We stopped in Harlech to enjoy the gusts of wind depositing the contents of Tremadog Bay into our hair.

I have a distant recollection of Harlech, as it’s famed for its ice cream and that must be unique. The walk to the castle actually made Snowdon, or even Lincoln, seem a doddle.

Harlech’s main feature is, of course, its fast train to Porthmadog, probably the main pub town round here.

A bonus of the 25 minute journey is the inevitable 30 minute delay for request stops, and the authentic Welsh folk singing from the Sol drinkers of Criccieth, complete with authentic Man Utd tops.

The song about the meeting of Sir William (Willie) of Aberdaron and Lady Fanny of Pwhelli brought a tear to the eye.

Simon Everitt would have taken the Uber but because it was raining but I walked the mile to the stunning planned village of Tremadog, a place I’ve long wanted to visit. It has the feel of those stone built villages like Chelmorton just off the Dark Peak tourist trail.

The Union is one of a number of smart looking eating places around the square. Traditional layout, full of drinkers with jumpers and a decent Purple Moose (NBSS 3).

Porthmadog didn’t look much in the driving rain, just a long High Street connecting mainline and steam railway stations.

There’s great pubs at both platforms though, which is surely unique.

Spooners is the Beer Guide stalwart, a station buffet mixing drinkers and family diners well enough at 9pm.

I preferred the pubbier atmosphere of the main Station bar, though the Purple Moose was good in both.

Local Pub of the Year is a step upmarket. The Australia has beers from four local micros, but it was the Hope-like atmosphere that made it stand out rather than the Nant.

Fantastic pub banter in West Wales so far, 12% of which I understand.


  1. In Spring 2013, the Australia (then going under the name of the Guestiana) was a shithole. Obviously been improved since then. The Ship was closed on a weekday lunchtime. There are actually surprisingly few pubs in Porthmadog.


    1. Yes, didn’t see much else in town (and only three in Harlech, which I assumed well-pubbed). Australia had proper food and smart staff, not always a good thing of course đŸ˜‰


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