Criccieth Castle

Criccieth Castle

We spent many of my childhood holidays up in the little seaside town of Criccieth in Gwynedd, North Wales and I’d always wanted to visit the castle, yet we never went. So, when Mum & I treated ourselves to a last minute long weekend trip up to Criccieth, I made sure we had time to visit the castle.

Criccieth Castle from the beach.
Criccieth Castle from the beach.

Criccieth Castle stands high above the seaside town. Sat atop a headland between the town’s two beaches, the castle gives visitors a panoramic view of the sea, beaches, town and the mountains beyond. You couldn’t ask for a more stunning view.

Once through the visitor centre, access to the castle is via a fairly steep path (roughly 100 metres in length) with steps so anyone with limited mobility may struggle to get up there (wheelchair users are restricted to the visitor centre). I made it up there OK, but I must admit it challenged me somewhat as I’m not good with heights or steep paths.

The Inner Gatehouse
The Inner Gatehouse

Criccieth Castle is believed to have originally been built by Llywelyn the Great at the beginning of the 13th century but was unfortunately captured by Edward I’s men half a century later. The castle was then renovated and remodelled. In the early 15th century Owain Glyndŵr’s men captured the castle and to prevent it being re-taken by the English, they tore it down and set it alight.

Looking out through the Inner Gatehouse.
Looking out through the Inner Gatehouse.
Inside the Inner Gatehouse
Inside the Inner Gatehouse
South Gate
South Gate

Now in the hands of Cadw, the castle can be enjoyed by visitors all year round (though, quite frankly, I wouldn’t fancy attempting climbing up there in the snow or ice!). Not only can visitors take in the history of the castle, but they can enjoy the spectacular views from high above the town – from the Snowdonia mountains to the Llŷn Peninsula coastline.

View from Criccieth Castle over the west beach and the Llŷn Peninsula beyond.
View from Criccieth Castle over the west beach and the Llŷn Peninsula beyond.
The view from Criccieth Castle over to Snowdonia.
The view from Criccieth Castle over to Snowdonia.
Looking at the east beach from Criccieth Castle.
Looking at the east beach from Criccieth Castle.

On a sunny summer’s Sunday morning, Mum & I sat on a bench just beneath Criccieth Castle, overlooking the east beach. We had explored the castle and thought it was time for a rest. Welsh hymns rang out around the bay as Criccieth Holiday Club led a service down by the beach. It looked well attended and the many kids in attendance seemed very excited about the activities organised for them that day.

Back down to earth, the castle’s visitor centre has a limited amount of refreshments available, but I would recommend a walk down the street to Cadwaladers for an ice cream. Cadwaladers have been selling ice cream in Criccieth since 1927… a testament to just how good it is!

Elsewhere in Criccieth: Check out The Castle Inn for a delicious meal.

16 comments

  1. Kelly says:

    Love all the views of the castle! Another place I’d love to visit someday.

    I’m not a great fan of ice cream, but they do have some tasty looking offerings and I was glad to see sorbets listed… something I like quite a bit!

  2. It’s a shame that Criccieth Castle ruins are not part of the NT or English Heritage, as the cost of an adult ticket seems quite pricey, for what is in effect a ruin.

    We have a few such ruins in our immediate area, most of which are free to visit, however I do have to admit that the view and the fact that Criccieth stands overlooking the beach, just can’t be beaten and the cost wouldn’t be prohibitive to us visiting.

    The Llyn Peninsula is just about doable as a day trip for us and is my sister in law’s favourite place to visit, whenever she gets the chance, although it does take a close second place to the Newquay area in Cornwall.

    I love your shot looking out through the Inner Gatehouse and it looks as though you could not have asked for better weather for your visit.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

    Yvonne
    xx

    • Nikki says:

      From experience, the entry price is comparative to English Heritage entry fees. Entry is free to Cadw members, and English Heritage members get 50% discount entry in their first year and free entry upon renewal, which is pretty good going.

      • Many of the ladies I work with belong to the National Trust, with many having given up their English Heritage membership, in favour of joining Historic Houses.

        I suppose if you had all three, for what is a quite a modest overall cost, you would have access to just about everywhere in the country, which can’t be bad 🙂

  3. Jo says:

    It reminds me a little of Scarborough with the castle standing above the town looking down on the bay. I’m no good with heights either but definitely worth it for those views.

  4. Merkitty says:

    Gorgeous castle. I adore your photos, you really get all the different perspectives and it always looks so interesting. That’s a lot of steps to get there too! Hope you had a lay down when you got to the top!

    merkitty.co.uk

  5. Anca says:

    Those views are stunning. I haven’t been to Criccieth, it’s a bit far from me. I usually visit North Wales, where I can get to in less than 2 hours.

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