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Review: Criccieth

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Criccieth, Gwynedd, Wales, United Kingdom

An unspoilt sea side town

  • By SilverTraveller ESW

    2189 reviews

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  • May 2014
  • Family including children under 16

11 people found this review helpful

Criccieth is a typical sea side town with a strong Victorian feel to it. It grew rapidly once the railway arrived in 1867 and has been popular ever since. It is an attractive place to stop with a range of old fashioned family owned shops. In the centre is Y Maes, a large open expanse of grass which was originally the town common. In the centre are the remains of an old stone cottage. The main road and west bay are lined with splendid Victorian houses, many now hotels or B&Bs. The splendid George IV hotel on Stryd Fawr, dates from 1830, shortly after the turnpike opened.

There are two blue flag beaches. That to the west is sandy. That to the east is more pebbly and has rock pools to explore at the far end. At the far end is the Morannedd Cafe, which was built by Clough Williams Ellis of Portmeirion fame. The small RNLI station above the east beach is often open for visits.

Standing above the two beaches is Criccieth Castle , what I always imagined Enid Blyton’s Kirrin Castle to look like. This was originally a Welsh castle built by Llywelyn the Great around 1230. Fifty years later, it was captured by Edward I who refortified the castle by adding an extra storey on the gatehouse towers giving it its characteristic appearance today. It is a steep climb up to the castle but you are rewarded by good views of the town and surrounding countryside and across the bay to Harlech. The small visitor centre has information on castles in North Wales as well as a short video about Gerald of Wales journey round Wales in 1188.

The rocky outcrop just inland from the castle is called Dinas and it is possible to scramble up to the top for views across Criccieth.

Sea side holidays demand ice cream and there is always a steady stream of holiday makers heading for Cadwalader’s Ice Cream at the bottom of Castle Street. Across the road is the Fish and Chip shop selling what must be some of the best fish and chips in the country.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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