Harlech – North West Wales

Harlech is a small village in North West Wales.

There are two main attractions in this little hamlet, the sand dunes and the castle. Originally these were pretty close to each other. The castle has been built on the shore and one of the gates led to a mini seaport. Today, however, the sand dunes are about 1km far. So the land grew faster than 1m per year. The space between the castle and the beach is now filled by a golf course and holiday park with many uniform holiday homes.

The beach and the sand dunes are a typical example of a British seaside. It is grey, colourless, sandy beach occupied only by occasional dog walkers in wellies and warm clothing or trail runners wearing long sleeves and winter hats. It might be different in summer, but during our January visit, it was very empty. This emptiness is, however, somehow beautiful and peaceful. An interesting comparison comes to mind when taking into account the region’s name. Comparing North West Wales with New South Wales. The Harlech beach is definitely more natural, empty, closer to nature and peaceful than Bondi Beach in Syndey, New South Wales, Australia. After throwing a couple of seashells into foamy waves we turned our steps towards the castle.

The Harlech castle marched in its history from one bloodshed to another. Built in 1298 the castle was positioned nicely close to the sea having resupply road from the sea during the many sieges. None of the actual rooms remained in the castle, but some fireplaces, chimneys and staircases are still visible. Overall it is nice ruin with nice cafe in front of it serving great scones and other cakes. Coffee is of the usual British standard 🙂

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