Things to do near Harlech beach

Things to do on the Wales Coast Path near Harlech beach

Besides the wonderful beach itself, Harlech’s obvious claim to fame is the medieval Harlech Castle – a World Heritage Site. A visit to the castle however necessitates climbing the steep hill (Twt Hill) to the castle gatehouse. However, it is a great castle and well worth the extra strain on those tired legs.

Although in the 21st Century the castle stands some half a mile from the sea – in the 13th Century the castle would have stood on the shoreline (reinforcing his castles from the sea was an essential part of the English King Edward’s military strategy).|
Who knows, should you have walked the All Wales Coastal Path in medieval times, you may have tripped over a knight in armour sunbathing on the Harlech sand dunes!

Legend has it that monsters and sea serpents stalked the beaches on the edge of Cardigan Bay, but the old Welsh folk tales might not be quite as far fetched as you might imagine.

For in the mid 20th Century a leatherback turtle was washed ashore near Harlech beach. Being almost nine feet across the creature WAS a sea monster, and previous sightings from the shore could easily have been mistaken for a Lock Ness type creature.

The leatherback turtle was 100 years old and it was the oldest recorded turtle. It measured almost nine feet (2.74m) in length and weighed 914kg (2,015lb). Several other leather back sightings have taken place since including sightings as far north as Anglesey.

Unfortunately, there is no easy diversion from the All Wales Path to view this local sea monster. The preserved remains of the leatherback turtle are in the Welsh Museum at Cardiff.