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Powis Castle

Wales, the ‘Castle Capital of the World’, has more castles per square mile than anywhere else in Europe. In fact, there are more than 600 Welsh castles to discover, 100 of which are still fully standing. 

Follow in the footsteps of medieval Welsh princesses and English kings and visit any of the 10 best castles in Wales that we have included in our guide. Uncover Wales’ past and discover Welsh castles built by noble families and victorious Normans, who invaded in 1066.

Read on to find out which Welsh castles made our top 10 best castles in Wales list… 

Castles in North Wales

1. Gwrych Castle

Gwrych Castle, North Wales

Standing in 250 acres of gardens with far-reaching views over the coastline is our first castle in North Wales. Famed for being the 2020 location for I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Gwyrch Castle is one to add to the must visit list.

Lloyd Bamford-Hesketh started building this Welsh castle as a memorial to his ancestors, the Lloyds of Gwrych. The North Wales castle is in fact one of the first attempts at replicating medieval architecture in Europe.  However, today, the Welsh castle near Abergele is protected by The Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust to perverse the estate and its surrounding grounds.

Looking at getting your hands on your own castle accommodation? If so, how about a stay at your own version of I’m a Celeb’s Gwrych Castle?

2. Conwy Castle

conwy castle

Next up on our list of best castles in Wales is the magical Conwy Castle. Built by Master James of St George between 1283 and 1287 for Kind Edward I, Conwy Castle was used to prove England’s presence and power in Wales.

The Welsh castle’s intimidating walls, two barbicans, eight mighty towers and impressive bow-shaped hall are instantly recognisable. The dramatic structure is still intact today, making a true medieval marvel for all to enjoy.

You can find this North Wales castle resting on the northern shores, a stone’s throw away from beautiful Snowdonia. It promises to be one of the many great things to do in North Wales for families.

3. Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle

From its coastal mount, Harlech Castle casts a regal shadow over the beach and town of Harlech in North Wales.

This commanding medieval castle was also built for Kind Edward I and was completed in 1295. Home to the longest siege in British history, this North Wales castle’s impassable walls are still as impressive today as they were 700 years ago.

Enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the rugged coast and the dramatic mountain peaks from the Welsh castle, which fell to the Welsh prince, Owain Glyndŵr during the last major rebellion against English rule.

4. Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle is one of Edward I’s more unusual Welsh castles as instead of the regular circular towers, this castle has a unique collection of polygon shaped towers.

This impressive castle in North Wales is a real brute of a castle with a very imposing appearance so if you’re looking for something with a storybook feel, this is the castle for you.

5. Chirk Castle

chirk castle

Our final castle in North Wales was built as a symbol of power and completed in 1310. Chirk Castle is yet another monument left over from the reign of King Edward I.

With a history dating back over 700 years, it may surprise you to hear that Chirk Castle is still lived in today. But with a grand castle to explore and 5.5 acres of award winning gardens at your back door, it’s not a bad place to call home!

Look forward to exploring the elegant state rooms of this North Wales castle before tip-toeing around the dungeon or spending a summer’s afternoon exploring the parkland.

Castles in South Wales

6. Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle

The appearance of Chepstow Castle has changed greatly over the years. In fact from the time it was built in 1067, right up until 1690, this castle in South Wales was constantly adapting to keep up with the latest trends in military architecture.

Now home to the oldest castle doors in Europe, these 800 year old wooden doors are a testament to Chepstow Castle’s endurance, just like many other castles that you find in Wales.

7. Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle

Next on our list of the best castles in Wales is Pembroke Castle, considered to be one of Wales’ most iconic castles.

The castle in South Wales has a fascinating history that can be traced all the way back to 1093, when the small inner bailey standing was built by Arnulf de Montgomery. You will find that all the rooms in Pembroke Castle are circular and that the castle keep is nearly 80ft high.

Also noteworthy, this Welsh castle is the only castle to be built over a natural cavern in Britain and is the birthplace of Henry VII.

8. Cardiff Castle

cardiff castle

Resting at the heart of the capital city of Wales is the magnificent, Cardiff Castle.

With over 2000 years of history awaiting to be discovered, this South Wales castle was sure to make our list of best castles in the country.

Step back in time as you explore its Roman origins with a contemporary twist of Gothic-style. Afterwards, discover the history of the noble families who once lived here, including the 2nd Marquess of Bute, then the richest man in the world.

Does this Welsh castle inspire you to make a visit to the city? If so, take a look at our hand-picked collection of holiday cottages in Cardiff.

9. Castell Coch

castell coch

If you are seeking the more romantic things to do in Cardiff, then look no further than Castell Coch.

Castell Coch, or Red Castle can be found nestled amidst the ancient beech woods of Fforest Fawr. This fairy-tale castle in South Wales is a dazzling masterpiece, sure to transport you into a Grimm Brother’s tale.

Its beautiful red sandstone exterior and impressive conical roofs are just a mere hint at the grand splendour found within. Just one of the many hidden gems in South Wales.

Castles in Mid Wales

10. Powis Castle

Powis Castle

Completing our guide to the best castles in Wales, is the iconic gem of Powis Castle.

Originally built in 1200 as a medieval fortress, this castle in Mid Wales has been remodelled over the years to suit the ever-changing needs of the Herbert Family.

The Welsh castle itself is a very exciting structure with stunning state rooms and an old dungeon. Yet, almost as impressive are the beautiful gardens that surround it.

Discover more wonderful days out in Wales with our free Wales travel guide. If you have spotted a Welsh castle that you can’t wait to visit, book your holiday cottage with us today and prepare to be amazed by these impressive feats of architecture. 

Image Credits:  Ognyan Petrov(CC BY-SA 4.0); kitmasterbloke(CC BY 2.0); Mike Peel(CC BY-SA 4.0); RJMorgans(CC BY-SA 3.0)

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