Great castles across Wales

Wales is unbeatable when it comes to castles. From defensive beginnings and the conflict of Civil War to Tudor banqueting and Victorian decadence, the architectural splendour of these fortresses always stirs the soul.
  • Raglan Castle

    Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire

    Raglan Castle, Vale of Usk

    Its striking round towers make this fortress a singular classic, and there’s every chance you’ll be enraptured from the moment you see the astonishing gatehouse which once denied Oliver Cromwell at the end of the Civil War. Surrounded by fields, the romantic ruins even make space for a bowling green.
  • B

    Dinefwr Park and Castle

    A view from Dinefwr Castle Walls in Carmarthenshire

    View from Dinefwr Castle Walls, Carmarthenshire

     by Paula J James

    This Natural Trust-run, folkloric 12th century castle is hugely atmospheric. Wonderful views and guided tours take in the nearby nature reserve, cottages, ponds, a croquet lawn and a tea room. Look out for the rutting deer and cows who might join you during a stroll around the 18th century landscape park.

    More castles in Carmarthenshire

  • C

    Laugharne Castle

    Laugharne Castle, Carmarthenshire
    Laugharne Castle, Carmarthenshire by Paula J James

    This imposing Taf estuary beauty is forever associated with Dylan Thomas, who escaped writer’s block at the 11th century ruins. Discover his inspiration within the Victorian gardens which once hosted Civil War and a Tudor mansion, and relax near the Boathouse and Shed where poetry was once in motion.

  • D

    Caldicot Castle

    Caldicot Castle and grounds

    Caldicot Castle, South Wales

     by fillbee

    Every view from this incredible Medieval castle could be a picture postcard, and its history is the stuff of legend from Norman beginnings, to conflict in the Middle Ages, and Victorian domesticity. Fifty-five acres of country park await, as well as events such as re-enactments and a tearoom for unwinding.

  • E

    Caernarfon Castle

    Caernarfon Castle and grounds

    Caernarfon Castle, Snowdonia

     by StuBramley

    Edward I wasn’t messing around when he built this polygonal 13th century castle on a former Roman fort. Part of the coastal World Heritage Site, the mighty Caernarfon remains one of the most visually arresting sights you’ll ever see. Exhibition rooms also feature at a landmark to stir the senses.

    More castles in Snowdonia

  • F

    Caerphilly Castle

    A path and river in front of Caerphilly Castle

    Caerphilly Castle, South Wales Valleys

     by Paula J James

    The largest castle in Wales, and the second-largest in Britain, Caerphilly was locked within water defences when it was built by the English during the 13th century. The outside is the place, among an array of delights, to see four siege engines, and the inside has a hallowed, majestic feel.

    More castles in the South Wales Valleys

  • G

    Conwy Castle

    Conwy Castle at night

    Conwy Castle, North Wales

     by Fred Selby

    Perched on a rock against the backdrop of Snowdonia, Conwy has an indisputably magical feel. Some consider it the finest castle Edward I built, and the mesmerising views from the battlements are particularly famed within the walled town. Great halls, private chapels and royal chambers wind through this Medieval marvel.

    More castles in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay

  • H

    Powis Castle and Garden

    Powis Castle and gardens
    Powis Castle and Gardens, Mid Wales by welsh snapper

    Powis has a rich history, although it’s the gardens – famed for their French and Italian styles, adorned with plants and an orangery – which single it out, and that’s before you spot the medieval deer park. The perfect place to relax before heading inside to see decadent galleries and staircases aplenty.

    More castles in Mid Wales

  • I

    Cilgerran Castle

    Cilgerran Castle, a 13th Century castle in Pembrokeshire

    Cilgerran Castle, Pembrokeshire

     by Visit Pembrokeshire

    The Normans’ penchant for defences with river views means Cilgerran has an amazing vantage point, overlooking the Teifi. Circle the two vast round towers and walk between the walls of the Earl of Pembroke’s creation on a gorge – home to a castle which, even by Welsh standards, is particularly beautiful.

    More castles in Pembrokeshire

  • J

    Chirk Castle

    Chirk Castle
    Chirk Castle, Wrexham, North Wales Borderlands

    The frequently picturesque Welsh-English border offers few sites as magnificent as this. The elegant staterooms inside are an interior dream, combining elaborate plasterwork with a medieval tower, a dungeon and an 18th century Servants’ Hall. Enjoy an uplifting wander through the garden, terrace, pavilion and parkland enclosing Wrexham’s gem.

    More castles in the North Wales Borderlands