authority in Northwest Wales.
|owns and cities
||The administrative centre is Caernarfon.
||2,546 sq. km / 983 sq. miles.
area includes the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdon (1,085 m / 3,561 ft), and
the largest Welsh lake, Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) which lies between the Aran and Arenig
mountains at the edge of Snowdonia. Welsh is spoken by almost three quarters of the
population. Bala Lake has a unique primitive
species of fish, the gwyniad (a form of whitefish related to the salmon), a protected
species from 1988.
Most of Gwynedd lies within Snowdonia National Park. Along with Mount Snowdon, other
mountains include Carnedd Llywelyn (1,062 m / 3,484 ft), Carnedd Dafydd (1,044 m / 3,425
ft), Glyder Fawr (999 m / 3,278 ft), Aran Mawddwy (926 m / 3,038 ft) and Cader Idris (892
m / 2,928 ft). There are several attractive river valleys, including the Dyfi (Dovey),
Mawddach, and Maentwrog. There are over 50 lakes among the mountains and several
waterfalls. The River Dee drains Bala Lake before passing out of the authority.
Lleyn Peninsula, which juts out into the Irish Sea and forms the northern limit of
Cardigan Bay, is a rural area with many seaside resorts. Off the tip of the peninsula is
the former pilgrimage centre of Bardsey Island, with its 6th - century ruined abbey. In
Tremadog Bay is the fantasy resort of Portmeirion, built by Clough Williams - Ellis.
||Industries include cattle and sheep farming, gold mining at
Dolgellau, textiles, electronics, slate, and tourism.
||Edward II and T E Lawrence were born in the area.
|The Kingdom of Gwynedd, a Medieval Welsh kingdom comprising north Wales and
Anglesey, was the most powerful kingdom in Wales during the 10th and 11th centuries: its
king Gruffydd ap Llewellyn dominated Wales in the mid -11th century and nearly succeeding
in uniting the Welsh. When the Normans invaded England, Gwynedd led Welsh resistance
against Norman efforts to extend their writ over the border, with mixed success. Gwynedd
offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain.
Hirnant Pass links Bala Lake to Lake Vyrnwy
in Powys, a single track road rises up past Foel y Geifr at 626 m / 2,054 ft offering
wonderful views of rugged mountainside.
Bala, situated at the head of
Bala Lake (Welsh Llyn Tegid), the town is a tourist centre within the Snowdonia National
Park. Tourist attractions include the Bala Lake narrow-gauge railway, which runs down the
southern side of the lake. Bala is the site of Roman forts and the ruined medieval
Carndochan Castle. Bala Lake, the largest natural lake in Wales, is about 6.4 km / 4 miles
long and 1.6 km / 1 miles wide. It has facilities for water sports. Bicycles can be hired
from the town and a trip around the Lake lasts for approximately 11 miles giving
delightful views of the lake. There are some more challenging routes for mountain bikers.
Mount Snowdon (Welsh
Eryri) Highest mountain in Wales, 1,085 m / 3,560 ft above sea level. Situated 16 km / 10
miles Southeast of the Menai Strait, it consists of a cluster of five peaks. At the foot
of Snowdon are the Llanberis, Aberglaslyn, and Rhyd -ddu passes. A rack railway to the top
of Snowdon can be taken from the village of Llanberis, which also houses the Welsh Slate
Museum. Snowdonia, the surrounding mountain range, was made a national park in 1951. It
covers 2,188 sq. km / 845 sq. miles of mountain, lakes, and forest land. Most
traffic enters Gwynedd via the A5 Holyhead Road, however views of Snowdonia are limited as
the A5 drops down into a tree lined valley towards Betws-y-Coed. Traffic heading into
Gwynedd from the Northern end of Clwyd particularly via the B5384 are offered excellent
views of the park.
The five main peaks are Yr Wyddfa (1,085 m / 3,560 ft), Carnedd Ungain (1,065 m / 3,494
ft), Crib Goch (921 m / 3,022 ft), Y Lliwedd (898 m / 2,946 ft), and Llechog (884 m /
2,900 ft). Shaped roughly like an octopus, the massif extends six tentacles or arms around
12 lakes. It is extremely popular for both family walkers and mountaineers. There is a
restaurant at the summit of Y Wyddfa.
Village in the Conwy area, situated 25 km south of Llandudno. It is a tourist centre for
Snowdonia, and there are waterfalls nearby. Artists are also attracted to the area, and
trout and salmon are fished. The best known waterfalls are Swallow Falls, Conwy Falls, and
Fairy Glen. The Conwy Valley Railway Museum is here, as is a Motor Museum.
Other tourist centres and seaside resorts in the area include Aberdaron, Abersoch,
Barmouth, Criccieth, Dolgellau, Harlech, and Pwllheli. Features of Pen y Bryn manor house
at Aber, near Bangor, have been identified as surviving from the royal palace of Llewellyn
I and Llewellyn II. The castles and town walls of King Edward I in the unitary authority
are a World Heritage Site. The area includes Caernarfon, Criccieth, and Harlech castles.
Caernarfon also includes the Sergontium Roman Fort Museum.
It is generally a region of mixed farming with sheep rearing on the hills and dairy and
beef cattle on the lowland fringes. The district is noted for its hardy mountain sheep,
rams, and Welsh black cattle. Quarrying for slate and granite were major occupations but
have now declined, and light industries are found in the small towns. The Clogau mine at
Bontddu supplies the gold for royal wedding rings. Lead, copper, and manganese have been
worked near Dolgellau in the past.
Lleyn Peninsula (Welsh Llyn)
Westward-extending peninsula in north Wales, between Cardigan Bay and Caernarfon Bay. Its
coastline is designated as a National Heritage Coastline and an Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty. It includes the resort of Pwllheli. Bardsey Island, at its tip, is the
traditional burial place of 20,000 saints. It is a low plateau with a number of mountains,
of which Yr Eifl (564 m / 1,850 ft) is the highest. The area is rural with a predominantly
Welsh-speaking population. Other resorts along the coast include Criccieth, Abersoch,
Aberdaron, and Nefyn. Activities include surfing, sailing, and sea angling.
Caernarfon or Caernarvon
Administrative centre of Gwynedd, situated on the southwest shore of the Menai Strait.
Formerly the Roman station of Segontium (Caer Seint), it is now a market town, port and
tourist centre. Industries include plastics and metal-working.
The first Prince of Wales (later Edward II) was born in Caernarfon Castle; Edward VIII was
invested here in 1911 and Prince Charles in 1969. The Earl of Snowdon became constable of
the castle in 1963.
The castle, one of the finest examples of medieval fortifications in the British Isles,
lies to the west of the town. It was built by Edward I in 1284, and is in an excellent
state of preservation. It is an irregularly shaped building with 13 polygonal towers; the
famous Eagle Tower was built by Edward II. The castle was besieged by Owain Glyndwr in
1402. The parish church lies outside the town at Llanbeblig.