The Top 10 Things To Do in Porthmadog

January 15, 2021

The busy harbour town of Porthmadog is located in North Wales, nestled just on the border of Snowdonia National Park. This coastal town offers a wealth of attractions and shops making it the perfect base for visitors to Snowdonia. Famous for its port and railways, travel is the main attraction in Porthmadog with train journeys and boat trips both popular activities. Porthmadog has a charming vibe with a relaxed air that sits pleasantly amongst the hustle and bustle. The town has a great list of wholesome attractions to experience and is surrounded by magnificent nature to enjoy.

Discover Portmeirion Village

Portmeirion Village

The charming village of Portmeirion is a popular tourist attraction surrounded by the stunning North Welsh scenery. The Italian-style village was designed by Sir Clough William-Ellis to model an authentic Italian village and is now owned by a charitable trust. The village is incredibly stylish with romantic architecture and offers an abundance of shops and restaurants to enjoy as well as an authentic gelateria, Italian restaurants and ornamental gardens.

Watch the wildlife at Glaslyn Osprey Project

Glaslyn Osprey Project

Located in Glaslyn Valley near Porthmadog, Glaslyn Osprey Project has supported the ospreys of Snowdonia who returned in 2004 after decades of absence in Wales. The project was originally under the RSPB but was taken over privately in 2013. The small charity has a visitors centre welcoming visitors to follow the story of the rarest birds in Wales and watch their activity through the on-site telescopes as well as showcasing live images through their nest cam.

Catch a steam train

Steam train

Porthmadog is most famous for its railways and steam trains with great opportunities to ride in a steam-pulled carriage. The Ffestiniog Railway is the world's oldest narrow-gauge railway offering authentic steam train experiences with journeys across Snowdonia taking in the stunning scenery from the comfortable carriage pulled by a historic steam engine. A journey will take you through woodlands, along the coastline and past castles as you explore the incredible countryside by train.

Stroll along Black Rock Sands

Black Rock Sands

Known locally as Black Rock Sands, Morfa Bychan is a sandy beach peppered with rocky sections but unlike the name suggests, you won't find black rocks or black sands either. The vast beach stretches for over two miles and offers incredible views of Snowdonia National Park. The beach is a popular destination for picnics with a slipway to the beach allowing visitors to park directly on the sand and set up camp. The beach is home to an abundance of rock pools and caves to explore and the area is rich in marine life.

Visit the maritime museum

Maritime museum porthmadog

Porthmadog is named after its port which is bustling today but even busier 150 years ago. The Porthmadog Maritime Museum tells the story of the town's past including its shipbuilding and slate exporting. The museum calls the port's last remaining slate shed its home and documents the history of this harbour town. The museum is incredibly informing and educating offering a wealth of knowledge on Porthmadog whilst showcasing artefacts and detailing stories from the town's golden days.

Set sail from Porthmadog Port

Being a harbour town centred around its port, Porthmadog has a wealth of boat excursions on offer. With fishing trips, coastal cruises and boats to Puffin Island, there is a sea voyage for everyone. The North Wales coastline has an abundance of wildlife so there is always plenty to see whilst out at sea including herons, Atlantic grey seals and of course, puffins. The cruises take in some beautiful scenery and even some landmarks making boat trips the perfect excursion.

Explore Snowdonia and climb Snowdon


Porthmadog is the perfect launchpad for adventures in Snowdonia National Park with many visitors making Porthmadog their base. This mountainous region is one of incredible and diverse landscapes and the peak of the national park is Mount Snowdon. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and England at 3560 feet and many tourists set out to tackle the climb to the summit by taking one of the six different pathways. The walk takes approximately 6 hours to conquer but the view from the top and the scenery along the way is more than rewarding.

Jump across to neighbouring Borth-y-Gest


Neighbouring Borth-y-Gest is a seaside village which holds a lot of charm and is the entrance of the Llyn Peninsula. The village has a Victorian vibe with quaint, brightly coloured houses arranged in a horseshoe bend and is a great place to enjoy the countryside. Borth-y-Gest offers a lovely beach and incredible scenery with the beautiful coast and stunning Snowdonia backdrop.

Walk to Criccieth Castle

Criccieth Castle

Criccieth Castle is a spectacular castle on a rocky peninsula in North Wales overlooking Tremadog Bay. The castle was built and destroyed by powerful, medieval princes and has witnessed a lot of the area's history. The castle's location offers incredible views over the town and coast below whilst the walk up to the castle is short but steep. The walk is worth the climb for the beautiful, historic architecture of the castle and the incredible views of Snowdonia.

All aboard Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

The town of Porthmadog is famous for trains and railways and the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway offers a great way to dive into the train culture. The miniature railway gives visitors the chance to journey on a steam train whilst the heritage centre provides a wealth of information on railways and trains with the opportunity to get hands-on and see how the engines work. The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway is fun for all the family and a great centre for train lovers.

The beautiful coastal town of Porthmadog is an incredible location to explore Snowdonia National Park and North Wales. The town offers a relaxed vibe with scenic views and a wealth of activities to experience.

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