is it? Harlech, Snowdonia, on the north west coast of Wales.
How long will it take ? 3 hours,
Distance 6.25 miles / 10 km
What's the attraction? : estuary wildlife; nature reserve;
fantastic views; sand dunes; sandy beaches;
Essentials : swimming costume;
Check Tide Times : Best walked at low tide.
Check the BBC tide tables here >
Rating : This is an easy walk.
Car Parking : Parking is available
in the car park below the Castle, between the A496 and the beach.
of Harlech to Glaslyn Estuary Walk location
Travelling from Barmouth take the A496 to Harlech, (Bear left at the
junction below the Castle)
In order to appreciate the beauty of the sunsets on the west coast
of Wales I would have to recommend this walk for an afternoon or early
Harlech Castle, sitting on a massive
limestone outcrop, sets the scene for this walk, and indeed the
castle dominates the landscape for miles around. But our walk takes us
away from the castle and toward the beach and the beautiful Glaslyn estuary.
Exit the car park and turn right. The path cuts through Harlech golf
St David's Golf Course, and leads, via the sand dunes, to Harlech
It is a glorious beach, the miles of golden sands spread inland to form
huge sand dunes, and indeed Harlech Morfa is a place of Special Scientific
Interest and a National Nature Reserve.
On arriving on the beach bear right and keep walking. Eventually you
will arrive at the estuary of the River Glaslyn (Afon Glaslyn in Welsh).
The views are breathtaking, to the west the Lleyn peninsula, straight
ahead Porthmadog and Borth y Gest, and to the east there are fantastic
views of Portmeirion with the hills of Snowdonia as a glorious backdrop.
Further investigation of the estuary is possible but this depends upon
the estuary tides, and if you are unsure it is better to play safe and
simply return the way you came.
The dune area is one of the finest examples of a natural dune system
in Britain and a climb to the top of the dunes gives added interest
to the return walk, presenting a different perspective on the castle.
The distance and the dunes lending it the appearance of a sand castle
rather than a bastion of medieval military might. But the climb is also
worth the effort simply for the fun of running up and down the dunes!
On arriving back at Harlech beach I would recommend a swim, subject to
the weather of course. It's a safe beach, the waters are beautifully clean,
and with it's western aspect it is a real sun trap.
If all the walking has given you an appetite then you may get some lovely
fish and chips at the Fish and Chip shop close to the car park.
Food fit for a king eaten in the shadow of a Castle...