Coordinates: 52°43′19″N 4°03′18″W / 52.722°N 4.055°W / 52.722; -4.055
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barmouth, from across the Mawddach estuary
Barmouth is located in Gwynedd
Location within Gwynedd
OS grid referenceSH613158
  • Barmouth
Principal area
Preserved county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLL42
Dialling code01341
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
52°43′19″N 4°03′18″W / 52.722°N 4.055°W / 52.722; -4.055

Barmouth (Welsh: Abermaw (formal); Y Bermo (colloquial)) is a seaside town and community in the county of Gwynedd, north-west Wales; it lies on the estuary of the Afon Mawddach and Cardigan Bay.[1] Located in the historic county of Merionethshire, the Welsh form of the name is derived from aber (estuary) and the river's name, Mawddach.[2] The English form of the name is a corruption of the earlier Welsh form Abermawdd.[3][4] The community includes the villages of Llanaber, Cutiau and Caerdeon.


"Finally, when we left the southern bank and crawled to the opposite side over the bridge, almost a mile long and supported on mighty posts of oak, on our right the river bed, inundated by the sea at high tide and looking like a mountain lake, on our left Barmouth bay stretching to the bright horizon, I felt so joyful that I often scarcely knew where to look first... To the south-west the terrain lay open in a wide semi-circle, so that from the forecourt of the house you had a view of the full length of the estuary from Dolgellau to Barmouth, while these places themselves were excluded from the panorama, which was almost devoid of human habitations, by a rocky outcrop on one side and a laurel-grown hill on the other. Only on the far side of the river could the little village of Arthog be seen - in certain atmospheric conditions, said Austerlitz, you might have thought it an eternity away - infinitesimally small, with the shadow of Cadair Idris rising behind it to a height of almost three thousand feet above the shimmering sea."

Austerlitz , page 113-114

The town grew around the shipbuilding industry, and more recently as a seaside resort. Notable buildings include the medieval Tŷ Gwyn tower house, the 19th century Tŷ Crwn roundhouse prison and St John's Church.

William Wordsworth, a visitor to Barmouth in the 19th century, described it thus: "With a fine sea view in front, the mountains behind, the glorious estuary running eight miles [13 km] inland, and Cadair Idris within compass of a day's walk, Barmouth can always hold its own against any rival."[5]

Dinas Oleu (Citadel of Light), which is located east of the town on the adjoining hillside,[1] was the first tract of land to be donated to the National Trust.[6] Panorama Walk, to the east of the town, was developed as a coastal footpath in the Victorian era to contribute to the town's attractions for visitors. The walk is designated at Grade II on the Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales.[7] On the route of the walk stands the Glan-y-Mawddach estate. Originally a Regency villa, the house, which is listed at Grade II,[8] was extended in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and an important garden laid out which is designated at Grade II* on the Cadw/ICOMOS register.[9]

Barmouth features prominently in the novel Austerlitz by Max Sebald. The town is featured in an idyllic light, with the narrator visiting several times during his childhood [see box].

In January 2014, two trains were stranded at Barmouth after severe winter storms destroyed the sea wall at nearby Llanaber.[10]


Barmouth station

The town is served by Barmouth railway station. Transport for Wales operate northbound services to Pwllheli via Harlech, Porthmadog and Criccieth; eastbound services travel to Birmingham International via Tywyn, Machynlleth, Welshpool, Shrewsbury, Telford Central and Wolverhampton.[11]

Connections for southbound services to Borth and Aberystwyth can be made at Dovey Junction or Machynlleth. Barmouth Bridge, which takes the Cambrian Line over the River Mawddach, was also previously at the end of the Ruabon–Barmouth line; this line passed through Bala and Dolgellau. The southern end of the bridge is now the start of the Mawddach Trail, a cycle path and walkway that uses the old trackbed.

Local bus services are provided by Lloyds Coaches and link the town with nearby destinations such as Harlech, Tan-y-Bwlch, Porthmadog and Dolgellau. Cross-country bus services are available to Wrexham via Bala, Corwen and Llangollen, as part of the Welsh Government funded TrawsCymru network.[12]

The Barmouth Ferry sails from Barmouth to Penrhyn Point, where it connects with the narrow-gauge Fairbourne Railway for the village of Fairbourne. The town has a RNLI lifeboat station, which includes a visitors' centre with shop and viewing gallery.[13]


The nearest rugby club is in Dolgellau, 7 miles (11 km) away.[14] Barmouth has one major football team: Barmouth & Dyffryn United, which competes in the Welsh Alliance League. Barmouth is the venue for the annual Barmouth Beach Race, a motocross event. Usually taking place on the last weekend in October, the event sees riders take part in beach racing, using a temporary motocross course constructed on the beach. Over 200 riders typically take part in this event, with spectators attending free of charge. The event attracts champion riders from England and Wales.[15] The harbour hosts the annual Three Peaks yacht race.[16]

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "124" (Map). Porthmadog & Dolgellau. 1:50,000. Landranger (in English and Welsh). Ordnance Survey. 2016. ISBN 978-0-319-26222-1.
  2. ^ Ayto, John; Crofton, Ian (2005). Brewer's Britain & Ireland. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 76. ISBN 0-304-35385-X.
  3. ^ "BBC - BBC - Cymru - Y ddylanwad mae'r iaith Saesneg wedi ei gael ar leoedd yng Nghymru". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  4. ^ Mills, A. (2003). Oxford Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press.
  5. ^ "Heritage Trail". Barmouth, Wales. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  6. ^ "Dinas Oleu Walk, Barmouth". National Trust. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  7. ^ Cadw. "Panorama Walk, Barmouth (PGW(Gd)26(GWY))". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  8. ^ Cadw. "Glan-y-Mawddach (Grade II) (15492)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
  9. ^ Cadw. "Glan-y-Mawddach (PGW(Gd)62(GWY))". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  10. ^ "Road trip for storm-hit Barmouth marooned trains". BBC News. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Timetables". Transport for Wales. May 2023. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Stops in Barmouth". Bus Times. 2023. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  13. ^ "RNLI: Barmouth". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  14. ^ Dolgellau Old Grammarians Archived 5 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine from, retrieved 11 March 2015
  15. ^ retrieved 11 March 2015
  16. ^ "Three Peaks Yacht Race". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Titanic: Grandson tells of officer Harold Lowe who returned for survivors". BBC News. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  18. ^ Howell, Denis (5 November 2009). "Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race Prize Giving". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  19. ^ Etherington-Smith, Meredith (18 August 1992). "Obituary: Tommy Nutter". The Independent. London. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  20. ^ "Barmouth actress Charlie Brooks to star in 18-week theatre stage tour". Daily Post. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2016.

External links[edit]