Caernarfonshire (Sir Gaernarfon) is a county of quiet magnificence, in the north-western corner of mainland Wales, and it remains a largely Welsh-speaking shire.
The name is also spelled Carnarvonshire, or Caernarvonshire
The county has three distinct areas; Snowdonia, Arfon and Lleyn. Snowdonia (“Yr Eryri“), a great the mountain fastness, overspreads the greater part of Caernarfonshire and in the midst of it stands Snowdon, the highest mountain of Wales and in fact the highest in the British Isles outside of the Highlands of Scotland. This is very popular walking country, none more so than Snowdon itself, both for popular visitors and for more serious hikers. Eastward the mountains end only in time to drop down to the valley of the River Conwy, which marks Caernarfonshire’s border with Denbighshire.
Below Snowdonia, on the county’s north coast, the country is lower lying rolling countryside running down to the Menai Straits, and this tract ids known as Arfon. There stands Caernarfon, the old capital of Wales, with its famous castle overlooking the tidal rip of the straits, and Bangor with its cathedral and university.
Beyond Snowdonia westwards lies the beauteous, unspoilt Lleyn peninsula. Lleyn was immortalised 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 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, 3,560 feet.
Area: 480 sq miles
Flower: Snowdon Lily
Day: 28th November (Death of Owain Gwynedd)