Harlech is a town and seaside resort in Gwynedd, within the historical boundaries of Merionethshire in northwest Wales. Lying on Tremadog Bay and within the Snowdonia National Park, it has a population of 1,952, of whom 59% speak Welsh. The town is located in the unitary authority of Gwynedd which was formed in 1996, from 1974 to 1996 it was in the Meirionydd District of the 1974 County of Gwynedd, and before 1974 it was in the historic county of Merionethshire.
The town is best known for the landmark Harlech Castle, begun in 1283 by Edward I of England, captured by Owain Glyndwr, and later the stronghold of Henry Tudor. The castle was originally built next to the sea, but geological processes have changed the shape of the coastline, and the castle now lies on a cliff face, about half a mile (800 m) inland. The town has since developed with housing estates on the flat low town area and hillside properties in the high town around the shopping street, church, and castle. The two areas are linked by a steep and winding road called "Twtil".
Harlech also plays a role in Medieval Welsh mythological literature. In the second branch of the Mabinogi "Branwen, Daughter of Llwr," Harlech is the seat of Bendigeidfran, Branwen's brother and king of the "Isle of the Mighty." Towards the ending of the tale, the seven survivors of the war between the Irish and the Welsh are requested by the wounded Bendigeidfran to have his head cut off and carried to Gwynfryn in London. As instructed the seven men first return to Harlech and feast for seven years, entertained by the three birds of Rhiannon, and later spend another eighty years at Gwales. The otherworldly feasting at Harlech and Gwales, with boundless supply of food and drink, heavenly music, and the absence of grief and sorrow, is known in the early Welsh tradition as "The Assembly of the Noble Head."
Local authority: Gwynedd Council
OS Grid Reference: SH583312
Tourist Information Centre
Llys y Graig
Phone 01766 780 658
Photos are automatically tagged by geographic coordinate proximity and/or are submitted by website visitors, and may not necessarily be specifically of Harlech.
Forecast for Saturday 19 August
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This family-run country hotel overlooks Harlech Castle and rests opposite the championship Royal St. David's golf course. The hotel is easily accessible by picturesque country roads off of all major motorways to the west. Details...
Situated just 400 metres from Harlech Castle, Maelgwyn House offers an art gallery and spectacular views of the Llyn Peninsula and Tremadog Bay. Details...
Featuring outstanding sea views, the Dol aur Bed and Breakfast offers free WiFi throughout and free onsite parking. Situated in Harlech, it also has a large sun terrace with seating and barbeque facilities. Details...
Frondirion is a 4-star bed and breakfast located in the Snowdonia National Park, just a 10-minute drive from Herlech Train Station. The property is less than 5 minute's walk from 2 sandy beaches. There is free WiFi access available and free parking. Details...
With free Wi-Fi and free parking on site, this 18th-century bed and breakfast cottage is situated in Snowdonia National Park. Two lovely beaches are just a few hundred metres away, and Harlech town can be reached in 3 minutes’ drive. Details...
Just 23 miles from Mount Snowdon in Snowdonia National Park, this 4-star B&B is situated close to Harlech, and has free Wi-Fi and free parking on site. A full English breakfast is provided every morning at Gwrach Ynys Country Guest House. Details...
The Villa is a wonderful detached cottage, located on a quiet lane, in the heart of Harlech, on the west coast of North Wales and it can sleep eight people. The cottage has a king-size double bedroom with an en-suite shower room, a double bedroom, a twin bedroom, a children's twin bedroom with 2'6" beds, a bathroom, a ground floor basin and WC and an open plan living area with kitchen, dining area and sitting area. Details...
Situated near the centre of Harlech, this lovely stone-built terraced cottage provides wonderful views of 13th Century Harlech Castle with the Tremadog Bay and the Snowdonia mountains beyond. Details...
Delfod is a stone built, end-terraced cottage set on the edge of Harlech in North Wales. This cottage sleeps two people in one king-size double, which can be made into a twin on request, as well as a shower room. Details...
Cefnfor Awel is a wonderful, detached cottage located close to the beach and the Royal St Davids Golf Club on the outskirts of Harlech. The cottage offers five bedrooms, including two king-size double rooms with en-suite shower rooms, a ground floor double room, and two twin rooms. Details...
8 Parc Bron Y Graig is a comfortable linked bungalow, set in a fabulous position in central Harlech, North Wales. With two bedrooms, one king-size double and one triple bunks (4' double below, single on top), this cottage can sleep five people. Details...
Yr Efail is a cottage situated in Harlech, near to the popular and picturesque walking area of Snowdonia National Park. The cottage sleeps six people and has one king-size double, one double with en-suite and one twin bedroom, a bathroom, fitted kitchen and a sitting room with dining area. Details...