Harlech Castle

Harlech is a town in north Wales, the location of a magnificently-situated medieval castle (part of a World Heritage site).


Harlech is dominated by its castle, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Harlech Castle was built between 1283 and 1289 by Master James of St George for the English King Edward I, the conqueror of Wales. Designed on a concentric plan with a small but powerful inner ward dominated by an impressive twin-towered gatehouse and four round corner towers. It is has many similarities with the Krak des Chevaliers, Crusader Castle in Syria, over which Harlech has an important advantage: its own water supply.

Harlech was seized by Owain Glyn Dŵr during a rebellion/secessionist war in 1404 and held successfully by him for four years.

The old town centre, where most shops and restaurants are, sits upon the hillside around the castle, with more recent development being on the plain beneath the castle. The only two roads linking the two parts directly are very steep and narrow, and one is one-way (down) only.

Get in

By car

Harlech is on the A496 and B4573. The A496 is narrow and twisty in places, particularly north of Harlech towards Maentwrog.

By bus

Bus routes 2 and 38, to Bangor/Barmouth/Blaenau Ffestiniog.

By Train

Harlech station is on the main Machynlleth to Pwllheli Cambrian Coast line.




Royal St David's Golf Club is one of Wales's premier golf links.


Harlech is one of the main centres for walking in the Rhinog range of mountains, which are sometimes referred to as the Harlech Dome. These run north/south, following the coast from Harlech to Barmouth, and separating the fertile coastal plain of Ardudwy from the rest of North Wales.




Mid range


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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.