A Trip to Talsarnau

So I have recently returned home after a trip to Talsarnau, a small rural village in the Snowdonia National Park to the North of Wales. Surrounded by vast forest, miles of green fields and a ten minute drive from the beach, it was great to get away from the hustle and bustle of life for awhile and reconnect with nature, especially in such a stunningly beautiful place! Wales is very popular among travellers seeking to do just that and I would recommend looking into the Snowdonia National Park if you’re stuck on where to go!

Hiking through the forest, Talsarnau, Snowdonia National Park, Wales.

Talsarnau itself is tiny – and I mean, teeny tiny. There is one school, a couple of lodges and one pub, The Ship Aground. There are two close-by towns, both around a ten minute drive away from the village: Harlech and Porthmadog (pronounced Port Maddock). Where I stayed looked out over Dwyryd Estuary and Portmeirion Village, a pay-to-enter tourist village created in the mid-1900s (Fun fact; Portmeirion Village was where the 1960s series ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed, for any fans).

View of the Dwyryd Estuary at sunset, before Portmeirion Village and the Snowdonian mountains.

I would advise anyone planning on heading to this particular area of Wales to go by car. Non-drivers will find getting around hard, especially as so many of the little footpaths that linked places together have overgrown over time. Nonetheless, for somewhere so rural, there are so many things to get up to in the area. The village itself offers a number of hikes, including one that leads to the ruined remains of a fortress. The whole region is great for the explorers out there; Snowdon is a short drive away and is the highest mountain in Wales at 1085 metres above sea level. All throughout the park, you will see tons of wildlife, including lots of sheep. According to locals, a lot of them roam freely, lost to the people who once owned them. The area is also home to plenty of deer! On a side note, do be aware that the area is also popular with ticks. Wear appropriate walking clothes that ensure you are well-covered and invest in a good tick remover. Watch out if you’re bringing dogs along and make sure they are protected against them in advance as this is something we struggled with with our pup, Ruby.

If you’re a water baby (like me!), Harlech beach is the best place to head to. A four-mile stretch of soft sand and beautiful water, with great views of the overlooking mountains and forest on either side of it. It is backed by dunes – which in part belong to a golf course – and it is a short walk from a small shop, a pub and a number of cafés. The beach offers P&D parking and technically has disabled access via the long tarmac path, but it is likely to be difficult to manoeuvre down the sandy slope where the path meets the beach. Four-legged friends are welcome all year round, as long as you stick to the left side of the beach. Harlech doesn’t offer a lifeguard service despite a few strong currents, but we found swimming was safe along the centre of the beach. Just watch out for jellyfish of all shapes and sizes as the water here is a hub for them!

Harlech Beach, Snowdonia National Park, Wales.
View of Harlech Castle and the town from the dunes, Harlech Beach, Snowdonia National Park, Wales.
Ruby enjoying a dip in the Welsh sea, Harlech Beach, Snowdonia National Park, Wales.

Any townies will undoubtedly find Porthmadog the best place to head to, with streets of shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants, alot of which stay open late. Nearby Borth-y-Gest beach makes for a nice, coastal walk but it isn’t really suitable for swimming as the water is filled with harboured boats. Again, it’s dog-friendly, like most places in Porthmadog!

Ruby trotting along Borth-y-Gest Beach, Porthmadog, Wales.

Another fun fact is that there has been countless alleged sightings of exotic animals in the Snowdonia National Park. Claims of roaming pumas and wolverines, among other creatures, have been made. Although this might sound a little crazy, big cats were legally allowed to be ‘domestically owned’ in the UK until the late 1970s, at which point some owners simply turfed their animals out to make their own way. As well as this, there have been evidenced escapee animals from zoos in the area. With the wild nature of the land and so many free-roaming animals, it is entirely possible for these types of predators to survive and thrive. In fact, a couple of locals I met while in Talsarnau claimed they had actually caught CCTV footage of a big cat on their property. And if you’re curiosity hasn’t already been peaked, there have been many cases of UFO sightings in the area, too! Could you really blame them for stopping by such a sparsely populated but breathtakingly stunning place?

View from Talsarnau over the Dwyryd Estuary, Snowdonia National Park, Wales.

I would 100% recommend visiting the Snowdonia National Park if you’re an adventurer or just looking for a quiet spot to relax and get away to. In my opinion, it is one of the most gorgeous places in the whole of the UK (another quick tip for non-UK visitors: Wales is part of the United Kingdom but it is definitely not England and some people can get offended about this. It is its own country)! If you’re a driver and looking for a cabin-in-the-woods type of trip, then look no further than Talsarnau and its raw, natural beauty!

A close-up of one of the mountain peaks, Snowdonia National Park, Wales.

6 thoughts on “A Trip to Talsarnau

  1. We went after reading your report and seeing the wonderfully moody photos. It was fantastic and, yes, Harlech Beach was fantastic. Oddly, while there were loads of jellyfish washed up at the edge of the water, we never saw or felt them when in the sea. It is very rural (isolated, really) and you’re right about the ticks. I became a bit paranoid about them actually and had to body search myself when I got back to where I was staying. Even so, would I go back? Absolutely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ve just come back from a week in that area and I’d have loved a month there. Harlech beach was my favourite. We didn’t go onto Port Meiron beach as I’m a bit tight-fisted and wouldn’t pay £12 per adult and £8 per child. But we had a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haven’t been to Wales since I was small and I loved it, your photos are lovely, will be making plans to head back there, thanks for remembering me just how lovely Wales is.

    Liked by 1 person

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