I don’t know about you but castles are to me one of the best things about exploring the UK. We’ve got an incredibly rich history of invasion, conquest and frequent internal skirmishing against the other UK countries. This has leant us an incredible amount of defensive fortifications many of which are still in incredibly good condition. With that in mind I decided to look at the top Welsh castles in case you fancy visiting a few on your next holiday.
6. Pembroke castle
Whilst Pembroke castle is fairly ruinous the Norman castle that stands here is still incredibly impressive with the circular keep being particularly impressive. It’s situated on a ridge overlooking two tidal inlets and has an incredible historic significance thanks to its positioning on one of the historically most significant passages to Ireland. The Pembrokshire coast is absolutely beautiful and there’s plenty of beautiful scenery and rugged cliffs to explore.
5. Caernafon castle
Caernafon is another entry from Edward the firsts “Iron Ring” of castles and is designed very differently from its neighbors. It is situated at the end of the Menai Strait originally in order to control the trading passage here and to protect the rich agricultural lands around Anglesey.
4. Caerphilly castle
Caerphilly is a great day out simply because it is huge and covers over 30 acres with fantastic surroundings and a stunning moat and buttressed walls. The Norman castle sits at the base of the Caerphilly Mountains and was built as a natural border castle between the fertile agricultural grounds and the Welsh mountains.
3. Conwy castle
Conwy is incredibly impressive thanks to the incredible location and the 8 massive towers and curtain wall that dominate the keep and the town. The town itself is surrounded by a well preserved wall and the locations is simply incredible as its set in a sandy river estuary with beautiful surroundings. The town itself retains its medieval charm thanks to the walls and winding streets that enclose it.
2. Chepstow castle
Chepstow castle is one of the oldest Norman castles in Britain and was built to keep the Welsh out of England (or possibly vice versa). The castle sits overlooking the river Wye and has an incredible keep and high fortifications with regular displays and a fantastic museum. The town itself is fantastic to explore and holiday cottages in Wales are at their finest here if you’re looking for somewhere to stay with the beautiful views and streets, plus the location making a fantastic place to explore.
1. Beaumaris Castle
Situated on the Island of Angelesey Beaumaris castle is widely considered one of the finest Edwardian castles ever to be built – despite never being finished! The castle is the largest in Wales and was built as part of the “Iron Ring” of castles that were built by Edward the first to basically fence in the Welsh. The castle has huge walls and a seemingly impenetrable keep with two completed sets of outer walls that are incredible to behold. This castle is simply a work of defensive architecture at its finest.