Welcome to Porthmadog in Wales

Welcome to Porthmadog

Known locally as ‘Port,’ Porthmadog is situated on the edge of The Snowdonia National Park on the estuary of the Afon Glaslyn as it runs into Tremadog Bay. It’s one of the largest towns in Snowdonia with a population of around 4,200. It has a good selection of shops which make it a natural base for holidaymakers who want to explore Snowdonia and the coastline of the Llŷn Peninsula.

It’s one of the newest towns in Wales, only being created in 1810-1811 after William Madocks built a sea wall (The Cob) and reclaimed a 7,000 acres of Traeth Mawr (The Big Beach). This also happened to create a new natural harbour deep enough for small sailing ships that started to appear around 1825 with the first appearance of the name ‘Port Madoc’ in 1830 when the Ffestiniog Railway opened.

Porthmadog developed as a famous port later in the nineteenth century when it began exporting the slate produced at the quarries in Ffestiniog and Llanfrothen to roof houses in the expanding towns and cities in England and all over the world. By 1873 more than a thousand ships carrying over 116,000 tons of slate left Porthmadog.

The Railway and It’s Legacy

The tracks and locos left behind after the slate trade also make it one of the most popular tourist areas in Wales being the hub of the Ffestiniog Railway, The Welsh Highland Railway and the smaller Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. It’s also one of the stations on the Cambrian Coast main line which runs along the coast from Pwllheli on the Llŷn Peninsula to Machynlleth, there is goes on to Shrewsbury in the East or Aberystwyth in the South.

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  • The Welsh Highland Railway

    The Welsh Highland Railway

    The Welsh Highland Railway (WHR) runs 25 miles from Porthmadog to Caernarfon on the north-west coast of Wales, making it the UKs longest heritage railwayREAD MORE...