Gwynedd

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Local LinksGwynedd Council

owns and cities The administrative centre is Caernarfon.
rea 2,546 sq. km / 983 sq. miles.
opulation 116,000 (1996)
opography Bala LakeThe 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.

The 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.

ommerce Industries include cattle and sheep farming, gold mining at Dolgellau, textiles, electronics, slate, and tourism.
amous people Edward II and T E Lawrence were born in the area.
ttractions

Caernarfon Castle

 

Hirnant PassThe 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 LakeBala, 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.

SnowdoniaMount 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. Moel Seisiog MoorMost 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.

Betws-y-coedBetws-y-coedBetws-y-coed
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.