Criccieth

The seaside town at the start of the Llyn Peninsula

The Cambrian Coast line starts at Machynlleth and runs all the way up the Welsh coast to Pwllheli.

My short journey, Porthmadog to Criccieth, is just a 10 minute journey and an open return is less than £3.50. The train comes into Criccieth behind the beach and into the station which feels nestled amongst the trees.

The high street is located behind the station, with shops and cafe’s spread all around. I decided to walk towards the beach, and a narrow path which crossed the railway tracks brought me to a map of the town and surrounding area.

I was drawn to directions to a viewpoint that overlooked the town. A grassy path leads you to the top, and then offers superb views of the beach, up and down the coast and the remains of the old castle.

A quick water break and I went back down the hill and up towards the high street. With independent shops, cafe’s and pubs lining both sides, it makes for an interesting walk. Amongst these businesses, stands the town’s Memorial Hall, which has been a part of Criccieth for almost a century.

It is a focal point in the community, and it’s foundation stone was laid by former Prime Minister David Lloyd George who grew up in the town.

After a coffee back on the high street, I decided to start walking down towards the beach. The steep streets mostly lead to the promenade, which on a sunny Saturday afternoon in September was thriving.

The RNLI station in Criccieth is built into a small house by a launch ramp. Inside, the shop was open and I bought some memorabilia. Money goes towards keeping the lifeboat running, which is as good a cause as any in my book.

Confirming with the woman in the shop as to what the best way was to get to the castle, I ventured up a deceptively steep bank to the castle visitors centre. Entry to the grounds is £5.40 with concessions available.

It’s a steep walk up, but one that is worth it. The castle sits on the very edge of the clifftop and looms over the beach on either side. The castle was built in the 13th century and faced the brunt of attacks and sieges. As a result, large areas no longer exist, but the scars of history are fascinating to experience.

I spent around an hour up at the top, and in reality you can spend plenty more time up there experiencing the castle and admiring the views. It was a clear day, and possible to see right up the Llyn and back down towards Porthmadog.

I had a slow wander back towards the train station, picking up a scoop of Malteaser ice cream from Cadwaladers on the way back to the train station.

Criccieth has a lot to offer, and it’s a place where you could easily enjoy a long weekend or a few hours wandering around. It was great getting to know it, even if it was a short time.

I am a journalist with an honours degree from Coventry University. Passionate writing about politics, culture, sport, society and more