With over 600 castles, wherever you go on holiday in Wales, you won’t be too far from a historic castle. If you don’t have time to visit every single one, here are five interesting castles to visit.
Conwy Castle, North Wales
Conwy Castle and town walls are amongst the ﬁnest surviving medieval fortiﬁcations to be seen anywhere in Britain. No wonder, they are a World Heritage site. It’s hard to believe that they were built at breakneck speed in four short building seasons between 1283 and 1287. Climb the towers and turrets and follow the Time Detectives Trail to find out how the Welsh captured the castle in the 15th century.
Denbigh Castle, North Wales
Denbigh Castle’s triple-towered great gatehouse is the gatehouse to end all gatehouses. Despite the best efforts of parliamentarian troops to bring down the walls in 1660 after the Civil War, there’s still a lot to see. Explore the mysterious sally port where people could creep in and out of the castle without being spotted, spot the difference between the round towers and polygonal towers built in two separate phases around 1282 and 1295, and drop into the new visitor centre for a break.
Raglan Castle, South Wales
Raglan Castle was one of the last medieval castles to be built in England and Wales — still formidable, although designed with comfort and luxury in mind. Climb the Great Tower on its moated island and explore the newly restored undercroft beneath the castle. This cellar housed some of the finest wines in Europe, served at the high table to impress guests. In keeping with Raglan’s reputation for entertainment, the castle regularly plays host to poetry, plays, singing and dancing.
Caerphilly Castle, South Wales
This is a big castle, the biggest in Wales. It’s almost complete and it’s surrounded by a series of moats and watery islands. Climb to the rooftop of the massive east gatehouse. From here you can see the rings of stone and water defences that made Caerphilly so strong. Explore the dark passage known as the Braose Gallery and look out for the south- east tower — which out leans Pisa’s famous tower. And don’t forget the mighty siege engines and special firing events.
Kidwelly Castle, West Wales
Kidwelly is everything a castle should be — steep earthworks, high towers, tall walls and a great gatehouse that took at least a century to complete. Peel back the centuries to the earliest earth-and-timber castle built by the Normans. You can trace its half- moon shape by walking along the stonewalls built almost 100 years later. Don’t leave without exploring the great gatehouse or the beautiful little chapel overlooking the river.
Cardiff Castle, South Wales
Cardiff Castle is a fantastic piece of history nestled into the city centre - take a stroll through Bute Park to admire it's sheer size before venturing inside to really marvel at its magnificence. Uncover the fascinating story by delving into around 2000 years of Welsh history. Also, remember to check out their upcoming events which range from comedy nights to banquets, medieval battle re-enactments to live music events, Welsh-language festivals to open air theatre and lots, lots more.