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Caernarfonshire / Sir Gaernarfon


Caernarfonshire (Sir Gaernarfon), also spelled Carnarvonshire, or Caernarvonshire, is a largely Welsh-speaking county. It can be divided into three distinct areas; Snowdonia, Arfon and Lleyn. Caernarfonshire is dominated by the mountain fastness of Snowdonia (“Yr Eryri”), in the midst of which lies Snowdon, the highest mountain of Wales. This is very popular walking country, none more so than Snowdon itself, both for popular visitors and for more serious hikers. Below Snowdonia, on the county’s north coast, the country is lower lying rolling countryside running down to the Menai Straits. There stands Caernarfon, the old capital of Wales, with its famous castle overlooking the tidal rip of the straits. Beyond Snowdonia westwards lies the unspoilt Lleyn peninsula. Lleyn was imortalised in particular by the poet and minister R S Thomas, who served for many years as the Vicar of Aberdaron, Lleyn’s westernmost parish.

County Facts

County Town:  Caernarfon

Main Towns: Bangor, Bethesda, Betws-y-Coed, Caernarfon, Conwy, LLandudno, Porthmadog, Pwllheli.

Main Rivers: Conwy, Cadnant, Glaslyn, Gwyrfai, Seiont, Ogwen.

Highlights: Caernarfon Castle & Old Town; Conwy Castle; Great Orme’s Head; Llyn Pensinsula; Snowdonia National Park.

Highest Point: Snowdon, 3560 feet.

Area: 480 sq miles

Flower: Snowdon Lily

Day: 28th November (Death of Owain Gwynedd)