11 Church Street, Caernarfon, LL55 1SW, United Kingdom
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River Seiont, Caernarfon
Travel Tips for Caernarfon
After much uncertainty over the years, the Ffestiniog Railway has been given the job of resurrecting the 40 kms. long Welsh Highland Railway, which was a short-lived railway of the 1920/30's, but which actually involved the linking-together of two earlier railways - the Croesor Tramway (from Porthmadog) and the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways (from Dinas Junction to Rhyd Ddu).
Once upon a time, a standard gauge railway linked the port of Pwllheli to the beautiful medieval town of Caernarfon. It ran through the Snowdon range via Rhyd-ddu, the narrow Aberglaslyn pass and the wild Beddgelert forest to Porthmadog. The engineers had done wonders to limit the number of tunnels and bridges in order to reduce building costs. Then came the days of cars and trucks and the track was removed. The Caernarfon station which was located at the foot of the castle was turned into a car park. Then members of the Festiniog Railway said that the whole line could be converted to narrow gauge like in Bala. Dreams sometimes come true in Wales! The car park was turned back into a railway station while a track was built to Dinas. The line is now slowly being rebuilt, mostly by volunteers towards Rhyd-ddu, where trains can now be taken (correct as of Nov 2002) and will ultimately be linked to Festiniog railway in Porthmadog.
Soon the splendours of Snowondia can once again be seen by narrow gauge railway and provide transport to lesser known routes of Snowdon. There has been opposition as it will cut through the Aberglasslyn pass - a popular hike trail - but there is no doubt it will benefit the tourist economy for Snowdonia. Check the website for a progress report on the railway route.
The Swing Bridge is the only bridge in the town that crosses the River Seiont. You'll want to cross it just for the views - the opposite side of the river offers the best views of the castle you'll find anywhere in the town. But the bridge itself is interesting - swing bridges aren't common. And the slow pace of the town makes watching the bridge gracefully remove itself from the path of sailing ships moving down the river to the Menai Strait.
Sea Front Promenade
Caernarfon doesn't really have a sea front, but the walk in the front of the castle, along the briney waters of the Menai Strait just about counts. The walk from the Swing Bridge to Victoria Docks is pleasant, and should be enjoyed for the views across the strait to Anglesey alone.
Caernarfon Castle - Queen's Gate
The exterior facade of the Queen's Gate would have originally been approached by a ramp and steps. The elevated position of the gate-passage was dictated by the height of the earlier motte against which the gate is built.
The back of the Queen's Gate, like other parts of the castle, was never completed. It was intended to have porters' rooms flanking the gate-passage and a hall above at first-floor level.
A town fit for a King!
Caernarfon is situated in Gwynedd in North Wales, just across the Menai Straits from the Isle of Anglesey. It is a fascinating town, steeped in History. The majestic Castle draws visitors from far and wide; there are also many other things to see and do here.
Caernarfon is surrounded by beautiful scenery. The Menai Straits to the North and the mighty Snowdonia mountain range to the South.
In the town you will find quaint coffee shops, historic Inns and resaurants galore.
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