toilets

Pay & Display Car Parks: Bron y Graig Isaf LL46 2SR; Bron y Graig Uchaf LL46 2SR; Min y Don LL46 2UG.




LL46 2YA

Location and nearby places


Plan route to Harlech using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SH 581311  Lat: 52.85862 Long: -4.10905


Harlech is situated on the A496 coast road which can be accessed by the A470/A487 Dolgellau - Porthmadog road.
Harlech town centre has pay and display parking and has a train station in easy reach of the castle.

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Harlech station


  • Cash PointCash Point
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • PostboxPostbox
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets

Pay & Display Car Parks: Bron y Graig Isaf LL46 2SR; Bron y Graig Uchaf LL46 2SR; Min y Don LL46 2UG.

Connect with us on Social Media