With over 600 castles, Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country in world, and they’re just waiting to be explored. These historic relics mark the sites of fierce battles between Celts and Romans or Saxons and Vikings.
Whether you want to go back in time, attend a reenactment, or amble around the grounds with the kids, North Wales has an incredible castle for your day out.
Set in the heart of the historical town of Conwy, this Edwardian masterpiece consists of eight massive towers and a bow-shaped great hall. Edward I shelled out a fortunate on Conwy castle, and it was the most expensive construction project of its age. Once you get inside and up on the battlements, the views across the town, mountains and sea are some of the best in North Wales.
Conwy Castle is open all year round. Keep an eye out for performances and activities, as the castle occasionally hosts theatre productions such as Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
Built on a headland, magnificently jutting out into the sea, sits Criccieth Castle. The castle was built by Llywelyn the Great, but was besieged by Edward I only 50 years later. After changing hands between Welsh princes and English monarchs, it was burnt during the last major Welsh rebellion against the English in the 15th century. Nonetheless, the castle towers and parts of the walls still stand proud today.
This autumn, events at Criccieth Castle include a full moon walk along the beach and past the castle, and a spooky halloween trail full of ghosts and ghouls!
Dubbed the most technically perfect castle in Britain, this castle is a mecca for those interested in architecture and design. Constructed to a perfectly symmetrical ‘walls within walls’ design, Beaumaris Castle was considered to be state of the art in its time. The castle was Edward I’s last big building project in North Wales – though he never quite managed to finish it. Beaumaris is now a designated world heritage site.
Christmas carols in the chapel, traditional games and even a Punch and Judy show will take place during the Victorian Christmas festivities at Beaumaris Castle this year.
Caernarfon Castle was constructed to be both an impregnable military fortress and a royal palace. The majestic structure, with its impressive polygonal towers, stands at the mouth of the Seiont river. Amble along the river for the best view of the castle before heading inside the stone walls to explore the courtyards and cannons. The kids will love it!
Dolbadarn Castle is surrounded by the magnificent mountains of Snowdonia. Its 40-foot tower stands tall against a rugged backdrop, though most of the original buildings are now only ruins. Owain ap Gruffydd, a Welsh prince, was imprisoned in the upper floors of the castle for 20 years by his younger brother, Llywelyn, during the struggle for control of North Wales in the 1250s.
Dolbadarn Castle is free to visit and can be accessed by a short climb.
Planning to explore the historic castles of North Wales? We have quintessentially Welsh holiday cottages to make your cultural break away even better. If you would like to find out about holiday homes close to one of these castles, give us a call on 01492 564960.