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Is Barmouth really that bad?

(23 Posts)
TheGirlOnTheLanding Sat 03-Mar-18 09:25:37

Looking at N Wales for a family holiday. Ideal: good beach nearby, sea views, nice places to visit (castles, wildlife, etc), in a good base, preferably picturesque, that isn't too small to have shops, cafes etc so not a remote village but not a big town. I've found what looked a great prospect in Barmouth but after a quick Mumsnet search i can only see negative reviews of it as a resort - tacky, grim, depressing were words used. The pictures online look lovely though! Victorian houses, nice harbour, yes some fish and chip shops and amusements but hardly any decent sized seaside places don't have those. So, anyone who knows the area, what's your honest opinion - avoid?

thenewaveragebear1983 Sat 03-Mar-18 09:35:15

We used to go every year as children, I love it there! Haven’t been in summer season for years though. There’s not much in North Wales if the weather isn’t great unless you are happy to drive quite a distance though. I remember Barmouth itself being a typical uk seaside town- a bit run down, crab fishing, lovely beaches, nice coastal walks, and obviously snowdon. If the trains still run then the coastal train from Aberystwyth to Harlech/Porthmadog is lovely for little ones and gets you to all the main towns (but again, check this out!). If you drive, there are some nice small villages such as Talybont about 4 miles from Barmouth which are possibly nicer than the town itself.

We are going to Tenby this year, which is also a lovely place.

FlyingGoose Sat 03-Mar-18 09:40:55

We stayed at talybont last year and it was lovely, the children really enjoyed it and want to go back.

thenewaveragebear1983 Sat 03-Mar-18 09:50:35

^ I should point out, before someone corrects me, that Snowdon is not in Barmouth. It’s just a good town to stay in if you plan to climb or get the train up snowdon!

midgebabe Sat 03-Mar-18 09:52:28

Barmouth was heaving when we went, couldn't see if it looked nice as we were both panicking about avoiding people when driving through to find a car park. Then I just got panicked with the number of people, so we moved on. Clearly lots of people love it, and I suspect out of season I would. The area is fantastic. coast there is lovely, the railways are great, both the coast line and the steam lines. The weather can be pants.

bigbootsj Sat 03-Mar-18 09:56:08

I absolutely adore barmouth! We've had some fantastic trips and holidays there over the year. We love camping and regularly stay at Shell Island which is just a stones throw away. Our two children love it too.
Yes its not the Caribbean but it doesn't pretend to be either. Your holidays are what you make them x

threeelephants Sat 03-Mar-18 09:57:28

It's lovely. People on here moan about everything.

CottonSock Sat 03-Mar-18 09:59:15

Lovely area, don't know the town, but the valley is beautiful.
Bit out of the way, I would plan not to drive too far for trips

PooFlower Sat 03-Mar-18 09:59:26

Àbersoch is a lovely place in Wales I prefer it to Barmouth.
As another poster stated Tenby is absolutely stunning but a lot further south.

TolstoyAteMyHamster Sat 03-Mar-18 09:59:35

I love (love!) Barmouth. It has stunning scenery and the beach is great. The town is fine. And heaps to do there and close by. It’s my absolute happy place, and my children (who know a good beach when they see one after some truly fab overseas holidays) agree. It is neither tacky, grim nor depressing!

doleritedinosaur Sat 03-Mar-18 09:59:41

It’s gorgeous there but there’s not a lot to do.
The beach is absolutely stunning as is the scenery but it’s run down.

Depends if you wanted to use it as a base to do things in the area.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Sat 03-Mar-18 10:24:59

This all sounds great - very encouraging! Thank you, everyone. I'm feeling reassured. I have heard Abersoch is nice @PooFlower but the cottages there seem to be twice the price! So we will have to visit fir a day rather than stay I think. Tenby is unfortunately just a bit too far for us to travel - N Wales is a 5 hr drive as it is - but I have heard it's beautiful.

