July 13th, 2017
Sandcastle building is one of the greatest pleasures of a day at the beach, for old and young alike. The coastline of Snowdonia has plenty of gorgeous beaches for building practice too…..
It’s a common scene on beaches along the Welsh coast – the careful planning, the furious digging, the patting and shaping, and lastly the decoration with driftwood, shells and other beach debris. Sandcastle building is one of the most popular family pastimes during a day on the beach and it’s one that never ages. Children today enjoy it as much as they did generations ago – and there’s not a wi-fi signal in sight!
As long as there have been sandy beaches and day trippers to visit them, there has been sandcastle building, although it’s almost impossible to pin down the exact history of sandcastles. Many historians point to the culture of Ancient Egypt when Egyptian builders used sand models to plan the construction of the pyramids before actually building in stone.
It’s thought that sand-sculpting, and not just of castles, but of sculptures and shapes of all kind rose in popularity during the late nineteenth century. As the rise in coastal tourism grew, sand artists would create magnificent sculptures out of sand in the hope of attracting donations from awed passers-by.
Today, sand sculpting and sand castle building are incredibly popular on beaches all over the world – there are even dedicated competitions, many of which attract professional sand sculptors.
The list of ingredients for a sandcastle is short – sand and water with a little patience and a lot of imagination – although this could be misleading because creating a magnificent sandcastle isn’t always as easy as it sounds. The key to a good sandcastle is using the right kind of sand – dry sand just won’t work. It must be wet, although not too wet! And of course, sandcastle building will be much easier with a few tools – a bucket and spade are very useful but many sand sculptors also use shaping and moulding tools to create the desired finished effect.
So if you fancy practicing your building skills, why not head to a beach today for some Snowdonia Sandcastles! Here are our favourite castle-building beaches in Snowdonia and North Wales, all within easy reach of the Oakeley Arms:
- Harlech Beach – wide and sandy with plenty of space for a castle or two
- Morfa Bychan/Black Rock – you can drive your car right onto the beach here so it’s easy to pack your bucket and an extra spade!
- Borth-y-Gest – lots of sheltered coves and lovely golden sand to construct your fortress.
- Abersoch Beach – gorgeous long sandy beach, and plenty of local cafes and pubs for refreshments when building block strikes!
- Dyffryn Ardudwy – another beautiful long and sandy beach, just perfect for a row of big fortresses!
- Shell Island – lovely golden sand here, and lots of shells to decorate your masterpiece with.