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Barmouth, Wales: Exploring the Cambrian Coast

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‘Barmouth is a small seaside town of around 2,500 residents, situated on the Estuary of the Mawddach River in North Wales…’

Barmouth is usually a fairly quiet and peaceful town, with an easy pace.  However,  it springs to life around the summer holiday period, when the population can swell up to 25,000 people. Therefore, it has a plethora accommodation, from hotels, guest houses and B&Bs, to caravan parks and camping sites.

It has lots to offers visitors (and locals) and is famous for its beautiful bridge and pretty white beaches. Barmouth beach, in the summer months, is an extremely busy place; with families taking time away from large English cities (mainly Birmingham and Liverpool) to head to the coast for fresh air and stunning scenery.

History

The town started life around a busy shipbuilding industry, but is now primarily a tourist destination. It’s extremely popular with day trippers; holidaymakers; walkers, cyclists and climbers, as well as boat enthusiasts who can dock in the harbour.

Three Peaks

Barmouth is very famous for being the starting point of the annual Three Peaks Yacht Race, where teams of sailors and mountaineers set sail from the coast in order to see who will be the first to sail from Barmouth to Fort William. To keep it interesting, they’re also required to climb the three highest peaks in the UK while they’re at it.

These are: Snowdon, which lies in the same region as Barmouth; Scaffel Pike in England’s Lake District, and the Daddy of them all: Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands.  I can’t imagine why anyone would want to put themselves through that, but it’s surprisingly popular.

If you’re in town to see the start of the race, it’s a fantastic experience and always great to see the different nationalities taking part. They’re usually a few Welsh teams, so that’s enough to keep the locals more than interested.

In addition to the Three Peaks, Barmouth also hosts many other celebrations and festivals throughout the year, including their popular Country Music festival each July.

Barmouth: Exploring the Cambrian Coast

Food and Drink

Barmouth has a wide range of traditional and modern bar and restaurants, including the award winning Bistro Bermo.  There’s a beautiful tapas bar in The Tilman Hotel and Bar, as well as a superbly spicy Peri Peri chicken dish available at the impossibly cute Myddrins Bar Caffi.

The smart harbour area is replete with ice cream parlour, traditional bars, pizza restaurants and space for milling around. The Lobster Pot restaurant is also here, where dinner is caught a few metres from your plate.

In the middle of town, lies a large arcade and amusements area.  This tends to keep children of all ages contented, while liberating their parents of every last penny of spare change.

If you happen to be in town for the sunset, a great spot to take this in is the Min y Mor Hotel patio, which directly faces the beach.

Barmouth: Exploring the Cambrian Coast

Shopping

Barmouth is a haven for independently run boutique stores and galleries.  Most stores are run by local people and are well established.  Shopping in Barmouth can be pricey, depending on what you’re looking for, but there’s a great range of shops to browse.  My personal favourite is Summer Strawberries, where I’ve spend an inordinate amount of time and money buying candles and candle holders….and more candles…and some wine glasses…and, well you get the idea.

Other notable stores are Fudgeridoo, where you can buy as many sugary treats as your hands will allow.  A few doors down is Weigh Out, which is extremely popular for its sweet treats and healthy snacks.

Barmouth: Exploring the Cambrian Coast

Transport & Parking

Barmouth has a train station and several bus stops, so public transport is available on a frequent basis.  The town is compact and walking from one end to the other takes no more than around 15 mins.

Most of the town’s parking is paid but, in comparison to city prices, it’s pretty cheap.  There’s also free parking along the promenade, but spaces fill up very quickly.

The town also has a large supermarket and smaller Spar stores to cater for all your needs. There’s also an abundance of cafes, so coffee and home made cakes are never too far away.  And, let’s face it, what kind of monster doesn’t enjoy that on a day out.

Suz x

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Barmouth, Wales: Exploring the Cambrian Coast
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Barmouth, Wales: Exploring the Cambrian Coast
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What to see and do in Barmouth, North Wales
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