No trip to Wales is complete without a trip to one of the nation’s mighty fortresses, and the towns and slopes of Snowdonia are home to some of the UK’s very finest historic strongholds.
A treasure trove for history lovers; they showcase awe-inspiring architecture in stunning landscapes with locations that look like they’ve been lifted straight from Arthurian legends!
This large castle came complete with all of the contemporary luxuries, such as bathrooms and toilets with running water! From the Eagle Tower, there are breath-taking views across the river Seiont and the walled town of Caernarfon, and you can look down to where Prince Charles was invested in 1969.
Our expert, Steve Beech at Beics Brenin, said: “Caernarfon Castle is well worth a visit. Kids in particular will love it; the castles walls are huge and there are fascinating secret passages hidden deep within them. And don’t miss the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, which you’ll find in two of the castle’s towers!”
Sports fans and film aficionados may well recognise the song ‘Men of Harlech’, sung by the officers in Zulu and adopted by Welsh sports fans. The original song is said to refer to a seven-year siege of this old citadel.
One look at the immense building shows why it was so hard to breach! Fortunately, there is a floating bridge that offers easier access to the castle, and visitors can easily spend a couple of hours wandering around the battlements. The castle is really photogenic: set between the sea and Snowdonia’s mountains.
Perhaps one of the best preserved fortifications in the UK, you can explore the Great Hall and Kings Apartments, and imagine what life was like during a royal visit.
Our expert, Gwenan Mai Hughes, from the Old Goat Inn, said: “Conwy Castle is such a scenic castle, and it’s worth walking the town walls too. With a backdrop it’ll be hard to turn away from, those keen to find out more about the castle’s history will find plenty of interesting facts and information boards inside.”
Criccieth Castle was passed between the Welsh and English throughout the Middle Ages. Each time it changed hands, modifications were made to the build, and this is now reflected in its contrasting features. Nevertheless, with its location looking out to sea, the castle makes for a truly beautiful location.
Ideal for a quick visit, a wander around this fort can be combined with a trip to the beach, where you can grab an ice cream and make sandcastles of your own!
Dolbadarn Castle enjoys a wild setting, overlooking the tranquil Llyn Padarn Lake, at the base of the Llanberis Pass. With much of the former fortress reduced to rubble, the large stone keep remains, standing proud amongst the fairy-tale surroundings.
The beauty of Dolbadarn Castle has provided inspiration for some of the UK’s most renowned painters, including J.M.W. Turner. Perfect as a picnic spot throughout the day, you can also visit when twilight sets a magical scene.
Penrhyn Castle is from a not-so-distant past. This mock-Norman castle is actually a fortified country house, dating back to early 1800s. And what it lacks in age, it makes up for in culture.
Visitors will be delighted by the galleries, with works by artists such as Canaletto, Richard Wilson, Carl Haag, and Palma Vecchio. With sculpted gardens, a railway museum and an adventure playground, there is something for everyone. And if you get peckish, you can choose between a bite at the stable yard coffee shop or the castle tea room.
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