17 Aug 2020

Travel North Wales | Top 5 Castles to Visit

Our Favourite Castles to Visit in North Wales

There are more than 600 castles in Wales, more per square mile than anywhere in the world. Some have been lived in continuously for a thousand years, while others are romantic ruins.

The castles on this list vary from those built by Welsh princes, to English kings, to private families. There is everything from ancient fortresses and fancy gardens and medieval ghosts to artistic masterpieces to discover and admire.

1. Conwy Castle

20 minutes from Tan Rallt Holiday Park

This magnificent medieval fortress still towers over the town of Conwy, nearly 800 years after it was built.

This castle is one of many built by King Edward I that form a ring around Snowdonia.

Built is 1283, this incredible castle took only 4 years to build! The towers have been restored so that you can walk a complete circuit around its battlements.

The view is incredible and stretches across the Conwy Estuary in one direction and straight out to Snowdonia in the other. You can also look down to the bustling harbour and market town below!

This castle is operated by Cadw and we would recommend prebooking your tickets.

The walks around the town walls are free.

2. Beaumaris Castle

40 minutes from Tan Rallt Holiday Park

Beaumaris Castle was Edward I’s last castle to be built, and it was never finished!

The castle is nearly perfectly symmetrical and was meant to be the crowning glory of all of the English king’s Welsh castles.

However the building work was abandoned in the 1320s due to a lack of funds and increasing concern over uprisings in Scotland.

Located right next to the Menai Straits, Beaumaris Castle is a great place to visit as part of a day trip to Anglesey.

We’d really recommend combining your visit to Beaumaris Castle with a boat trip down the Menai Straits, so you can admire this beautiful medieval fortress from all angles!

This castle is also operated by Cadw and we would recommend prebooking your tickets. Along with Conwy and Caernarfon this castle forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Penrhyn Castle

35 minutes from Tan Rallt Holiday Park

When is a castle not a castle?

Penrhyn Castle in Llandygai was a medieval fortified manor house that was reconstructed in the 1780s as a private residence.

The castle is home to one of Wales’ finest art collections with works by artists such as Canaletto, Richard Wilson, Carl Haag, Perino del Vaga and Palma Vecchio.

There is also a railway museum, perfect for train enthusiasts of all ages.

Penrhyn Castle is a National Trust property and advance booking is recommended for the castle, garden and parklands.

4. Dolwyddelan Castle

45 minutes from Tan Rallt Holiday Park

Of all the Welsh castles on this list, Dolwyddelan is the Welsh-est!

Built to command the mountain passes through Snowdonia, this stronghold was home to Prince Llywelyn ap Iorweth, or Llywelyn the Great until his death in 1240.

It was finally captured by the English king Edward I in 1283.

It is one of the few castles in Wales to have actually been built by the Welsh princes themselves. It remains a beautiful monument to the ancient Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd.

Dolwyddelan Castle is operated and protected by CADW.

5. Gwrych Castle

5 minutes from Tan Rallt Holiday Park

Gwrych Castle is ‘our local’ and if you’ve ever visited us here at Tan Rallt you’ve almost certainly driven past it!

You can spot Gwrych Castle from the A55 as you drive between Abergele and Llanddulas, it looks like a fairytale castle nestled against the forest up on the hillside.

The Castle and Estate stretch over acres and acres of gardens and woodland and are a must visit when you stay here with us!

The castle was built over 200 years ago as a private country house and is currently looked after by the local Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust.

This local charity are restoring this beautiful 19th century building and the surrounding gardens and we’d strongly encourage our owners and guests to visit, see the work that they are doing and donate if possible!

Have an idea for the next post in our TR Travel Tip Series?

Let us know via email at paris.williams@tanrallt.co.uk or visit our Contact Us page!

Don’t forget to let us know if you’ve tried any of the places we’ve suggested by sharing your photos and social media posts with us by using the hashtag #TRTravelTips

Can’t wait to visit North Wales? Book you break way with us today!

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