Merionethshire Tourist Guide

Merionethshire is as Welsh as a county can get

Among the thirteen historic counties of Wales is Merionethshire, which is surrounded by Caernarfonshire, Denbighshire, Cardiganshire, Montgomeryshire, and Cardigan Bay. This maritime county is one of the most mountainous in Wales.

Visitors must see the Harlech Castle, which stands on a cliff near the Irish Sea. The building was chosen by BBC in 2006 as one of Britain’s Best Buildings, and it is no surprise why this castle caught their eye. Harlech Castle boasts of a concentric structure; it is also famous because of its imposing gatehouse. The castle was designed by Master James of St. George, and construction began in 1283. Edward I’s second Welsh campaign had the castle included in its plans. The construction followed a strategic plan for the building. The Harlech Castle was quite impossible to attack except from the east, since the rest of the sides are surrounded by cliffs. A stairway reaching the sea allowed Edward’s troops to get supplies through the waters.

Today, Harlech Castle is part of Cadw, which is a Welsh government body that aims to promote Wales’ heritage.  The castle is open for visitors, thus allowing more people to marvel at the genius structure.

Another castle worth visiting is the Castell y Bere, which in Gwynedd. The castle sits on a steep and flat-topped rock. A view of the Cadair Idris and Dysinni Valley can be seen from the top. The castle’s ruins are the only parts that remain of this structure, and still continue to baffle some scholars regarding the events after 1294.

The Cadair Idris is a picturesque spot that has inspired bards in the olden times. Located in Snowdonia, South Wales, and is one of the most popular mountains. The summit is 893 meters high, and is named Penygadair. The mountain’s name translates as the chair of Idris; Idris was a giant that was part of Welsh legends. One of Cadair Idris’ cwms looks like an armchair, hence the name. Idris was said to have been skilled in astronomy, philosophy, and most importantly, poetry. Bards would sleep on the mountain to get inspiration; there is even a legend that those who sleep on the slopes will wake up either a poet or a madman. Whether the legend is true or not, the mountain does not fail to inspire travelers (even non-writers), because the view provides a calming backdrop.

The Italianate village of Portmeirion is also worth a trip. The village’s look is attributed to Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who designed and constructed the village sometime between 1925 and 1975. The main structure of the hotel has been called Aber la (meaning Ice estuary in Welsh), but Williams-Ellis had the name changed to Portmeirion. The Castell Deudraeth was planned by Williams-Ellis to be incorporated into the Portmeirion hotel. There is a vast collection of exotic plants and rhododendrons in the grounds.

Heritage railways are to be found in the county; among those heritage railways is the Ffestiniog Railway. The Ffestiniog Railway was opened in 1836 by the Ffestiniog Railway Company. The company is now the oldest surviving railway company in the world. A visit to the site allows visitors to get an idea of the former modes of transportation.

A county that’s as Welsh as Welsh can get, Merionethshire allows visitors to have a memorable trip to the countryside.