Visiting the United Kingdom gives you plenty of choices for sightseeing for sure. If you have never done so, I highly recommend putting in on your list and spending some of your time there in Wales. While there make sure to visit the best Castles in Wales. You won't regret it!
Top 4 Best Castles in Wales You HAVE to See!
Wales is a lesser-known part of the country, as far as hearing about where to go and things to see, and it has plenty to offer. England is right up against it and when you cross over into it, you barely even notice, to be honest. They blend right together.
Wales is so rich in history and everywhere you look there is a fascinating building or beautiful scenery to take in, but for our family’s trip there, the castles were the best part.
Edward I built several castles in Wales, really to keep the wild Welsh outside for the most part, and many of them are still intact enough to tour them.
If you are staying in Wales, you can easily go visit them in a fairly short drive and make day trips out of it. We were fortunate enough to visit 4 out of the 5 we wanted to see and none of the drives took longer than an hour, most were closer to 30-40 minutes.
Conwy Castle is definitely among the best castles in wales to see in person. It stands tall on the horizon as you drive into the town of Conwy and is very impressive in its design and how well it has been preserved.
We have been there twice now and recently they were doing some work on one part of it to help that process along too. The town itself is a very cool place to see, with awesome little shops, beautiful churches, and architecture and some great spots to eat as well.
Edward I built a wall around the town and it is still there enough in many areas to see a good amount of it. When your tour the castle and are up at the top levels, you really get a full view of the whole town and area and the walls, in addition to the castle itself.
There are a few levels in the castle you can climb in the towers in each corner and it is empty and open in the center. Seeing it from the bench seats in the center is just as fun as seeing it from the top levels.
It is not too pricey to get into and they do have some interactive apps and great information posted all over the castle so it makes for a great educational experience too if you have children.
Another great one to visit is Rhuddlan Castle, which is located in a smaller town than the others, but it was one of his first castles built and what is still left intact is really beautiful.
It has the moat area still there, empty of course, but the green grassy area combined with the castle is so pretty.
It is similar to Conwy in the design with the towers on the corners and a full open center. There is a lot more wear on this one though, being older and probably not being preserved as highly since the area is smaller.
You can go up the towers and when standing inside the spiral areas in the corners where the stairs are no longer there, the view up to the top is still beautiful and the wind whips right though.
This specific part of Wales is gorgeous and hilly and green, so the drive and the view from the higher floors is a sweet one. This castle does have certain days that the entrance fee is waived, so check it out before you go.
Beaumaris Castle was a favorite of ours too. The drive to it was spectacular for views and the last bit, up the mountain is just gorgeous.
The town is a good size, as far as towns in Wales go, and if you have time to spend to get a bite to eat and hit a few shops, there are some nice places there that evoke the feeling of Wales and unique items for sale, including lots of handmade and artsy finds.
This castle was never totally finished by Edward I, but even with that being the case, it is spectacular to see.
From the outside, it looks smaller somehow than it is, and when you get into the center of it, it has a wide expanse across and then, inside the walls, there are passageways you can walk in, in addition to the regular rooms and towers.
I did find the inside walls to be a little tight, but it was mainly because there aren’t doors to get out very often like in the rest of the rooms.
The top views from this castle are amazing. You can see very far out, over into the nearby mountains and the water and marina there. It is one of the most gorgeous places I have ever been to.
Another fascinating one to see is Caernarfon Castle.
This one is right on the water in the town and you can see it really well as you are parking and it is more on the same level as you are right from the start.
This town also has a wall around it, although not as big and impressive as Conwy’s wall is. It is in really good condition considering its age and it has more information and a great gift shop compared to a few of the others.
As far as those things go, it and Conwy would be the ones the most kept up and with a bit more educational things to offer.
They have a movie at this one that takes place in one of the castle rooms and gives a good amount of its history and the history of Edward I. If I had to do anything differently as far as touring them, I probably would start with this one.
It has inner rooms in the walls too and one area talks about Edward himself and some of his beliefs. There are some neat sculptures of his head and some in-depth stories posted for reading too.
Also, this one has a Queen’s balcony that looks over the main street. It is fun to stand there and take pictures, and you will see footage of the current Queen standing there in the movie, which adds to the charm.
The town was really neat to see. There is a bridge by the castle on the backside where you can go back and get a full-size photo of the castle if you like. On the other side are shops and crooked little streets and alleyways.
This town also has some great little unique shops and places to eat. It is smaller than some, but still plenty to see.
One thing I would advise is, unlike Americans who stay out until late, places in Wales close down early. Most by 5 or 6 pm, other than pubs and a few restaurants and chain stores. So be prepared for this if you are trying to fit a lot into your day.
When you’re inside these castles, even though most floors are gone, you can tell where the floors were, by things like the fireplace openings and doorways.
There are some arches still there and it is really something to stand there and think how many centuries this has been there and what it must’ve been like back then.
All of these castles were built during the 1200s. Truly something to ponder and easily one of the best ways to learn the history and help it sink in.
There are many other castles to visit in Wales and in the UK, but these are the best castles in Wales in my eye!