July 25th, 2018
Explore an ancient castle, a steam railway, a Roman fort and a historic town; something for all the family!
On the very northern edge of mainland Wales (just half an hour’s drive from us here at the Oakeley Arms) is the historic town of Caernarfon, which is just brilliant for a family day out. There’s the 700 year old castle to explore, which is packed full of legends and history, as well as the lovely Welsh Highland Railway, which runs from the town through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Snowdonia to the town of Porthmadog. After being closed to commercial trains in the 1930’s, the line was lovingly restored and opened in 2011, to great acclaim. And if you’ve got any energy left after that then why not try our town trail around the town and castle walls.
If you’re having trouble persuading the youngest members of the family to enjoy a walk, then why not try getting them involved in the planning? Packing a picnic or a treat for the journey, making it fun with outdoor games like hide and seek or nature detectives and inspiring children to enjoy a day out in the great outdoors will all help with the fun factor. And above all, have fun on the coast!
Distance: Approx 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy – town walk
Start: Balaclafa P&D car park, by Victoria Dock (follow signs for town centre parking). Postcode for sat nav is LL55 1EG (approx)
Grid Ref: SH 477 627
Map: OS Explorer 254: Lleyn Peninsula East
1: From car park, head towards “Galeri” centre, cross in front of it towards marina. Head to left, following promenade that runs alongside docks to outside of castle walls, and pass double towered gate, known as Porth-yr-Aur (Golden Gate).
2: Continue along promenade to footbridge on right; cross then turn left down lane. Carry on along windy road to main road. Cross, keep straight ahead top go through gap in shrubs to cross old stone bridge, then follow old road.
3: As it passes under new road, turn left on path heading towards railway. Follow cycle track here back to town centre, then cross footbridge at station. Head down street directly opposite then cross the main road (A487) by subway underneath. To visit Segontium follow signs along Stryd Degium (Tithebarn Street) to far end.
4: After visiting head back down street and through subway. Pass British Legion building and along Pool Street. Cross Castle Square to town walls and follow them before turning down Hole-in-the-wall-Street. Follow to High Street, then turn left, then left again down Palace Street.
5: Turn right along Castle Ditch, pass tourist information centre. Visit castle here if you wish. After visiting, turn left along Castle Ditch then right at side of County Hall and gaol. After passing St Mary’s church, go through gate towards docks and return to car park.
Points of Interest
1: Caernarfon Castle dates back to the 13th century and was built by King Edward I in order to try and control the rowdy Welsh uprising.
2: Famous residents of Caernarfon include cycling coach Dave Brailsford, Lewis Jones, the 19th century founder of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia and footballer James Owen.
**These directions are for guidance only. The Oakeley Arms can accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or injury resulting from the use of this information. The information quoted is correct at the time of writing. Always take a map with you and be prepared for the weather for turn. Do not venture out in bad weather or very high tides.