Criccieth sit on the Cardigan Bay shore of the Llŷn Peninsula, roughly halfway between Pwllheli to the north and Porthmadog to the south. A seaside resort with a fascinating history dating back to the bronze age.
Criccieth has two beaches either side of the Castle. The beaches are a mixture of sand and pebble with a rocky area at the far end of the eastern beach exposing rock pools at low tide.
Criccieth Castle is magnificently perched on the headland between the two beaches. What a perfect spot for a castle. I say "Castle" but today it is more of a ruin.
The origins of the Castle are somewhat controversial. Is this a Welsh castle built by Llywelyn the Great, or an English Fort built by Edward I? Hmm, the answer seems to depend on who the question is asked of.
It is claimed that the oldest part of the Castle (the inner ward) was built around 1230 by Llywelyn the Great. However the inner ward is protected by a gatehouse with twin D-shaped towers, with murder-holes in the passage and outward facing arrow-slits. A very English design of that era. Criccieth was conquered by the English in 1283 and the Castle was added to and expanded.
In the 14th century Criccieth Castle was used as an English prison until the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr, when the Welsh forces captured the town, tore down the Castle walls and torched it. The rebellion however was short lived. The superior English forces recaptured most of Glyndŵr's territory and placed a large reward on his head. Despite this Glyndŵr was never betrayed to the English and avoided capture. He died in 1415.
Other famous people associated with Criccieth: former British prime minister, David Lloyd George, the poet William George and Bear Grylls who has his survival academy just outside Criccieth.
Recommended Pubs & Restaurants:
- Tir a Môr: 1-3 Mona Terrace, Criccieth LL52 0HG - 01766 523084
Small & friendly restaurant. Great Fish & Chips, monkfish and seabass. Near the beach in Criccieth. Open from from 8:30am to 5pm.
- Castle Inn Restaurant: 1 Parciau Terrace, Criccieth, LL52 0RW -
Tel: 01766 523515. Family run restaurant serving home cooked meals. They also have lots of Gluten free and Vegan options on their menu. Dog friendly.
Open 2pm - 8.45pm. Closed on Sundays.