Barmouth’s location on the west coast of North Wales is beautiful. The Barmouth Publicity Association has long used the strapline “For mountain, sand and sea”. This is very apt with the mountains literally reaching down to the town and the sandy beach that stretches for miles both along the coast and out towards the sea. Barmouth sits on the mouth of the Mawddach estuary with views in one direction over the estuary to the Cadair Idris (anglicised Cadar Idris) range and in the other direction to the Lleyn peninsula.
William Wordsworth, after a visit to Barmouth in 1824, said: “We took a boat and rowed up its sublime estuary, which may compare with the finest in Scotland, having the advantage of a superior climate” and reputedly went further … “With a fine sea view in front, the mountains behind, the glorious Estuary running eight miles inland, and Cader Idris within compass of a day’s walk, Barmouth can always hold its own against any rival.”
Image © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales
Barmouth beach is enormous, even at high tide, and sandy. Kids love the beach yet its size means those wanting to relax in peace and quite can usually do so easily. Fishing is very popular towards dusk at the northern end of the promenade and just beyond. The coast between Barmouth and Harlech is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches throughout, our favourite from many years of holidaying being the beach at Dyffryn Ardudwy. Barmouth also has a large range of shops, pubs and hotels, and near the beach is a funfair from March to October and amusement arcades.
The Mawddach estuary is an area of immense beauty and offers visitors a range of walks from easy to extreme. It is a haven for bird spotters and those wishing to get away from it all. It also offers great photo taking opportunities, especially at sundown.
There are a surprising number of activities taking place throughout the year. The Dragon Theatre hosts a year-round programme of theatre, music, film and many other events. There is a local sports centre and library, plenty of churches (Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian [Christ Church], Penticostal …), an active football club with well attended matches and a train service north to Harlech or south along the coast to Aberdyfi. The regular bus and train services are very useful to walkers who can bus one way and walk the other. Events range from the annual September walking festival to the Three Peaks yacht race from Barmouth to Fort William. A good listing of local events, both imminent and months hence, can be found on the Mawddach Estuary website.
Barmouth is famous for its micro climate, being a cool getaway in summer and warm in winter. Differences with inland are most favourably inclined in October and November. Rainfall is also relatively low on the coast being two-thirds of Dolgellau and less than half of the rainfall over the inland Snowdonia peaks!