Places of Interest

THINGS TO DO

After exploring the quaint village of Borth-y-Gest and the surrounding coast line with all the beautiful beaches just walking distance from the cottage it’s time to venture further afield.

Black Rock Sands

Black Rock Sands is a 2 mile long sandy beach situated at Morfa Bychan, 2 miles from Porthmadog in North Wales. It is one of the few locations where you can take your car on to the beach.
The sea along Black Rock Sands is shallow, with a gentle gradient making it ideal for swimming and bathing. Black Rock Sands has become a well known beach for activities and is popular with windsurfers and kite-bugging. It has designated bathing and boat-launching areas.

Porthmadog Golf Club – 1 Mile from Borth-y-Gest

Created at the turn of the century by James Braid, the genius course designer of his day, the course has two distinct halves. The front nine are away from the coast and although the soil is sandy the terrain is more accurately described as heathland. But it is none the worse for that, especially with the presence of water making itself felt on five of the holes. The back nine head for the sea, and some beautiful scenery, and the course is transformed into pure links that have been likened to a miniature Troon. Certainly, there’s a lot to the locals’ claims that these are the most natural nine holes in Wales. www.porthmadog-golf-club.co.uk

Maritime Museum

Next to the tourist office, the tiny Maritime Museum has a low-key pocket history of the highs and lows of topsail schooners and other sailing ships in a wharf-side slate shed.

Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Railway

The Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Railway is a fantastic, twisting and precipitous 13.5-mile narrow-gauge railway that was built between 1832 and 1836 to haul slate down to Porthmadog from the mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Horse-drawn wagons were replaced in the 1860s by steam locomotives and the line was opened up as a passenger service. Saved from years of neglect, it is one of Wales’ most spectacular and beautiful narrow-gauge journeys. Because it links the Cambrian Coast and Conwy Valley main lines, it also serves as a serious passenger transport option. Nearly all services are steam-hauled. A standard all-day rover ticket offers unlimited travel.

The Purple Moose Brewery is one of about 30 microbreweries across Wales. From humble beginnings the venture is now very much a working business with a small staff of four and contacts to supply pubs across North Wales from Anglesey to Harlech. In August 2006 the Snowdonia Ale won the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) award for Champion Beer.

Welsh Highland Railway

The same company also runs the sibling Welsh Highland Railway from Porthmadog to Pen-y-Mount, and Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu. Extensions to the network to Blaenau Ffestioniog and Porthmadog are planned for completion by 2009 for links to Snowdonia National Park.

Cricieth

Victorian charm comes to the seaside – with a medieval castle thrown in for good measure. Cricieth’s two beaches are separated by a headland fortress with a fascinating, eventful history. The little resort is full of Victorian character – and flowers. Numerous restaurants and quality hotels, many with dreamy views across Cardigan Bay. Perfect spot for exploring Snowdonia’s mountains and the Llŷn Peninsula. Excellent coarse fishing nearby at Bron Eifion’s six-acre lake. New Princes of Gwynedd exhibition in the castle.

Llanystumdwy

Small village near Cricieth, boyhood home of David Lloyd George. Village has a museum dedicated to one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century – he introduced the old-age pension, led the country as Prime Minister during World War One, and gave women the vote. Also home to Tŷ Newydd National Writers’ Centre for Wales. Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm/Animal Park and Dragon Raiders Paintball both close by.

Trawsfynydd

Another well-located walking and cycling base close to mountains and the trails in the Coed y Brenin Forest Park. Waterbus boat trips on Llyn Trawsfynydd, and in 2013 there will be a new building and jetty for users of the lake, including anglers, kayakers, cyclists, walkers and birdwatchers. Visit Llys Ednowain Hostel and Heritage Centre which gives a glimpse into local culture and the Trawsfynydd of old.

Tremadog

Architecturally pleasing village with elegant, spacious town square, created by 19th-century entrepreneur William Madocks (who also built The Cob at Porthmadog). Birthplace of TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways are two unique narrow gauge railways with a fascinating past. The Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Railway is a fantastic, twisting and precipitous 13.5-mile narrow-gauge railway that was built between 1832 and 1836 to haul slate down to Porthmadog from the mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Horse-drawn wagons were replaced in the 1860s by steam locomotives and the line was opened up as a passenger service. Saved from years of neglect, it is one of Wales’ most spectacular and beautiful narrow-gauge journeys. Because it links the Cambrian Coast and Conwy Valley main lines, it also serves as a serious passenger transport option. Nearly all services are steam-hauled. A standard all-day rover ticket offers unlimited travel. 01766 516024 www.festrail.co.uk

Portmeirion Village

Portmeirion is a popular tourist village in Gwynedd and a 10 minute drive from Borth-y-Gest. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian Village and is now owned by a charitable trust. Portmeirion has served as the location for numerous films and television shows, most famously serving as The Village in the 1960s television show The Prisoner. www.portmeirion-village.com

The Purple Moose Brewery

The Purple Moose Brewery is one of about 30 microbreweries across Wales. From humble beginnings the venture is now very much a working business with a small staff of four and contacts to supply pubs across North Wales from Anglesey to Harlech. In August 2006 the Snowdonia Ale won the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) award for Champion Beer.01766 515571 www.purplemoose.co.uk