Icomehereseekingpeas Sat 03-Mar-18 22:49:50

I love Barmouth. My best friends wedding will be happening on shell island and I've never been there so I'm looking forward to it

Papergirl1968 Mon 05-Mar-18 22:48:33

Barmouth is nice, although we prefer Tywyn to stay in.
Barmouth has amusement arcades. Small fair. Donkey rides. A few gift shops, and a big antique shop in a converted church if it’s still there. Huge beach.
Gets very busy on bank holidays, and parking isn’t great.
Crabbing around the jetty is popular with kids. Or you can get a boat across to Fairbourne and a miniature train. There’s also pony trekking with beach rides at Fairbourne but you’d be better to drive to that as it’s just out.
Harlech Castle is nice.
The train does still run along the coast so you could catch that north or south.
There’s not a huge amount to do in the rain, but Corris Craft Centre is worth a trip out and they have a couple of visitor attractions adjacent including an underground boat tour, King Arthur’s Labyrinth.
From Barmouth you’d also be within reach of Portmeirion etc.
Snowdon itself is probably...I’m guessing...90 mins away.

Serin Thu 08-Mar-18 11:49:36

Barmouth itself is a little bit faded/unpretentious but it's certainly not in the same league as Skegness or Blackpool! The area around is gorgeous. Just inland there is an area of rare temperate rainforest which the coast path skirts around, beautiful views. Harlech just up the coast is lovely, with a fantastic castle and beach.

Dolgellau and Llanberis are sweet little working towns/villages, both worth a visit if only to hear everyone speaking Welsh!

Nantcol waterfalls is a nearby campsite but allows visitors and has some amazing walks along the wooded valleys/streams.

Abersoch has sadly been invaded by the wannabe footballers wives brigade and loud men in Ralph Lauren and 2018 Range Rovers. I think many of them have starred on Crimewatch wink

rosy71 Fri 09-Mar-18 21:59:26

Barmouth is lovely if the weather is good. If the weather isn't good, there's not much to do. When the weather's good, it gets really busy. Last time we went, we had to stand up most of the way there on the train and apparently there were huge traffic jams way out of town. We love it though!

Barmouth has sandy beaches, donkey rides, fairground, boat trip to Fairbourne where you can ride on the steam train, harbour, memorial to a Titanic crew member who lived there. You can also catch the train to Tywyn & go on the Talyllyn Railway to Dolgoch Falls. In the opposite direction, you can visit Harlech & Criccieth castles. The mainline train itself follows the coast & is worth a ride on just for the view. Inland, the countryside is lovely in good weather.

BestIsWest Fri 09-Mar-18 22:57:09

Sorry to put a downer on it but I didn’t like it much at all. We didn't have great weather though we’re used to that.

Loved the place we stayed though, a farmhouse B&B on the way out of town.

tootiredtospeak Fri 09-Mar-18 23:03:15

Its fine quite busy but there are so many lovely places close by. Harlech porthmadog cricceth if you wabt quiter too. The top end has a dog freindly beach a lovemy cafe small harbour and is quiter overall.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 09-Mar-18 23:03:46

The Mawddach estuary is absolutely stunning. Barmouth itself is a nice enough unpretentious seaside town. Great beach. Nearby Aberdovey is more chi chi and upmarket. Dolgellau is worth a wander as is Machynllaeth.

OutsideContextProblem Fri 09-Mar-18 23:08:17

I think if you’re staying within five minutes walk of a decent beach in a nice cottage then you will have a good time regardless of whether the town is a bit naff. And Barmouth is a very decent beach. Take scooters for the bridge across the harbour.

DesperatelySeeking2016 Thu 22-Mar-18 15:35:13

We went out of season (Easter) and had a great time. I was aware that I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it in high season though. The beach is beautiful.

LEMtheoriginal Thu 22-Mar-18 15:41:15

We loved it there! And it was PISSING down!!

It is a bit tacktastic around the arcade area but it does have an awful lot more than that on offer.

We were camping near dollgelau about 20 minutes drive away. On a dismal day even the loveliest if places look bleak but we were treated to all extremes of weather in one go.

There is a lovely FLAT cycle path that takes you over the bridge into dolgellau and that is an amazing town.

If you like scenery and mountains it's wonderful. I would probably choose to stay out of town but I have an aversion to people!

millimat Sun 08-Apr-18 22:37:08

Late to join I know, but I can't stand Abersoch! It's full of overpriced cafes or wine bars as they are known there, people who are full of themselves because they can afford Joules and The White Stuff and drink in said cafe, and nowhere to park grin
Give me Barmouth any day!

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