If you love history, Wales is the place for you. Did you know that the oldest Welsh castle was built in the year 1067? There is nothing that screams history more than the oldest Welsh castles.
Beyond the Welsh Castles, there is so much to see in the beautiful country of Wales such as museums, churches, beaches, sporting events, and beautiful parks.
With over 400 castles in Wales, it is basically bursting at the seams with historical treasures that can be explored by public transportation, walking paths or by car.
History fanatics can go far beyond the capital city of Cardiff and have the vacation of their lifetimes with the right itinerary of places to discover.
So with over 600 Welsh Castles to visit, and so little time, how does one know which are the best ones to see? Keep on reading to discover our list of the 9 best Welsh Castles to discover in Wales.
1. Cardiff Castle
Located just outside Bute park is the glorious and beautiful Cardiff Castle that was built back in 1865. The numerous times that this castle has been rebuild will astound you along with the Arab room and giant interior.
The Gothic palace was not actually designed the way it is now, it actually used to be a Roman Fort, Norman castle, medieval fortress, and other architectural designs.
Tenby has repeatedly been named “People’s favorite place in Wales” for a good reason, it is a magical medieval city located right on the coast with beautiful beaches.
Even though it is a popular tourist attraction, Tenby is rarely too busy to enjoy it’s historical beauty and can be enjoyed any season of the year.
3. Carreg Cennen
Perched upon a rocky limestone cliff, Carreg Cennen Castle is perfectly located just outside the town of Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire. It is well worth the hike to get to the top, not only for the views but also for its resilient history.
Carreg Cennen was originally built by Rhys of Deheubarth in the 12th century and later rebuilt by John Giffard in the 13th century.
4. Pembroke Castle
Pembroke castle is the oldest and most preserved castle in all of Wales. This is due to the fact that it is one of the largest privately owned castles and was restored in the early 1900s.
It is located in Pembrokeshire in Southeast Wales and dates back to 1093 and is famously known as the birthplace of Henry VII.
5. Caerphilly Castle
When you visualize a castle, it is usually the architectural design like Caerphilly Castle. Located in the county of Gwent on a giant island in a large estate, this castle has the moat, curved towers, and even a guard house.
This castle was built on the site of an ancient Roman fort by Earl Gilbert de Clare in 1268 and was restored in the Victorian era to preserve its beauty.
6. Chepstow Castle
Built in 1067, Chepstow Castle is the oldest castle in all of Europe. It has beautiful wooden doors that date back over 800 years and is absolutely astonishing how it has kept together so well to this date.
Perhaps this is because it was continued to be built until the years 1670. Chepstow Castle is among the best castles in south Wales and should be on the top of any history fanatic’s list.
7. Beaumaris Castle
Because Beaumaris Castle was built in 1295, it was built with expertise from experienced castle architects such as James of St. George and King Edward I. It is located on the Isle Anglesey in Gwynedd County and is free for any visitors to explore its premises.
Beaumaris Castle has the idyllic rounded towers and portcullises between the inner and outer walls and contains a bridged moat that is connected right to the nearest seafront. This is a fun castle to explore for the entire family.
8. Conwy Castle
Built by King Edward 1 and James of St George between 1283 and 1289, Conwy Castle is a beautiful castle located on the north coast of Wales. The castle sits upon a large rocky hill and boasts scenery that tops many of the other Welsh castles.
Conwy Castle has eight towers, two entrances, and much more that can be experienced with a professionally guided tour of its premises.
9. Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle is a beautiful Edwardian style castle located on the mouth of the Seiont River in Caernarfon. It dates back to 1283 by (you guessed it!) James of St George once again.
This castle has a series of gates and towers, with multiple entrances to explore. Caernarfon Castle is amongst one of the best places to visit in Wales and should be on your itinerary.
How to Get Around
There are many ways to explore Wales and still have the time of your life. Rail is always favorited, or even other forms of public transportation like a bus. However, we highly suggest you rent a car and do the tour yourself, view here to learn more about oil and gas cards in Wales.
Explore More Historical Sites and Welsh Castles
There are many historical sites in Wales besides Welsh castles, however, you cannot say you have been to Wales without exploring the stunning castles listed above.
There are many other medieval sights and landscapes to see in Wales such as:
- St. Govan’s Chapel
- Devil’s Bridge and the Hafod Estate
- Brecon Beacons National Park
There are endless places to discover, so it all boils down to what type of vacation you want to experience.
If you want more advice to prepare for your next travel experience, check out more articles on our blog such as how to budget for your next travel adventure. Traveling is so rewarding and the last thing you want is financial reasons to hold you back.