Located on Snowdonia's west coast, Porthmadog is a lively harbour town that provides easy access Black Rock Sands just a short 5-minute drive away. Porthmadog has a long history of seafaring activities, dating back to the days when the district was remote and transport was easier by sea and the Maritime Museum offers something for anyone interested in the maritime history of the area. Porthmadog's high street is full of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. The town also offers easy access to the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland steam railways, which depart from the centre of town. For thrill-seekers, Zip World's family-friendly attractions, including Bounce Below and Zip World Caverns, are just a twenty-minute drive away in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Portmeirion, an Italian-style fantasy village loved by many, is only a couple of miles down the road.
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Steam Railway
The Ffestiniog Railway, founded in 1832, holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest railway company. It runs a 13 1/2-mile journey from Porthmadog harbor to Blaenau Ffestiniog, a slate-quarrying town. The company still builds steam locomotives and carriages in their own workshops, and the world's oldest steam engine, Prince, is still in regular use today more than 150 years after its construction. The historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level, passing through beautiful pastures, forests, lakes, and waterfalls. They even go around horseshoe bends and complete spirals while clinging to the side of the mountain or tunneling through it.
Black Rock Llamas
This is a unique place to visit - a sanctuary for llamas located in Morfa Bychan, which is just on the outskirts of Porthmadog. It's an ideal destination for anyone interested in taking a stroll with a llama, observing them display their impressive agility skills in show jumping, or even embarking on a llama trekking adventure (a 1.5-hour activity suitable for individuals 7 years old and above). It's recommended to book your Black Rock Llamas experience ahead of time via their online platform. The sanctuary is conveniently located 2 miles away from Porthmadog.
Zip World Caverns is located just 12 miles away from Porthmadog and about a 37-minute drive from Capel Soar. This exhilarating underground adventure takes you through the caverns of the abandoned Llechwedd slate mine using zip lines, a via ferrata, monkey bars and various challenging obstacles. It is part of the Zip World portfolio, which includes Europe's largest zip zone at Blaenau and the world's fastest zip line at Penrhyn Quarry, the former site of the world's largest slate quarry. Zip World Caverns also offers a one-of-a-kind adventure called Bounce Below, suitable for ages 7 and up. This experience features enormous underground chambers fitted with giant trampolines, climbs, slides and multiple levels to explore.
Borth y Gest
Borth y Gest is a charming village situated on the banks of the Glaslyn Estuary, located only one mile away from the heart of Porthmadog. The village is home to delightful cafes, shops, and a sandy beach that offers plenty of little coves to discover. While swimming is not recommended due to the strong currents, Borth y Gest is an ideal location for sunbathing and strolling along the Wales Coast Path, which runs along the beach.
The 3 hour (10k) Pothmadog circular walk encompasses various locations, including a forested wildlife sanctuary, views of of Cardigan Bay, the notable Georgian village of Tremadog, and Porthmadog, known for its narrow-gauge railways and renowned cob crossing.
Explore this 12.1km trail in Tremadog. It is a popular and easy route for birding, hiking and walking, with an average completion time of 2 h 56 mins. Experience a peaceful ambiance during off-peak hours. The trail includes short and steep inclines, culminating in the picturesque Black Rock Sands. A relaxed stroll on the beach, followed by a coastal path with some steps, leads to Borth y Gest, where you can refuel at the Sea View coffee lounge with a cuppa and panini. Parking is available at Black Rock Sands beach for £5.
Commencing in nearby Borth-y-Gest, this walk tracks the coastline and provides views of the beach and cliffs. High tide may render the beach inaccessible, so refer to tidal charts beforehand. The route is flat and ideal for families, taking an average of 1 h 30 mins to complete. It is typically considered an easy trail, frequently utilized for hiking, running and walking. Nevertheless, you can still find some solitude during quieter periods of the day. Facilities, including washrooms and refreshments, are available in town upon completion of the walk.
The Porthmadog Treasure Hunt Trail is a great way to add excitement to your day out in Porthmadog. Children will love the story and get into the spirit of the challenge right away. The Porthmadog Treasure Hunt Trail is 2.5 miles long and takes almost three hours to complete. You can download a PDF version of the trail for a spontaneous treasure hunt, or you can plan your day in advance and get the booklet with directions sent to you in the post, which will be like having your very own treasure map. The trails are self-guided and can be instantly downloaded from the website. You can follow the trail, solve the clues and see the sights on any day of your choosing.
Food and Drinks
Yr Hen Fecws Restaurant is a highly rated restaurant in Porthmadog. They offer a welcoming and cozy atmosphere and a delightful menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and an extensive wine list. We recommend making reservations well in advance to ensure availability.
Good Mood offers a beautiful setting right by the harbour. The food is excellent and the pizzas are very popular here.
Siop Coffi T.H. is the place to go for good coffee and home made cakes.