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The local area guide to living in Fairbourne

Fairbourne is a small picturesque village located just to the south of the River Mawddach estuary, on the Barmouth Bay coast, Wales. The village is surrounded by the Snowdonia National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The most prominent local attraction is certainly the Fairbourne and Barmouth Railway, built when the town was first founded by Arthur McDougall. He built up the town as a seaside resort many decades ago, and the light railways remains as a throwback to that age.

Today, Fairbourne is a thriving village, with a Blue Flag beach. It offers affordable property to buy and rent, set amidst a glorious rural landscape, served by all the amenities and shops, as well as transport links to the surrounding area.

Information about the local residents

There are 1,174 people who live in the town, as of the last census (2011), and these people enjoy a greater quality of life than much of the Welsh population. According to the Census data for the wider county of Gwynedd, which Fairbourne is a part of, people are in markedly better health than most of the nation, with 4% more being in ‘Good Health’ than the national averages.

There are also more homeowners than typical, 5% more residents of the county owning their property outright than is average. This population is also somewhat older than the national average, with the average age lying at 1 year older than the mean of Wales. There are also fewer job seekers and individuals on benefits within the county, nearly 10% less claiming any form of Benefits than the national average.

Nearby schools

There’s a single primary school within the town, known as the Fairbourne Primary School, though just across the water is the Barmouth Primary School. Barmouth, not only reachable by the road along the coast, can also be reached via the Barmouth ferry.

The closest secondary school is about 20 minutes away, the Ysgol Y Gader secondary school in Dolgellau, whilst there’s another one in Tywyn. The school in Tywyn, Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn, is a co-educational institute that’s been lauded by the Welsh government as to having the highest standards of any Welsh secondary educational system.

Getting around

The easiest way to get about is via road, with the A493 running along the coast and connecting to the UK motorway system and other towns in the region. The railway runs across the coast, connecting to some of the towns, though the bus system is further reaching due to its connections in some of the regional hubs.

It’s worth noting that the railway only operates a regular service from the months of April until October, though national rail connections can be found in Barmouth, with trains that run as far as Birmingham, and the town is easily reached via the ferry.

Local shops

Fairbourne is a beautiful town with breathtaking surrounding countryside and for the prospective visitor there are a number of affordable hotels and Bed and Breakfasts in and around the town, such as the Slate Shed Bed and Breakfast and Sunray Guest House overlooking the harbour. There isn’t much in the way of shopping, however, there is a small village shop, with supermarkets and small shops available in nearby towns such as Barmouth.

Fairbourne has no shortage of dining options. Visitors to the town can choose anything from English and continental food, to fast food and takeaways. Indiana Cuisine is an Indian restaurant in the village with an excellent reputation, offering vegetarian menus and options.

Fairbourne Chippy is renowned for its delicious fresh fish and chips. Alternatively, visitors can enjoy traditional pub food in one of the many pubs located in and around Fairbourne. For those who prefer a lazy stroll, followed by a coffee and cake, Fairbourne offers a number of pretty cafes and bistros serving fine homemade pastries and cakes.

Fairbourne’s location makes it popular with sports enthusiasts who enjoy the outdoor pursuits of fishing, cycling and watersports and the village has shops to cater to these disciplines.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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