A few days away in Criccieth


I’ve a great fondness for the beautiful seaside resort of Criccieth, in North Wales, since holidaying there with my grandparents in the summer of 1982. I adored every minute I got to spend with my grandma and grandad, but our holiday together in Criccieth was extra special and something I often think about. So, when it came to booking a short break, I knew Criccieth was were I wanted to go.

Where we stayed: Tirifonfa Guest House, Pwllheli Road, Criccieth, LL52 0RR (owned and run by Marcelo and Tina Carvalho)

Oh my goodness, we didn’t half drop on with this place. When looking for somewhere to stay, I’d googled best bed and breakfasts in Criccieth and Tirionfa popped up. I loved the look of the guest house, and the reviews were super. And, after making a call and speaking to Tina, to check about availability and suitability for my gluten free diet, my gut feeling was GOOD.  

Tirionfa guest house

When we arrived Marcelo showed us to our room. It was everything, we could have wanted. We even had a little balcony, complete with table and chairs. The balcony proved to be the most perfect picnic, afternoon/evening drinks and morning cuppa spot! 

Bedroom at Tirionfa guest house

Our room was immaculate and very cosy. Everything had been considered. Even a pack of gluten free biscuits were waiting for me on the hospitality tray. We also dropped on with a huge bathroom, which had a separate shower and lovely large corner bath. 

As we were only staying two nights at Trifionfa (boo!), I hadn’t expected our room to be attended to in between. However, when we returned after our day out, the room had been cleaned and replenished with more biscuits, water, and fresh towels. 

Breakfast at Tirifonfa was superb. I’d packed gluten free cereal just in case, but my cooked breakfast, orange juice, great coffee, and toast filled my tum up nicely. I’d chatted through about my dietary needs at length with Marcelo and he reassuringly explained how they prepared gluten free foods. On the first morning, I asked that my gluten free toast was popped out to me on a separate plate, rather than being in the same toast rack as Neil’s; the following morning this as automatically done for me. I was so grateful to Tina and Marcelo for catering so considerably for me.

Gluten free cooked breakfast

Tirifona has five ensuite bedrooms. The room we stayed in is the only one with a balcony. And, whilst we loved having the luxury of this outdoor space, we’d happily book again to stay in any of the rooms at this perfect guest house, with such fabulous hosts!

What and where we ate

To ensure I didn’t get caught out with my dietary needs, we headed off to Criccieth stocked up with plenty of delicious gluten free food. Such a fab back up plan!  Our cool bag was rammed with yummy things like; Spanish omelette, olives, mini peppers stuffed with ricotta, butties, rose wine, gluten free beer etc! We also had an additional bag with suitable crisps, fruit and nuts, dried dates, dried apricots, bananas, and tinned mackerel (my brother’s great idea!). Most of the fresh stuff we enjoyed on the day we arrived and what we had leftover I popped into the guest fridge at Tirionfa; I made sure that my gluten free stuff was well wrapped. The ambient goodies came in very handy, when we needed refuelling, whilst out on a long walk.

Due to our plentiful supply of snacks and hearty breakfasts, we only needed to eat out once whilst we were at Criccieth, and this was at Dylan’s restaurant. We’d eaten at Dylan’s, Menai Bridge a few years ago, and they’d catered well for my gluten free diet, so I felt confident the Criccieth restaurant would be able to accommodate me too.

I kicked off our very sunny evening meal with a celebratory glass of Prosecco, before ordering a gluten free margherita pizza, skinny fries, and a side of coleslaw. As always, I had a good chat with the waitress when I placed my order, to double check all would be OK with my meal. She advised me that my pizza would be cooked on a separate tray, and that procedures were in place in the kitchen to prevent cross contamination from gluten. She did also say that she would confirm my gluten free order verbally with the chef. My gluten free pizza and sides were great. I also grabbed myself a chilled glass of rose to sip on, as I happily munched away. 

Whilst there were many gorgeous moments within the few days, we spent at Criccieth a huge highlight was getting to pop into Cadwaladers and order my first ever ice cream in a gluten free cornet. Rum and raisin was my ice cream of choice on the day we arrived and I returned the following day, for a chocolate one after our evening meal at Dylan’s. I was lucky enough to have the same girl serve me on both occasions and she was wonderful! She popped on fresh gloves, washed the scoop and opened a fresh tub of ice cream for me. The gluten free cones are individually wrapped and kept in a separate area, and I was handed the finished cone, rather than it being placed in the regular holder.

Liz Rimmer with a gluten free ice cream

What we did 

As our stay was short, we decided to use the one full day we had to do a nice long walk. Our route took us from Criccieth, along the railway track and across to Black Rock Sands. After walking the length of Black Rock Sands, we had a rather steep climb up from the beach before reaching our destination of Borth Y Gest. We had planned to walk to Porthmadog, but we’d done enough by the time we reached the pretty harbour village of Borth Y Gest and felt it was best to take a well-earned breather and enjoy a fruity cider and a few of the snacks we’d taken with us. 

Borth Y Gest

The sun made an appearance on our return walk to Criccieth and the views were spectacular. I took so many photos along the way and at times couldn’t quite take in the beauty of it all. 

View walking from Borth Y Gest to Criccieth

Our reward for completing our glorious 12 mile walk was yet another fruity cider. Which we enjoyed on the wooden boardwalk by the seashore at Dylan’s. 

Fruity cider and Criccieth beach

Our stay in Criccieth was far too brief and after two days I wasn’t ready to go home. I cannot wait to return. Whilst we didn’t dine out much, there are a couple of eateries that I’m eager to try when we visit again.

Criccieth really has something for everyone and is in such a lovely spot. I really hope that you are lucky enough to visit sometime. And, whether you choose to spend your day at the beach, checking out the castle, pottering around the shops, grabbing yourself a coffee or something chilled and gazing out to sea, or exploring the surrounding areas, I hope you love its magic and beauty as much as I do.

For now,
Liz x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *