Visiting Wales in the United Kingdom is an experience unlike any other. It is a gorgeous country, with a very wide amount of lush, green land. It is mountainous and hilly, and so much of it is untouched, which is a very refreshing sight when you live in the United States. Wales is not a huge country, being smaller than the state of Massachusetts in size, but somehow it feels more spacious because it is not overpopulated. The coolest things are all the amazing castles in Wales.
Astonishing Castles in Wales You Need to See!
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On to the Castles!
There are over 400 castles in the country. It has more castles per square mile than any other country does. There is one castle per every 7500 people. That is truly something remarkable.
Many are within a short drive from other ones, too, so you can easily plan a day trip and fit more than one into it.
There are some that are not completely authentic and are more of an old house that someone built like a castle, but these are few and far between compared to the other original ones.
Either way, they have all been there for decades and some have been turned into hotels or places to hold events, which makes it a fun thing that they are getting reused for.
Here are some castles that are the most famous ones and you can easily find photos and information on them online, but there are so many more –
Cardiff Castle, Carew Castle, Gwrych Castle, Conwy Castle, Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire Castle, Margam Castle, Pembroke Castle, Harlech Castle, Laugharne Castle, Carreg Castle, Dolbardan Castle, Raglan Castle and Caerphilly, which is so large in size that you could fit 2 and a half White Houses inside of it!
When I was there on a trip I had limited time to spend touring, but I was able to see a few driving past them, which that alone is an amazing thing to see, but I also visited two of them in person.
Castell Bodelwyddan Castle
The first castle in Wales was Castell Bodelwyddan Castle, which is one that is currently able to be toured and is a hotel. It has several things to see and tour if you plan ahead for it.
The view from the lawn of it is just gorgeous as it is not in a large town area like some of them are, and there is a huge hilly field spread out in front, and a beautiful marble church across from it, which we also checked out and it was well worth the stop, as it was just incredible.
Boddelwyddan is located in Rhyl, Denbighshire. It was built in the 1400s. It has a garden area that has butterflies, birds, an orchard, a maze and more.
There is also a museum and a restaurant you can eat in as well. The castle itself was technically a house originally and you can check it out as well as visiting the shop there too.
The grounds are lovely and it is not overwhelmed with people.
There was a wedding taking place when we were there, unfortunately so we didn’t get to see too much of it, but what we did see was just beautiful and we would easily go back again.
As I also mentioned before, the Marble Church across the way from it is something I would add to your agenda that day to check out.
It is so beautiful, and has a large cemetery, with a special area dedicated to soldiers from World War 1, many of whom were Canadian. It has awesome architecture, with gargoyles and great detailing on it.
The second castle we toured was just incredible – It was Conwy Castle, which is in Conwy itself. The castle was built between 1283 and completed in 1287.
When you are viewing it, it is truly hard to believe it is in the shape it’s in, being that old. You can see a few places where they’ve replaced some bricks, but overall it is original and incredible.
The town is surrounded by the castle walls, which really makes it interesting to tour. The walls are considered to be one of the best-built sets in Europe.
The castle was built by Edward I, and other than a period of 3 months that it was overtaken and held, he stayed in it the whole time.
When you come into the town to visit the castle and surrounding areas, there are a few public parking spots and at first, it is confusing because you expect them to be in close proximity from the actual castle, but because of the walls, they are not.
Once you park you can go into the shop there if you choose (We skipped it thinking we’d go later and it was closed by that time, as most businesses do by about 5 p.m., other than places to eat or drink, so keep this in mind as you plan.) Then you walk up to the wall and across it to enter into the main castle tour.
They have a nice shop inside with very clean facilities and this is where you pay to tour the castle.
They are also kid-friendly and offer an app with an extra thing for the kids to do as your tour, to help them get more out of it.
Children under 5 are free as well.
Overall the castle is breathtaking to see and especially when you are entering from where the main gate was and into the courtyard area, it almost feels surreal because it is so cool.
They have a few towers you can walk up and most things are labeled inside, plus they have several drawings for you to see the layout as it used to be, which helps you understand what you are looking at, where the walls and floors are now missing.
The King’s quarters are very cool, with a neat large sculpture of Edward’s head there in the area, and there are also a couple of other pieces of sculpture in various places on the tour.
When you enter the King’s tower and go up to the top, you will be blown away by the view. There is a beautiful bridge to see and you can see the whole town from there, and see how the walls are laid out and the water nearby as well.
If you have a hard time climbing, I will say those towers are a tight, spiral staircase each, but there are rope handles to help steady you.
You can go only partially up and still see a lot, so stop into the chapel area, where there is a beautifully stained glass trio and check out the view from that level instead.
As you exit the castle and finish the tour, do walk around the town for sure. It is lovely and the buildings are all so neat to see, with so much original architecture, they are individually all very cool.
The smallest house in Wales is also in Conwy and closer to the water, so check that out too.
I easily recommend touring this castle and hope you will work it for your visit to Wales because you will not regret and it is an experience you won’t forget.
Hoping to get back again soon and tour several more!
What are some of your favorite castles in Wales? Let us know in the comments below!