Tywyn is surrounded by sea, rivers, and lakes, making it an ideal location to enjoy the best fishing that Wales and Snowdonia has to offer but don’t take our word for it: Gwilym Hughes, one of Snowdonia’s most celebrated anglers, describes Snowdonia’s lakes and coast line as “fishing heaven.”
Llyn Barfog is a small lake in Snowdonia occupying high ground above the northern banks of the River Dyfi. Covered by yellow water lilies in the summer and surrounded by rushes that give it a bearded appearance. However, Celtic Folklore suggests a different derivation for the name: it has been suggested that the lake was originally called Llyn y Barfog or The Bearded One’s Lake. The Bearded One was some ancient mythical being who lived there. The lake is also linked to King Arthur, a monster, and elves.
Castell y Bere is the largest and most elaborate of the native Welsh castles in north Wales and was built by Llywelyn ap Lorwerth, also known as Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd, in the early 13th century. Typically, the Welsh princes had not constructed castles preferring to build undefended palaces called ilysoedd or courts. This tradition changed as the Normans advanced into Wales in the 11th century taking lands in the north and establishing a band of occupied territory in the south called the Welsh Marches.
If you’ve ever visited Aberdovey and wondered about the beach on the other side of the estuary, then it’s called Ynyslas. Ynyslas is part of the Dyfi National Nature Reserve and provides three distinct habitats: Cors Fochno, an internationally important peat bog, the Dyfi estuary itself, which is an important feeding ground for wading birds, and the beach and sand dunes that are the main draw for a quarter of a million people every year.
I have written a few helpful, I hope, articles on visiting us by train but haven’t done a lot of travelling around by train myself. I have trained-it to Tywyn when the other half couldn’t make it but have never used the train for a day trip other than the odd journey back from Aberdovey. Well, on a recent visit, we took the chance to give the train ago.
The Ynys-hir RSPB nature reserve is positioned beside the Dyfi estuary in Cardigan Bay and covers 550 hectares supporting a variety of habitats extending inland from mudflats and a salt marsh through farmland and pools to oak woodlandand hillside scrub. There is a small visitor centre and seven hides.The various habitats support numbers of breeding birds including lapwing, redshank, egrets, herons, redstart, wood warbler, and pied flycatcher.
Devil’s Bridge Falls has been attracting visitors to this part of Wales since the 18th century. You get to see the underside of a bridge – actually 3 – and the falls themselves joined-up by a pleasant walk.
There are two walks on offer: a nature trail or the punchbowel. The nature trail is conservatively estimated at 45-minutes but we are slow walkers and like to stop, look, and listen, a lot. I’m sure we were there nearly 3-hours.
Criccieth castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century by Llywelyn the Great and sits atop a rocky promontory that dominates Criccieth itself and the waters of Tremadog Bay. Over the years its defences have been extended and improved as ownership swapped between the Welsh and Edward I. As a result, there is some dispute regarding which parts of the castle were built by whom.
The site for the Ynysymaengwyn Caravan Park was once a country house built around 1758 and the house’s ruins still remain. The house was bequeathed to the town council in 1948, following it’s use by the army at the end of WWII, as the current owners were unable maintain it’s upkeep. Unfortunately, neither was the council. The house quickly fell into disrepair and ended it’s days as a practice site for the fire brigade.
If you head off towards Aberdyfi on the coastal path you will come across a collection of painted pebbles just after you’ve passed the last caravan on the Glan-y-Don Holiday Home Park. Some of these pebbles act as memorials to friends and family; others, mark a visit to Tywyn and the surrounding area.