Porthmadog is a bustling harbor town with access to Black Rocks beach only 5 minutes drive away. It is a great location point for exploring the Llyn Peninsula as well as the more mountainous regions inland. A great selection of cafes and restaurants are situated on the high street along with gift shops. Here is our guide on Things To Do In Porthmadog.
THE FFESTINIOG AND WELSH HIGHLANDS STEAM TRAIN
The Ffestiniog railway is the oldest narrow gauge railway in the world. With steam trains in operation that are over 150 years old, it is a trip back into the golden age of rail travel. From Porthmadog the trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls.
Portmeirion Village is a little piece of the ‘Italian riviera’ in Wales, created by Clough Williams Ellis during the earlier part of the 1900’s. A visit here transports you to a fantasy world of beautiful buildings and gardens. Famous for its filming of the Prisoner in the 60’s it now welcomes visitors from all over the world. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the village along with gift shops and a shop for their famous Portmeirion dinner service. There is a private beach that visitors can enjoy.
PORTHMADOG GOLF COURSE
Porthmadog golf club was created in 1906 and is located just up the road from Porthmadog. It is a curious mix of heathland and links land and having a place on the Fine Golf website, naturally, it has beautiful views. Prices start from £42 per person.
In the centre of Porthmadog is a Crazy Golf course which is perfect to while away a couple of hours or an afternoon.
THE PURPLE MOOSE BREWERY
The Purple Moose Brewery is a micro brewery based in Porthmadog itself where they offer tours (£7.50pp). The tour covers the whole brewery process. As part of the tour, you get a voucher for a pint of beer at their pub, The Austrailia which is based on the high street. Pre booking is essential on line.
BLACK ROCK LAMA’S
Yes you read that correctly! A Lama sanctuary based just outside Porthmadog where you can take a lama for a walk on a lead, watch them do some show jumping (AKA agility display) and generally learn about them over a 1.5 hour session. Totally bizarre, but very interesting at the same time!
SNOWDONIA ADVENTURE ACTIVTIES
Offer gorge walking, canyoning, kayaking, climbing, mountain biking and going underground – one of the best all round outdoor activity providers in the area.
If you haven’t tried off-road segway yet, then here is your opportunity! You can also have a more leisurely cruise around the 30 acres of beautiful forest. Based at The Dragon Raiders Adventure Park, they offer paintballing on site too.
BLACK ROCK SANDS
Black Rock Sands is a 2 mile long sandy beach situated at Morfa Bychan, 2 miles from Porthmadog. It is one of the few locations where you can take your car on to the beach. The sea along Black Rock Sands is shallow, with a gentle gradient making it ideal for swimming and bathing. Popular with windsurfers and kite-bugging. It has designated bathing and boat-launching areas.
BORTH Y GEST
Borth Y Gest is a beautiful little harbour village just a 10 minute walk from Porthmadog town centre along the harbour. A few little cafes and shops are located there as well as a sandy beach with lots of ‘Pirate’ coves… Swimming is not advisable here due to the currents, but a good beach for walking and sunbathing!
Criccieth has two excellent Blue Flag beaches. Marine Beach is to the West of the castle is pebbly and has views straight out to sea and is safe for swimming. Head West towards Pwllheli and you can walk for miles either along the beach or along the path above. The main beach to the east of the castle is a mixture of pebbles and sand. Walk to the east, there are rock pools for local wildlife. There is also a green there if you want to have a picnic by the sea without the sand!
Naturally as well as Things To Do In Porthmadog itself, the surrounding area has lots of attraction. There are 600 castles in Wales, the closest being CRICCIETH The other close ones include, HARLECH, CAERNARFON, BEAUMARIS on Anglesey, PENRHYN CASTLE in Bangor and DOLWYDDELAN in Betws-y-Coed.
ZIP WORLD has offers 10 incredible activities in North Wales…
- Blaenau Ffestiniog is where you will find Bounce Below (an underground trampoline experience), Zip World Caverns (an incredible, underground exploring activity) and Titan (first 4 people zip line).
- Conwy Valley is home to Zip Safari (a series of 23 zip lines through the trees), Plummet (jump from a 100ft tower), Skyride (Europe’s highest 5 seater swing), Treetop Nets (nets suspended in trees 60ft above the ground to run around in), Fforest Coaster (an alpine coaster that runs throug the forest at exhilarating speeds) and Tree Hoppers (a woodland experience for younger ones).
- Bangor is where you will find Velocity (the fastest zipline in the world and the longest in Europe).
