Gwynedd is a local authority area in North Wales.
Cities, towns and villages
- 1 Bangor – location of Penrhyn Castle, a National Trust mock-Norman edifice of the 19th century and The Spinnies, splendidly situated bird hides with the chance to see little egrets and kingfishers.
- 2 Bala (Welsh: Y Bala) — the glacial lake and surrounding mountains provides an excellent location for many activities.
- 3 Barmouth (Abermaw or Y Bermo) — seaside town with an 820 metre bridge offering stunning views of the Mawddach Estuary.
- 4 Blaenau Ffestiniog — old slate mining village, with opportunity to go down the slate caverns as well as ride a narrow-gauge railway.
- 5 Caernarfon — impressive castle.
- 6 Dolgellau — small town at the foot of Cadair Idris.
- 7 Harlech — castle is a must visit, as long as you have a head for heights.
- 8 Porthmadog — take the narrow gauge train to Blaenau Ffestiniog
- 9 Pwllheli — traditional market-town of the beautiful Llŷn Peninsula
- 10 Tywyn — seaside resort
- 11 Aberdaron — visit Plas yn Rhiw, a beautiful, though not large, National Trust property in nearby Rhiw.
- 12 Aberdyfi — village with opportunities for leisure and sport activities.
- 13 Abersoch — popular sailing destination.
- 14 Beddgelert — picturesque village, renowned for the grave of Prince Llywelyn's dog Gelert.
- 15 Bethesda — try the longest zip line in Europe and the fastest in the world.
- 16 Criccieth (Cricieth) — remains of castle with massive twin-towered gatehouse
- 17 Corris — King Arthur's Labyrinth slate quarry tour and craft shops.
- 18 Dinas Mawddwy — chance to buy woollen items and other traditional goods from mill outlet.
- 19 Dinas Dinlle — remains of an Iron age fort on the coast, a great beach and in land, Parc Glynllifon an arboretum and a modern amphitheatre worth seeing.
- 20 Fairbourne — small steam railway and a starting point to walk along the Mawddach Trail
- 21 Llanberis — National Slate Museum and start point for the train up Snowdon
- 22 Nefyn — village on the Llŷn Peninsula
- 23 Penmaenpool (Pwll Penmaen) — walk the Mawddach Way along the estuary.
- 24 Rhyd Ddu — starting point for walks up Snowdon
- 1 Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli)
- 2 Snowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri)
- 3 Llŷn (Penrhyn Llŷn) — spelled 'Lleyn' in the English language, a peninsula whose name is derived from the same Celtic root as the Irish province of Leinster
- 4 Portmeirion — reconstruction of an Italian renaissance style village, famous for featuring in the 1960s cult science fiction TV series The Prisoner.
Most local people are bilingual in Welsh and English including all tourist shops and popular restaurants. Nonetheless, Welsh is many locals' first language and the one they feel most comfortable expressing themselves in, so any attempt you make to say a few phrases will be most welcome.
The northern part of the county including Bangor can be reached with the North Wales Coast Line from Crewe and Chester, while the Cambrian Line connects the west coast including Barmouth and Pwllheli from Shrewsbury and Birmingham (England). Note the Birmingham/Shrewsbury train splits at Dovey Junction after Machynlleth part going to Aberystwyth, make sure you are in the correct carriage.
National Express have services to Caernarfon and Bangor from England.
- Car is the easiest and most flexible means of transport. The A487 and A470 are the main trunk roads through the region. The A493 (Dolgellau to Machynlleth) and A496 (Blaenau Ffestiniog to Dolgellau, via Harlech) coast roads as well as the A494 (through Bala) provide scenic and interesting routes.
- There are Gwynedd local buses but are not too regular.
- Cambrian Coastliner
- 1 Cambrian Line. Connects the coastal towns and villages by rail from the Dyfi estuary from Aberdyfi up to Pwllheli.
There are a number of prehistoric monuments in the northern part of the county and in southern portion as well as Roman to Modern sites to visit in Gwynedd. Prehistoric sites include hill forts, standing stones, cairns and hut circles.
Large-scale slate mining was important to Wales's economy between the late-18th and mid-20th centuries, and there are many relics of this industry to be found all over Gwynedd, from the remains of quarries, to the railways used to transport the slate to waiting ships at the coast, to workers' housing and amenities. This treasure was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.