Criccieth - Llanystumdwy - Afon Dwyfor - Criccieth

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Criccieth is a town. It was granted its borough charter in 1284. However, Criccieth is the size of a village, so it is quite easy to walk around and navigate without getting lost! What does the word Criccieth mean? The original name and meaning is lost in the mists of time; however some believe it is a corrupted form of Craig Câs, which means 'Heather Rock' in Welsh. 

Criccieth Castle, standing on its headland between two beaches, is a prominent North Wales landmark. It is also a landmark historic site, one of those rare castles with a foot firmly in both camps and a true testament to the varying fortunes of war. Criccieth's history is deeply entwined in the medieval conflict between Wales and England. Originally a stronghold of the native Welsh princes, Criccieth was later annexed and added to by the English monarch, Edward I. Both sides obviously had a high regard for Criccieth's strategic siting, on a rocky peninsula overlooking Tremadog Bay. The core of the castle (a powerful twin-towered gatehouse) is Welsh, built by Llywelyn the Great probably between 1230 and 1240. The gatehouse is unique amongst Llwelyn's castles; he may well have copied an English model. The castle was taken by Edward's forces in 1283 and extensively refortified, which included adapting a tower for use by a catapult or stone-throwing 'engine'. The improvements were put to the test a decade or so later when the castle had to withstand a long siege by the Welsh, during which supplies were brought in by ship. Its fate was sealed in 1404 when the Welsh leader Owain Glyn Dwr captured and burnt the castle (even today, the walls still bear evidence of scorching). Its romantic ruins have attracted artists like J M W Turner, who used the castle as a backdrop for his famous painting of storm-wrecked mariners.

Check there is no high tide before walking between Waymarks 3 and 5.

Boots are recommended on this walk as it can be very muddy beside the river and at Waymark 10.

Wales - North Wales - Gwynedd - Coast


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Mountains, Museum, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife
7/1/2021 - Dennis Johnson

Easy walk and particularly nice on the river section between points 7 and 8 ..Deceptive at point 8 as there is no footpath sign from the road on the drive down to Cefincollwyn. It if hadn't been for the instructions on route I would have thought I was going down a private driveway

8/17/2018 - Helen Stern

This walk was ok but a bit boring for us after the more challenging inland walks. The beach is not too pretty but it was nice walking by the river. It is an easy walk but care needs to be taken over slippery seaweed and then stones and tree roots in the woodland/river section.

7/15/2013 - Ian Dodd

A lovely walk, thank you. Particularly beautiful along the river. No problems with mud as at 12 July 2013, one of the hottest days of the year, even at the infamous waypoint 9!

5/24/2013 - Michael and Marian Vaughn

The first time we tried this walk, last summer, Mike slipped and fell on a very muddy stone on the riverside path, breaking his arm quite badly and needing an operation - spent the last two days of our holiday in Bangor hospital!! He was determined to complete it so we came back in April - and complete it we did!! We just about got through at waypoint 9, by swinging round on the kissing gate to get past the waterlogged part - it was bad though!! Otherwise a lovely walk.

1/4/2011 - Kaye Leggett

At point 4 the stile has become a kissing gate at the metal gate. Also note the pub in the village at point 6 is not open during the day in the winter months. At point 9, the final instruction, through gate into another field - we had to abandon here and find our own route to the road as the gate had 50cms of water all around it - a stream coming down the hill had waterlogged the area (over New Year) and the fencing all around meant no other way forward

5/27/2010 - Adrian Perkins

Our thanks to Roy Davenport for updating this walk - May 2010. Adrian (Admin)