Hilly Harlech is best known for the mighty grey-stone towers of its castle, lording it over gleaming Tremadog Bay and framed sternly by the mountains of Snowdonia. Some sort of fortified structure has probably surmounted the rock since Iron Age times, but Edward I removed all traces when he commissioned the castle that currently stands. Finished in 1289, Harlech Castle is the southernmost of four fortifications grouped as the 'Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd' Unesco World Heritage Site.
Harlech is such a thoroughly pleasant place that it has become one of the more gentrified destinations in Snowdonia – every other shop seems to sell antiques or tea. While it's bustling in summer, it can be deliciously sleepy otherwise. It makes a great base for a beach holiday or for day trips into the national park – and those views never get boring.