Harlech is dominated by its castle. Harlech Castle was built between 1283 and 1289 by Master James of St George for the English King Edward I, the conquerer of Wales. Designed on a concentric plan with a small but powerful inner ward dominated by an impressive twin-towered gatehouse and four round corner towers. It is has many similarities with the Krak des Chevaliers, Crusader Castle in Syria, over which Harlech has an important advantage: its own water supply.
Harlech was seized by Owain Glyn Dŵr during a rebellion/secessionist war in 1404 and held successfully by him for four years.
The old town centre, where most shops and restaurants are, sits upon the hillside around the castle, with more recent development being on the plain beneath the castle. The only two roads linking the two parts directly are very steep and narrow, and one is one-way (down) only.
Harlech Castle, Castle Square, open 1 April - 31 May 9.30am - 5pm, 1 June - 30 September 9.30am - 6pm, 1 October - 31 October 9.30am - 5pm, 1 November - 31 March 9.30am (11am Sundays) - 4 pm, admission adult £3.00, concession £2.50, family £8.50, tel 01766 780552, fax 01766 780552. Be aware that road signs direct drivers to the car park at the foot of the rock upon which the castle stands, from which it is a very steep climb. There is however a pay car park next to the entrance to the castle in the town, though this is small and will be busy at peak times. On street parking in the town is free but roads are narrow and spaces limited.
Harlech is one of the main centres for walking in the Rhinog range of mountains, which are sometimes referred to as the Harlech Dome. These run north/south, following the coast from Harlech to Barmouth, and separating the fertile coastal plain of Ardudwy from the rest of North Wales.
Cemlyn Tea Shop, High Street (on the High Street, next to the Post Office), ☎ 01766 780425, . 10.30am to 5pm. Award winning Tea Shop serving over 30 loose leafs teas (no tea bags) also Rain Forest Alliance Coffees and Segafredo Extra Strong. Open March to October, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.edit
Hufenfa'r Castell, Castle Square (Between High Street & The Castle), ☎ 07810164547. Probably the best ice cream made in Harlechedit
Castle Cottage, Y Llech, Harlech, LL46 2YL, ☎ +44 1766 780 479, . Castle Cottage is composed of two 400 year old buildings.£53.00-£75.00 per person. edit
Morlun B&B, Old Llanfair Road, Harlech, LL46 2SS, ☎ +44 1766 780 776, . MORLUN is a luxurious seaside/country B & B set in a tranquil environment with a beautiful garden that overlooking the sea, sandy beaches and mountains of Snowdonia.£60 for a double room.. edit
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