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

From Dolgellau it was back towards Machynlleth but this time stopping at Tal-y-Llyn, then west along the valley to Tywyn and Aberdyfi. I retraced my steps north to Barmouth and Harlech, before making my way inland to Llangollen - April/May 2017


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wales1706Located between Dolgellau and Machynlleth, and sheltered below the peak of Cadair Idris is the attractive Tal-y-llyn


wales1707It's a peaceful walk along the northern shore through farmland tracks - Tal-y-llyn


wales1713On the right is Ty'n y Cornel Hotel which has a bar restaurant. Close by is the Pen-y-Bont Hotel which also has a bar - Tal-y-llyn














wales1716Follow the Tal-y-Llyn valley westwards from the lake to Dolgoch Falls where there's forested walks and a small cafe


wales1718And of course, being Wales there's a steam railway covering the valley route to Tywyn - Dolgoch Falls


wales1719There's not much at Tywyn except for a wide beach















wales1724Aberdyfi, just south of Tywyn and on the main trainline, is a coastal town with a picturesque setting


wales1726There's another wide stretch of beach at Aberdyfi (called Aberdovey in English). Plus several dead jellyfish..


wales1730The seafront has ice cream parlours, cafes, restaurants and guesthouses - Aberdyfi














wales1732Aberdyfi translates to Dyfi estuary and this is the Dyfi River flowing out to the Irish Sea















wales1733The estuary is a tranquil area with birdlife and plenty of dogwalkers - Aberdyfi


wales1734There's a pretty high tidal flow along the coast, and here the sea has gone walkies back to the ocean - Aberdyfi


wales1739Reverting to type, I present my pet photo of boats on a shimmering sea - Aberdyfi














wales1744Approaching Barmouth via the lovely sweep of sand at Fairbourne, on the opposite side of the Mawddach River


wales1745A challenge to Llanfair PG's rather long name is this one, a stop on (another!) steam railway at Fairbourne


wales1748Crossing the bridge over the Mawddach River heading to Barmouth















wales1755 I really like this picture, where storm clouds are gathering over the Mawddach Estuary - Barmouth














wales1780The rail and pedestrian bridge over the Mawddach - Barmouth


wales1769Barmouth harbour and the Irish Sea - Barmouth


wales1767 Although the town itself is nothing special, Barmouth has a great setting alongside the Mawddach Estuary, as well as having a good beach














wales1766Wide beaches seem to be the norm around here - Barmouth















wales1774On the slopes above town is the old quarter, with the bridge in the background - Barmouth


wales1788_stitchDefinitely seek out the Panorama Viewpoint, a short but steep walk from the town centre with glorious views of the Mawddach Estuary - Barmouth


wales1816It took 30-40mins to get here and seeing the Mawddach River is well worth it - Barmouth














wales1794The peninsula at Fairbourne is the location of the very short ferry crossing to Barmouth















wales1822I used Barmouth as a base and retraced my steps along the coast northwards to Harlech. I'm sure everyone knows this is the Welsh dragon! Of course you do..


wales1826And naturally Harlech has a wide beach, a 10minute walk from the train station, alongside the golf course


wales1824But the main reason for visiting Harlech is its castle















wales186313th century Harlech Castle is another of King of England Edward I's campaign against the Welsh - Harlech














wales1859When the castle was built it was protected by the Irish Sea, but as the waters receded it's now about 1.5km inland, perched above the coastal plain - Harlech


wales1864Across Tremadog Bay the slopes of Snowdonia National Park appear again - Harlech


wales1833Climb the steps of the south west tower for the highest views - Harlech














wales1849The unique and colourful Welsh flag (Y Ddraig Goch) flies over the castle - Harlech















wales1854Earlier in my trip I took a picture of Harlech from Criccieth Castle, and here I do the same in reverse. This is Criccieth Castle from Harlech's south west tower - Harlech


wales1837Welsh flags fly over the gatehouse turrets - Harlech


wales1867From Barmouth there's direct buses to Bala and onwards to Llangollen. This is Llyn Tegid, also known as Bala Lake















wales1872On the road to Llangollen is Corwen, home to a 2007 statue of Owain Glyndwr, the last native Prince of Wales who was born around AD1349-1359 somewhere in north east Wales


wales1878Legend has it that Glyndwr threw his dagger from Pen-y-Pigyn, a hillside above Corwen. The viewpoint is marked by a monument to commemorate the marriage of Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1863


wales1877 The dagger is said to have left its mark on the St Mael and St Sulien's Church below - Corwen















wales1874I love this smiling Welsh dragon adorning a mobile dentist unit - Corwen














wales1904A short bus ride further on is the attractive valley town of Llangollen. Again the actual town is nothing special but its setting and surrounds are superb


wales1901This must the most popular photo opp in town, from the bridge crossing the River Dee. The popular Corn Mill bar restaurant is on the left - Llangollen


wales1934I went to a Plas Newydd in Anglesey and this is another - unrelated - one, home to two Irish ladies (and elopers?) in the 18th century - Llangollen














wales1911The Llangollen Canal runs parallel to the Dee River on its way from the Horseshoe Falls, passing the Chainbridge Hotel on the way - Llangollen














wales1912The Horseshoe Falls isn't really a waterfall, rather it marks the diverting of water from the Dee River to the canal. Plus it's a pretty walk along the towpath, about 45mins from the town centre - Llangollen


wales1944Up the hill from the Horseshoe Falls are the ruins of the 13th century Valle Crucis Abbey - Llangollen


wales1943Valle Crucis Abbey, built in 1201 by Prince Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor - Llangollen














wales1927More ruins come in the form of Castell Dinas Bran (Crow Castle), but it's the hilltop location that's the lure - Llangollen














wales1928_stitchBrilliant views of Llangollen and the surrounding countryside from Castell Dinas Bran, a steep 45min walk from Llangollen


wales1964A big tourist draw is a barge trip on the Llangollen Canal combined with a crossing of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - Llangollen


wales1950And this is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a World Heritage Site lifting the canal over the River Dee - Llangollen














wales1955A boat crosses the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 38m above the River Dee which flows underneath. Mind the drop! Llangollen














wales1977There's plenty of boat trips cruising the canal and aqueduct, a relaxing way to pass a few hours in a picturesque setting - Llangollen


wales1993Walking the tree-lined road through the grounds of Chirk Castle - Chirk














wales198113th century Chirk Castle was, like many of the castles in north Wales, among Enlgish King Edwards I's ring of fortresses. No more castles, that's it! For now anyway.. - Chirk














wales1988The thatched Hawk House in the castle gardens - Chirk


wales1992Carry on past the Hawk House to a panoramic viewpoint, where the rolling hills of north Wales cross into England - Chirk


wales1997The best photo of Ruabon I managed! Not a lot there, but this marked the end of my trip home to north Wales, with a change of train and back to London















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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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