Did you know that there are more than 600 castles in Wales? This makes Wales a country with more castles per square mile than anywhere else. We bloody love a castle here.
There is a large range of majestic and ruined castles in Wales that cover a large, historical timeline.
Here, we have remnants of Roman forts, ruined fortresses, magnificent Tudor castles and glorious Victorian creations.
Whilst we can’t cover all 600 castles in one article, so here are a few of the must-visit castles in Wales that you don’t want to miss.
Must visit Castles in Wales
Carreg Cennen Castle
I don’t think there is a more atmospheric castle than Carreg Cennen on a misty, Autumn morning. If you enjoy wrapping up an going on long walks, tt’s one of the best Autumn destinations in Wales to visit.
The weather-beaten ruins blend beautifully into the dreamy landscape of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
It’s also officially the most romantic ruin in Wales, as voted by readers of Countryfile Magazine. What a date that would be, a romantic picnic next to a remote and historic Welsh castle.
Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales was originally built in the 15th century. Unlike many castles in Wales, it was not built for defensive purposes and was instead built as a manor house for the Humphrey’s of Anglesey.
The castles that you see standing today was built in the 1830s as an
extension of the previous manor house.
During World War I the castle was home to a hospital and today it functions as a luxury bed and breakfast.
Staying overnight in a castle is certainly one of the more unique experiences in Wales, that’s for sure.
Castell Coch, or the ‘Red Castle’, is a 19th-century Gothic Revival fairytale castle in Cardiff, that is set amongst the trees of Fforest Fawr. It honestly looks like something out of a Disney movie.
The castle was built in the 1870s by Architect and designer William Burges, at the request of the third Marquess of Bute.
The uber-wealthy aristocrat had a vision of creating a medieval fantasy castle and Burges was happy to oblige.
Today the castle is open to visitors to take a step back in time and marvel at the richly decorated rooms.
Powis Castle located in Powys, Wales is highly unique with its red stone exterior.
The castle was first built in the 13th century and has had many improvements and alterations made over the years.
Most notably, in the 17th century, the terraced gardens and the state bedroom were added.
Powis Castle was originally built to be a defensive castle but instead has become a Royal Manor with priceless artefacts, art, and one of the finest Baroque gardens in the United Kingdom.
The gardens and manor are open and available for tours so that visitors can explore them.
Harlech Castle is situated in north Wales was commissioned by King Edward I, and construction began in 1282. The castle was meant to be a defensive stronghold in King Edward’s quest to establish English rule.
The castle was built in such a way as to use the natural landscape for defence. The castle was damaged during the 15th century War of the
Roses, and again two centuries later in the English Civil war.
The damages were never repaired and the castle was set for destruction which, fortunately, never took place.
You can take in the spectacular views of the castle today, and there is even a castle cafe where you can pop in for a lovely lunch.
Caerphilly Castle is the largest castle in Wales, and the second-largest castle in Britain, outsized only by Windsor castle.
Caerphilly Castle in South Wales was built as a defensive castle in the mid-13th century and to this day still features a fully flooded moat.
The south-eastern tower which still leans to the left today was damaged during the English Civil war in the 17th century.
The castle offers daily tours and is sure to provide plenty of adventure and
history for visitors of all ages.
Pembroke Castle, originally built in the 11th century, was later covered in stone in the late 12th century by William Marshall, the first Earl of Pembroke.
The castle is purported to be the birthplace of King Henry VII, and today the castle is considered an excellent representation of Norman stone castles.
In 1648, during the English civil war, Oliver Cromwell and his forces took
the castle after a seven-week long siege. Today you can take a guided tour of the castle, peruse the gift shop, and even have a meal.
There are far more castles available for you to explore in Wales, but this is a good list to get you started.
It is amazing that something built so many centuries ago is still standing today, and it is well worth a trip to see all of these castles in person and to be a part of their living history.
There are not many cities that can boast of having a whopping great castle in the middle of the city centre but Cardiff proudly has that historic accolade.
Cardiff Castle has survived 2000 years of history including, conquests, rebuilding and passing through a variety of noble ownership.
Cardiff residents can even apply for a special ‘castle key’ for free entry to this historic attraction. Make sure you also take a selfie in the stocks, you know, for the gram.
Caernarfon Castle is a medieval castle in Caernarfon, an old town in North Wales. The castle was built when the English king Edward I had invaded Wales.
Inside the castle, you won’t find elaborately decorated rooms or old furniture.
Nevertheless, you can explore almost every corner of the castle, climb every stair and walk over the fortification walls.
From the towers of Caernarfon Castle, you can actually see Snowdonia in the distance.
You can take the best Instagram picture of Caernarfon on Aber Foreshore Road, where you’ll have a spectacular view of the castle.
What do you think of our list of must-visit castles in wales? Have you visited any of these magnificent castles? Let us know in the comments below.
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was lucky enough to work at st. donat’s castle in llantwhit major. amazing place.