World heritage walk
The Cambrian Coast railway runs alongside the Wales coastal path all the way from Aberdyfi to Pwllheli. Trains run every two hours from Birmingham and Shrewsbury to the Cambrian Coast making it a popular walking destination for day trips and weekend breaks. One of our favourite routes is the gentle three-mile (about two hours) walk from the World Heritage Site at Harlech Castle to Llandanwg:
The walk starts on a road out of Harlech with views back to the castle and through the dunes to the beach along the wide sands near Harlech to the fields of grazing sheep at Llandanwg with its ancient medieval church.
Points of interest
The seven-year siege described in the famous song ‘Men of Harlech’ took place at Harlech Castle, first built by Edward 1 in the thirteenth century. Along with Caernarfon, Conwy and Beaumaris castles, Harlech has been part of the Castles and Town Wales of Edward 1 World Heritage Site since 1986. Harlech Castle now also boasts an award-winning Visitor Centre, Holiday Cottages and new floating bridge for access into the site. The unique wildlife habitats around Harlech beach change as the new dunes are created near the shore with the distinctive marram grass one of the first plants to grow on the new dunes. While you’ll find the older dunes further from the sea covered in wild spring flowers, including several types of orchid. Arriving at Llandanwg at the end of your walk you can explore the nearby Mochras or ‘Shell Island’ which is accessible from the beach via a causeway at low tide.
Start at Harlech station on the far side from the castle and turn left onto the road. Turn right onto the lane signed ‘to the beach’ and follow the coastal path waymarks.
Llandanwg station is directly on the coastal path route. For the church of St. Tanwg and nearby café, continue past the station on the same road for about 1/3 mile.
Apart from places in Harlech village near the castle at the start of the walk, there is a café in the leisure centre and a shop alogn the road down to the brach. Y Maes café is near Llandanwg church just beyond the train station.
You will find this walk and many more to suit all ages, abilities and weather forecasts in our Cambrian Coastal Walks leaflet (pdf 18mb). Book your train tickets here. Why not make a weekend of it? You’ll find plenty of places to stay and relax after a good day’s walk here and here.