Barmouth, on the northern mouth of the Mawddach Estuary, is one of the few places along the Welsh coast that can be described as a full-fledged seaside resort, although it's looking a bit tired these days. It has a 2-mile-long promenade, wide expanses of golden beach, and facilities for sea, river, and mountain-lake fishing. To appreciate the splendid location, walk along the footpath beside the railway bridge that crosses the mouth of the estuary: the bay stretches out on one side, and on the other are rugged, looming mountains and the river.
The arrival of the railway in the 19th century made Barmouth a popular vacation spot. Alfred, Lord Tennyson was inspired to write Crossing the Bar by the spectacle of the Mawddach rushing to meet the sea. Charles Darwin worked on The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man in a house by the shore.