Exploring Caernarfon

Just under half an hour away from our accommodation in Porthmadog, Caernarfon is a town full of history.

From the ancient to the contemporary, there’s something for everyone. It’s an easy journey to get here by road, or you could take the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway up to Caernarfon from the station at Porthmadog.

The railway heads up through Snowdonia National Park so it’s a great way to see the area without having to worry about directions and parking.

So what can you do in Caernarfon that makes it worth a trip?

Caernarfon Castle

This mighty castle rises up on the edge of the coastland and dominates the scenery.  A World Heritage Site, this castle was built by King Edward I and work started on building it in 1283. Considering it is over 700 years old, it is in remarkably good condition. 

Built here strategically; on the site of an old Norman Castle, and before that a Roman fort, it’s a good strategic position for a castle, due to the proximity of the water, and the ability to see for miles around.

Well worth a visit whilst you’re in Caernarfon.

Slate Quay

Undergoing significant regeneration including a new railway station, new entertainments space, and a tourist information hub, Slate Quay is going to regenerate the harbour area of Caernarfon. 

Although still in completion, work on some parts including Galeri 2 is expected to complete in the summer, so you could be one of the first to visit. 

Galeri Caernarfon

Galeri Caernarfon is a cinema and entertainment complex, so ideal for wet weather days and something to do in an evening. There’s also films for the kids in the holidays.

As well as a cinema, you’ll also find music, dance and comedy in the theatre space. If you fancy a bite to eat whilst overlooking the harbour, you can also eat in the cafe bar.

Cae’r Gors

Once the home of Wales’ ‘Queen of Literature’, Kate Roberts, Cae’r Gors is just outside Caernarfon in Rhosgadfan. Kate Roberts is acknowledged as being the first woman to be recognised as a major influence in Welsh literature.

The quarryman’s cottage was gifted by the author to the Welsh Nation in 1965 after she purchased her childhood home, and funds were finally found in 2005 to restore the Grade 2 listed building to the way it would have been during her childhood.

The site has a small museum and community centre which celebrate her life.