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Barmouth - An unspoilt seaside town
Member Name: Vixstar
Advantages: The beach
Disadvantages: Possibly a little quiet for some.
Barmouth is a small, traditional seaside town situated in the centre of Cardigan Bay, south of Snowdonia, nestled between the sea and the hills. It can be reached by a drive through Snowdonia or by train.
I spent the first six years of my life in Barmouth and I decided to take my little sister there to see if it was as good as my fuzzy memories and my mother's fond tales.
We stayed at one of the numerous campsites, there are a fair number round about with various facilities depending on your preference, we chose a small, basic site about 10-15 mins walk from the town along the sea front. And it is this sea front that is the main reason to visit Barmouth, it has a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach running the whole length of the town. Starting at the harbour and onto the dunes which are the bits that are the busiest and closest to the town centre. However if you wish to find a quieter bit of sand and clean sea it only takes a short walk (or ride on the land train) along the promenade to find a space for your sandcastles and paddling.
But when you have finished on the beach what else is there to do? Well please remember this is a small seaside town but it is not totally bereft of facilities. There are a variety of pubs and restaurants, suiting a range of tastes and wallets, and I can recommend the pizzeria where they top pizzas to taste and serve huge homemade cakes at a sensible price. Although it does close very early in my opinion. There is also a ice cream parlour on the high street selling a range of flavoured ice creams made with Welsh cream, as well as several other local vendors nearer to the sea front.
With hunger appeased, between the months of March and October, there is a small funfair, suitable for young children, just across the road from the beach. This has been in the town for as long as I can remember and charges reasonable prices for the entertainments. One that seems to go down very well is the "bumpy" slide which seems to have a constant stream of children running up the steps to come slipping down rapidly on their sacks.
As a small town you will not find many of the high street stores in the shopping area, and there is only a small supermarket, but there is a range of independent shops selling items from dolls houses and souvenirs to kites and walking gear. On the note of walking gear there are various walks in the vicinity and Barmouth has an annual walking festival in the autumn.
For culture vultures there is the small Dragon Theatre which I have not visited but seems to have a range of shows.
Near to Barmouth is the castle town of Harlech, Fairbourne with its steam railway and Machynlleth with its Centre for Alternative Technology which are all good days out if you wish to explore the area a little.
So did Barmouth live up to my memories and stories? Yes it did, we had a very enjoyable short break their and have repeated the experience several times, at my sister's request, since. It was lovely to relax in a town which has retained its best bits successfully for several years and the beach is spectacular - sandy with clean seas. The promenande is wide easily accomodating walking groups and the land train. The town itself is picturesque, with the view over the harbour being especially worth a mention.
If you want a family beach holiday in a quiet, unspoilt resort then I highly recommend this town. If however you require a kicking nightlife and a regular shopping fix whilst away then I don't think it's for you.
Summary: An ideal location for a family beach holiday in the UK