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Location - Western Europe; Capital - Wales - Cardiff; Population - Wales - 3 million; Currency - Pound Sterling MORE UK - WALES

It was back along the coast heading west to Caernarfon, followed by the Welsh Highland Railway to Porthmadog and along the Llyn Peninsula, before venturing south - April 2017.


uknote20 Pounds Sterling











wales1431Hotels, bars and restaurants edge Victoria Dock - Caernarfon


wales143313th century Caernarfon Castle is probably the most impressive castle I've seen in Wales, with a beautiful setting overloooking the Seiont River and Menai Strait - Caernarfon


wales1445A picturesque Seiont River leading to the mountains of Snowdonia - Caernarfon














wales1444Boats at low tide on the river below the houses of Segontium Terrace - Caernarfon














wales1449The reconstructed old city walls of Caernarfon running alongside the Menai Strait


wales1451A fishing boat sails down the Menai Strait. Head over the sand banks of Anglesey, pictured, and you'll end up on Newborough Beach - Caernarfon


wales1453Caernarfon Castle is another of English King Edward I's iron ring of castles, together with Beaumaris, Conwy, Harlech and others. It's the most complete of the forts - Caernarfon













wales1464The Seiont River and Snowdonia peaks - Caernarfon















wales1475Shops and market stalls on Castle Square - Caernarfon


wales1484A Welsh flag flies over Castle Square. Caernarfon is the heart of Welsh-speaking Wales, with the majority speaking it as their first language, with English second. Much of the Llyn Peninsula is the same, as well as Bangor, Snowdonia, parts of Anglesey and the Cambrian Coast - Caernarfon


wales1480Moored boats on the Seiont River - Caernarfon














wales1483The 16th century Black Boy Inn is a hotel with bar and restaurant - Caernarfon















wales1488The Welsh Mountain Railway is a steam train running the scenic 25mile journey from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, via Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert - Caernarfon


wales1493Surprisingly there were hardly any passengers so there was plenty of space for a lovely ride through Snowdonia National Park - Welsh Highland Railway


wales1496 Cwellyn Lake lies within the slopes and green fields of Snowdonia - Welsh Highland Railway















wales1503On the left is the peak of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, at 1,085m - Welsh Highland Railway














wales1507lThe green field on the back right is the site of Gelert's grave at Beddgelert - Welsh Highland Railway


wales1518Another view of Snowdon, back left, as we come into Porthmadog - Welsh Highland Railway


wales1531An overnight snow flurry meant the mountains looked far more impressive - Porthmadog















wales1524The harbour at Porthmadog with snow-covered mountains behind
















wales1536Snowdon is the last mountain on the far left - Porthmadog


wales1534Boats in the harbour. To the left, out of picture, is the station that serves both the Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog railways - Porthmadog


wales1537bThe Purple Moose is a Porthmadog-based brewery whose tipples can be found all over Wales and beyond - Porthmadog















wales1540Borth-y-Gest is just a 15minute walk from Porthmadog, on the Glaslyn estuary


wales1544The Glaslyn estuary and Snowdonia on the evening before the snow - Borth-y-Gest


wales1549Most visitors to Porthmadog come to see the museum village of Portmeirion. Castell Deudraeth is a hotel that marks the boundary, though the village and ticket entrance begin a few hundred metres further on













wales1548Portmeirion is famous as the location of 1960s cult TV series The Prisoner. An annual convention is still very popular to this day














wales1551Sir Clough William-Ellis wanted to create a village in a beautiful setting without spoiling it, and chose this site, carrying out work between 1925 and 1976 - Portmeirion


wales1557He borrowed heavily from Italian styles, with the result that you feel as if a colourful Mediterranean village has been dropped in the middle of Wales - Portmeirion


wales1558Sir William-Ellis also collected many sculptures, statues and other decorative paraphenalia - Portmeirion














wales1559He strenuosly denied that Portmeirion was based on the Italian village of Portofino















wales1560On Battery Square is St Peter and the Sheep, next to The Prisoner gift shop - Portmeirion


wales1561There's several self-catering cottages dotted around the village, though I've no idea if these are some of them - Portmeirion


wales1565A huge chess set in the main square - Portmeirion














wales1568I love the colours and design in this picture - Portmeirion














wales1576Portmeirion overlooks the Dwyryd River, just over 3km from Porthmadog


wales1580Also on the banks of the Dwyryd River is Hotel Portmeirion, built around 1850. Noel Coward, George Bernard Shaw and HG Wells have all passed through its doors - Portmeirion


wales1585A 'boat' built into the promenade - Portmeirion















wales1573Through bright blue and across the river - Portmeirion
















wales1590A large part of Portmeirion is dedicated to woodland walks and gardens, this area being set around the Japanese Bridge


wales1631The 13th century Criccieth Castle stands atop a hill with commanding views of the Cambrian Coast and Tremadog Bay - Criccieth


wales1596Criccieth Beach is the main beach in town, on the eastern side of the castle - Criccieth


wales1607On the western side is Marine Beach, running alongside Marine Terrace - Criccieth














wales1602Standing among the ruins of Criccieth Castle facing Tremadog Bay and Harlech - Criccieth














wales1637A fine, clear day meant Harlech Castle and the beach was visible from Criccieth


wales1618Taking in the sun's rays on a warm April afternoon at Criccieth Beach - Criccieth


wales1616The distant sands you'll see (on a clear day!) are Black Rock Sand Beach and Harlech Beach - Criccieth













wales1639The coastline of the Llyn Peninsula leads to Pwllheli and Abersoch - Criccieth














wales1653Colourful huts at Abersoch Beach - Abersoch


wales1646Fishing boats at Abersoch. But if it's surfing you're after, head to Porth Neigwl just over 3km south west


wales1671Porthdinllaen is a short drive heading north from Pwllheli across the Llyn Pensinsula














wales1657 The village is set on a small peninsula near Morfa Nefyn - Porthdinllaen














wales1667It's a former fishing village and has a natural harbour - Porthdinllaen


wales1670Access to Porthdinllaen - and the locally famous Ty Coch pub - is either via the golf course or when the tide is favourable, along the wide stretch of sand


wales1672Storm clouds set to kick in - Porthdinllaen















wales1675Back on the southern side of the Llyn Peninsula at Marian y De, the main beach in Pwllheli


wales1680Tremadog Bay - and maybe Harlech again - a reproduction of the view from Criccieth - Pwllheli


wales1686I headed to the southernmost point in my trip at Machynlleth
















wales1688Machynlleth is the site of the Owain Glyndwr Centre where teh Welsh Parliament crowned him Prince of Wales in 1404. Owain Glyndwr was the last native Welsh Prince of Wales and leader of revolts against the English in the late 14th/early 15th century













wales1698Dolgellau is a market town at the base of Cadair Idris, a 893m peak in Snowdonia


wales1691The peak of Cadair Idris (centre right) rises above Dolgellau and the River Mawddach


wales1700Many of the 18th/19th century buildings are heritage-listed - Dolgellau
















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LINKS - Wales tourist board - guide to north Wales - - take a train up Snowdon, Wales' highest mountain - more info on Snowdon - guide to mid Wales - another site focussed on mid Wales - guide to south Wales - Britain's official tourism website - train information across Britain - Wales public transport journey planner - National Express coaches cover Britain


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