Caernarfonshire, also known as the historic county of Carnarvonshire, lies in the northwest of Wales, elevated by a spectacular mix of mountain and coastal scenery. With offerings from peaceful, slow-paced rural lifestyles to enriched cultural experiences in its historical hubs, Caernarfonshire truly captures the heart of Welsh tradition and heritage.

In our area guide, we delve into the magical combination of history, landscape, and cultural wealth that adorn the charming towns and undulating landscapes. We examine practical aspects of life in Caernarfonshire including schooling, transport, and residents' favourite spots all while providing insight into property prices and the best places to settle down.

History of Caernarfonshire

The history of Caernarfonshire, a Welsh County founded in the 13th-century, is as fascinating as its scenery is captivating. King Edward I of England established it following his invasion of Wales in 1284. Caernarfonshire became an important strategic point for the English monarch, leading to the construction of significant fortresses like the Caernarfon Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The county flourished during the slate quarrying boom in the 19th-century, becoming a hub for industry, innovation and community.


Caernarfonshire is home to remarkable landmarks, depicting a vivid tableau of Welsh history and tradition. The formidable Caernarfon Castle dominates the landscape, a symbol of ancient military might and architectural prowess. Another notable sight is Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales and England, which attracts adventure-seeking hikers and those in search of breathtaking views. Llyn Peninsula, a heritage coastline, marks the county's unique maritime legacy while serving as a sanctuary for wildlife.

Landmarks we love

  • Fort Belan: A star-shaped fort located near the village of Aberdesach. It provides a distinctive glimpse into the region's defensive past, with its seaside setting offering superb views.

  • The West Shore Beach, Llandudno: A serene and scenic spot admired for its stunning sunsets and peaceful atmosphere. Perfect for family outings and picnics.

  • Great Orme Mines: Situated in the limestone headland of Great Orme, visitors can explore tunnels from the Bronze Age and learn about the area's ancient mining history.

  • The RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve: An extraordinary haven for birdwatchers, featuring a mix of freshwater and estuarine habitats.

  • The Snowdonia National Park: A touch of unspoilt wilderness, rich with rugged peaks, waterfalls, lakes and forests.

Top 5 things to do in Caernarfonshire

  • Experience the thrill of Zip World - an outdoor adventure destination for adrenaline junkies.

  • Explore the unique landscapes of Snowdonia National Park, either on foot or by bike or train.

  • Visit Conwy Castle and the picturesque harbour town that surrounds it.

  • Embrace the tranquillity of Clynnog Fawr – an idyllic village known for its ancient church, healing well, and stunning beach.

  • Ride on The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways that provides exquisite views of the surrounding landscapes.

Our recommended areas to live in Caernarfonshire

  • Criccieth: Known as the 'Pearl of Wales', this seaport town provides stunning sea views, a close-knit community, and country charm. An ideal haven for people seeking peace and tranquillity.

  • Porthmadog: A bustling harbour town with a rich maritime history and robust commercial activity. It is an excellent choice for families due to its vibrant community, good schools, and proximity to the beautiful Ffestiniog Railway.

Best schools in Caernarfonshire

Educational facilities in Caernarfonshire range from excellent primary to reputable higher educational institutions. Primary schools like Ysgol Penybryn and Ysgol Eifion Wyn stand out for their authentic bilingual education, providing an immersive Welsh experience. For older students, Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle and Ysgol Brynrefail are known for their range of curriculum and extracurricular activities.

Transport links in Caernarfonshire

The county has an extensive transportation system with buses, trains, and highways connecting all parts. In particular, the A55 links Caernarfonshire to the national road network, ensuring a smooth commute between significant locations. Public transports are punctual, efficient and cover most parts of the county.

In conclusion, Caernarfonshire is a beautiful mix of historical heritage, natural beauty and authentic Welsh traditions. Its blend of rural peace, coastal charm and bustling town life creates a unique living experience, with excellent amenities ranging from a robust education system, efficient transport links and an array of recreational offerings. For those looking to relocate, we highly recommend considering Caernarfonshire - a beautiful reflection of Welsh heritage, community and culture.

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