Few sites evoke such a sense of awe and history as a crumbling stone castle. We've picked out five great castles in Wales for you to visit, all taken from the pages of Make The Most Of Your Time In Britain Dropdown content.
For sheer grey-stone solidity, nothing beats
The ruinous state of Dinas Brân – or Crow’s Fortress Castle – high above the town of Llangollen, almost puts it out of contention as a castle. It is really just a short stretch of crumbling thirteenth-century masonry and a few vaulted arches, but there are few better places in Wales to watch the sun set. As a golden glow settles over the bucolic Dee Valley you can ponder the English–Welsh power struggles that gave rise to this borderlands relic.
More like a French chateau than a real castle, Penrhyn stands as a testament to nineteenth-century class divisions. While the workers hacked away at the nearby slate quarries, their masters created a compelling neo-Norman fancy, complete with five-storey keep. Everything here on a massive scale, from the 3ft-thick oak doors to the halls of fine art housing works by Canaletto, Gainsborough and Rembrandt. There's even an enormous slate bed, designed for Queen Victoria’s visit.
Caernarfon Castle is both the most recognisable of Welsh castles and also the least typical. It eschews the ancient square form and rounded fortifications in favour of distinctive polygonal towers, the supreme development of “Iron Ring” architect James of St George. The largely intact walls are riddled with passageways that eventually deliver you to the ramparts, offering fabulous views of the ancient town of Caernarfon and Snowdonia beyond.
For more information and inspiration for travelling in Wales, check out the
Top image: Conwy Castle © Richard Hayman/Shutterstock