SURF SNOWDONIA is an artificial surf lagoon where they create continuous and perfect waves. Perfect for beginners and those who are looking to improve. No waiting around for the next set of waves. At the centre, there is also a total wipeout waterwall, the ‘blob’ which will see you flying in the air, a soft play centre, a skate ramp and a couple of onsite restaurants/cafes
THE NATIONAL WHITE WATER CENTRE on the river Tryweryn in Bala offers one of the best places in the country to white water raft. The water levels are dam-controlled meaning its rapids still thunder down the river during the summer months so you will never be disappointed by the conditions.
The walks in the surrounding area are both incredible and numerous and whilst in the area, you absolutely should take advantage of this. For some ideas of where to walk, you might be interested in these websites:
Mud and Routes is a great information resource for walking in the area. Simply enter where you would like to walk and it will give you some tried and tested routes.
Geocaching is popular in this neck of the woods and if you love a treasure hunt, then this is a great way to while away an afternoon.
If your interested in tackling Snowdon itself while you are here, then here is a simple guide on how to do it: Our very own ‘Really Simple Walking Guide Up Snowdon’
MOUNTAIN BIKING AND CYCLING
You can follow the National Cycle route 8 (AKA Lôn Las Cymru) from Porthmadog to Barmouth – a beautiful ride that will take you through the Snowdonia National Park.
Coed Y Brenin is further afield in Snowdonia. Based just north of Dolgellau, it has 8 MBT trails for complete beginners to seasoned pro’s. Free to get in (pay for parking), you can either rent a bike there or take your own. If not all the party are up for cycling, there are also wonderful walking and running trails. Take a picnic as there are lots of picnic tables or there is a cafe that serves food.
Antur Stiniog is an up lift service. Graded blue to black, there are 7 trails. It costs £32.50 for the day. You will need to pre-book a space and you can hire bikes there. Again there is a cafe and other activities on offer.
If you are looking for bike hire:
This recent post we did on mountain biking will give you more information: SNOWDONIA STYLE ADVENTURE | MOUNTAIN BIKING
The Goat Inn just on the outskirts of Porthmadog offers both a lunch and evening menu. Good traditional pub food that comes highly recommeded.
The Ship is the oldest pub in Porthmadog set on the harbour. A traditional pub menu made from locally sourced produce make this a great place to visit for either lunch or dinner.
The Golden Fleece in Tremadog offers the traditional pub menu along with pizza. A great atmosphere and interior make it one of the most popular restaurants in the area.
The Royal Sportsman offers a varied and comprehensive daily Menu including Tapas/Sharers, Grill, Oven, Traditional Favourites, along with some more specialised menu options.
Y-Swgar has included a new a la Carte menu for 2018. Having won numerous awards, it certainly comes highly recommended and is located on the square in Tremadog just 1 mile out of Porthmadog town centre.
Thai Harbwr Restaurant is set on the harbour, this is a great Thai restaurant offering traditional food in a lovely setting.
Castell Deudreath Brasserie is a stunning castle on the Portmeirion Estate. Certainly one for those special occassions.
The Big Rock on the high street offers vegetarian and vegan food as well as a whole host of other fabulous cakes and sandwiches, all in a lovely rustic surrounding.
Jessies is old school hand made sandwiches and the best custard slices in town.
Siop Coffi T.H is an extension of the famous TH Roberts in Dolgellau. Great home cooked cakes (so many to choose from) and of course good coffee!
The Port Cafe and Deli offers a light lunch menu along with teas coffee and cake set on the high street.
Allports Fish and Chips is a must.
Cadwaladers is a lovely cafe set on the highstreet and home to the local icecream brand… Cadwaladers!
THE BORING BUT IMPORTANT INFO
The accident and emergency hospital is 5 mins away: Ysbyty Alltwen, Tremadog, Gwynedd LL49 9AQ61 TEL: 0 1766 510010
Many places locally only accept cash and so make sure you have enough on hand.
HSBC and Barclays and Natwest are all available on the high street
All the major supermarkets are located in Porthmadog including Tesco, Aldi and Lidl
There is a train station in Porthmaog: Transport for Wales is the train service provider for North Wales: Transport For Wales Website
There is a bus service that runs through Portmadog which will take you south towards Dolgellau, north towards Caernarfon and west onto the Llyn Peninsula : ARRIVA BUSES
local taxi firms include:
DUKES TAXIS: Penamser Rd , Porthmadog , LL49 9NY TEL: 01766 514799
595 TAXIS: 6 Sunnyside , Tremadog , Porthmadog , LL49 9RL TEL: 07866 595595
Things To Do In Porthmadog
If there’s anything I’ve missed from our list of Things To Do In Porthmadog, or you have any comments please stick them in the comments box below. We’d love to hear from you.
And of course, if you’re looking for some holiday cottages in the area please visit
DIONI HOLIDAY COTTAGES IN PORTHMADOG