Black Boy Inn

UK Wales North Wales Gwynedd

If this 16th-century tavern’s stone walls could speak, they would surely raise an eyebrow or two with their tales of smugglers, shipwrecks and past times when Northgate Street was Caernarfon’s red-light district – then known as ‘Stryd Pedwar a Chwech’ (‘Four and Six Street’) – and the going rate for a room was a bottle of gin and a lady for the night. Within the town’s medieval walls, just a cannon-ball throw away from Wales’ most extraordinary castle, this inn creaks loudly with the weight of its history, with 47 rooms that somehow manage to combine period features with contemporary comfort. Spread across four buildings, rooms vary from those in the Edwardian Townhouse to the high-ceilinged Black Jack’s courtyard rooms, but best are the rooms in the inn itself, with low beams, vintage furnishings, and thoughtful extras like scallop-shaped Aberffraw biscuits from Anglesey and British Duck Island toiletries. For romance, upgrade to a room with a barley-twist four-poster bed. Families are also welcome and cots are available. The pub itself is just as you might expect: low oak beams, thick walls, lots of dark, exposed stone, singsong Welsh voices around open fires and 20 beers on tap, including a number from this neck of Snowdonia. These go nicely with dishes like Welsh steak-and-ale pie, curries and cask-ale battered haddock, many prepared with locally sourced ingredients.

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Black Boy Inn, Northgate Street, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 1RW

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