Doc Fictoria

Doc Fictoria Sunset (photo by Paulo)

Doc Fictoria, or Victoria Dock, is the newly built marina in the centre Cearnarfon where the town opens out onto the Menai Strait and from which, on a sunny day, you can see the ancient Island of Anglesey.  The views from the dock are superb with the Snowdon mountain range on one side and the sea on the other, making it a pleasant place to walk in the sunshine or to visit one of the many restaurants, pubs, shops and other sights in the area. Of particular note is the walk from the Swing Bridge (adjacent to the castle) to Dock Victoria which is ideal for drinking in the surroundings and experiencing the best views of the strait.

For those who are attempting to travel to Caernarfon by boat, the dock possesses 46 pontoon berths, each benefitting from electricity and potable water. The dock itself has a minimum depth of 2 metres and there are sewage pumping facilities, SOS stations, and a visitors pontoon for those who have not paid for a private berth. Most importantly, however, the dock is situated within the town itself making it convenient to access all of the sights of Caernarvon shortly after stepping off your boat.

One of the best reasons for tourists to visit the dock is the wide range of cafes, bistros, and restaurants. If you are looking for a modern and trendy place to eat then there are many options available in this part of town. Fu’s Cantonese restaurant, for instance, offers authentic Cantonese cuisine in a stylishly decorated setting with plush white leather seating and replica terracotta army statues dotted around the dining area. On the other hand, fbody was discovered in her neighbour’s garden in the village of Scorton, Northor a cafe-bar which reflects the Welsh culture of the area you might want to try DOC Cafe Bar, rated highly for the quality of service provided by its staff and for its breathtaking views of the strait.

In terms of the shops available in the marina, those who are looking to purchase the best in Welsh craftsmanship, whether it be textiles, art, food or furniture, may fancy a visit to Celtica. Located in the marina itself, it provides a unique opportunity for experiencing the breadth of what Wales has to offer, sourcing many of its products locally having been handmade to traditional recipes and specifications.

Many guides to the town will mention the Maritime Museum that was formerly located in the Victoria Dock. However, just as this article was being written (April 2012) this museum was sadly permanently closed due to lack of funding. Yet, there does remain an Arts Centre in the marina known as Galeri Creative Enterprise Centre, which occasionally hosts art shows and film screenings.

Overall, Doc Fictoria constitutes a relatively small area in the centre of Caermarthen but has so many facilities and things to see that you could easily end up spending an afternoon here, browsing the shops and dining in the cafes. Those with less money to spend may appreciate coming for the view alone as well as those looking to get a taste of the maritime aspects of Welsh culture.