Porthmadog

Up the coast to the harbour town steeped in history

Another Saturday, another chance to hop in my car and head on up to north Wales. Following my bank holiday venture to Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog, I had my sights set on a couple of towns further west.

Setting off from Aberystwyh at just after 8am, Porthmadog is around 1 hour 30 minutes away by car. Following the A487 to Dolgellau, motorists will start to see signs for the A470 and Porthmadog, it’s then back onto the A487 into the town.

Passing through the villages of Penrhyndeudraeth and Minfford, Porthmadog comes into view when driving up the ‘Cob’, which acts as the soft border between the Meirionnydd and Eifionydd areas of Gwynedd.

Pulling off the ‘Cob’ you are brought into the town’s high street. There’s plenty of parking around the town, and I chose the long stay on Lombard Street. It was before 10am when I arrived and an all day ticket is just £4. Reasonable and takes away any worry of needing to get back in time for the ticket running out.

Once parked, I made my way down the high street which was starting to gradually fill up with the bust Saturday crowd. I’d only been to Porthmadog once before on a work event, and I don’t think it stopped raining the whole day.

On this day, summer was still alive and kicking despite it being September. I wanted to take in more of the town than I was able to on my previous visit. I walked down to the far end of the high street to get a lay of the land.

A peaceful start to the morning was a walk up the gradual incline to St John’s Church. Although locked when I visited, the church is nice to take in for a few minutes and gives good views back over the town.

Going back over, I walked back over towards the ‘Cob’ and one of the most iconic sights in this part of Wales; a Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway train leaving the station. A popular tourist attraction, the heritage railway takes passengers from Porthmadog and further into north Wales. The station in Porthmadog sits on the harbour, making it both easy to access and picturesque.

The town’s football team is based 15 minutes away from the centre, so I thought a walk down would be interesting. It was, because I was able to get closer to the ground that I initially thought.

Y Traeth is home to Porthmadog FC who currently play in the third tier of the Welsh football league. The side were away in a cup match , but it was still possible to get a look into the smart ground set up they have. Located by the bypass that takes motorists passed the town, it’s in a good spot.

Back in the town, I wandered back towards the ‘Cob’ and back onto the high street which, by 12.30pm, was bustling.

I grabbed a sandwich at a lovely deli at the far end of the street called Emilia’s before heading down towards the train station.

Porthmadog’s train station is located on this side of the town. For the second half of my day, I decided to take the train up the Llyn Peninsula to Criccieth.

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