Sunday 23 July 2017

Camping on the North Wales coast - Llandanwg and Harlech

View from Llandanwg beach 
I vaguely remember going to Anglesey for a week with a schoolfriend some thirty years ago otherwise I don't think I have explored North Wales before now. It's beautiful!

We booked in for four nights at a Camping And Caravanning Club certified site in the tiny village of Llandanwg, about two kilometres from Harlech. Ymwlch Farm campsite is essentially a neat stonewalled field with electric hookups and several water taps. There are a pair of toilets off to one side and the possibility to take showers at the nearby farmhouse. A 'shock horror' moment revealed there was absolutely no phone or portable wifi signal there so I had the bizarre experience of being almost internet free for several days! I say almost because there was a good signal about a hundred yards away on the beach. The campsite was £16 per night including electricity. Showers are 50p extra each. There is a fairly tight turn off the road and I was glad we only had our trailer tent on tow although larger caravans than Bailey were in the field so it probably would have been fine!

View from Llandanwg beach 
Ymwlch Farm's great advantages are its proximity to a wide sandy beach and to the historic town of Harlech with its interesting shops and cafes and the partially restored castle. There is good walking country hereabouts too, but unfortunately Dave came down with a nasty cold for a few days so we will need to return and walk! We did manage an hour or so strolling towards a small harbour and back around on our first evening. The views were stunning and these photos really don't do them justice!

We visited Harlech Castle the next day. Edward I had its construction started in 1283, one of a number of structures he commissioned, and it was virtually completed by 1289 which is apparently fast by large-stone-castle standards. I learned that 950 men worked on the build at the busiest time and, like all grand designs, it went rather over budget although at just over £8000 was still Edward's cheapest castle! By the early 1400s Harlech Castle was occupied by Owain Glyndwr (whose name we last encountered I think in Llandovery) and the famous anthemic Men Of Harlech song was written about the siege of Harlech Castle during the Wars Of The Roses.

View across to a harbour
near Llandanwg 
Entry to the castle these days is by way of a ticket office with attached gift shop and cafe. Once inside there are a number of informative poster boards and I especially liked two small models of the castle. Towers and walls have been restored so it is possible to climb (too many!) spiral steps and get long views over Harlech town and out to sea. At the time of its construction the sea was much closer, but now there is a band of protected dunes and a small golf course between its sea gate and the water.


  1. I used to live on Anglesey - amazing beaches! And I love Harlech castle! Great post! x

    1. Thanks Louise!
      We definitely need to return to North Wales for more exploring