Criccieth is situated in Gwynedd, North Wales. Criccieth is a small town but its very compactness makes it an attractive resort for short breaks or indeed a family holiday.
The resort is located on the beautiful Llyn peninsula, the finger of land pointing toward Ireland in the north west corner of Wales. Being to the west of the Snowdonia National Park, travellers will probably arrive via the A497 and the first impression on entering the town is Criccieth Castle high on the hill. The castle overlooks Cardigan Bay and the rocky promontory separates Criccieth's second most popular attractions the East and West beaches.
All streets lead to the castle or at least seem to have a castle view. But if it's not the castle at the end of the street then its the sea ! There are fantastic sea views either west toward the Llyn peninsula, east toward Snowdonia and Porthmadog, or across Cardigan Bay toward Harlech and its very own medieval castle.
Criccieth owes its existence to the castle and although the town is in a truly beautiful location it could be argued that it still owes a debt to the early castle builders for its success as a seaside resort. Ironically, the Welsh built castle was built to keep the English out but it is now an important part of the warm Welsh welcome offered to the many tourists from over the English border.
Below the castle are the two beaches, the West beach is a sandy beach that stretches out toward the distant mountains of the Llyn peninsula, while the East beach is a pebbly beach that sits comfortably snuggled up to the castle rock and the lower town. While sitting on the East beach with the kids nothing is too far away. Whether its fish and chips, (Castle Street), "world famous" ice cream (Castle Street), a beach Cafe (on the promenade) or a game of pitch and put Golf (a few hundred yards along the promenade from the castle), everything is close at hand. There is a slipway to launch kayaks or sail boats, rock pools and sea weed clumps that hide sideways scampering crabs and darting shrimps. From high tide to low tide there is plenty to keep the family occupied.
Castles and Forts
Criccieth Castle, established by the Welsh Prince Llywelyn Fawr (Llewelyn the Great) and later enlarged by King Edward the First of England, is a landmark for miles around and dominates the small town. Welsh castles usually typify the history of the English and the Welsh nations. The English built the castles, the Welsh knocked them down and in-between they fought each other. However, in Criccieth's case the Welsh built the castle the English tried to knock it down, the English then rebuilt it and in between, they fought each other.
Attractions nearby include : excellent Golf Courses in Gwynedd ; the nearby hills of Snowdonia offer some of the best Mountain Bike Trails in the United Kingdom ; for walkers the hills of Snowdonia are close by ; pony trekking is available nearby ; white water rafting is available in Tryweryn near Bala ; sailing, sea kayaks and canoeing are popular water sports on Criccieth beaches; rock pooling and crabbing is popular with “children” of all ages on Criccieth east beach; angling from the rocky headlands or fishing from the sea shore are popular on Criccieth beaches ; Fish and Chips in Castle Street ; "world famous" ice cream ; a four mile walk to the wildlife wonders of the beautiful Glaslyn Estuary.
Accommodation and Services
Should you decide to stay over in this delightful resort there are a number of guest houses and small hotels located on the Victorian seafront promenade. There are cheaper alternatives in the surrounding countryside with a choice of campsites and caravan parks. Should you choose to eat out there are an abundance of restaurants and bistros and a number of public houses offering good beers and bar meals.