Wales has more fortresses per square mile than any other place in Europe. So if you are on the hunt for castles, Wales definitely won’t leave you disappointed. Many of the castles are from the Edwardian period, as King Edward I acquired Wales and wanted to fortify his stronghold. A large percentage of the castles in Wales have withstood the test of time, and their fairytale-like structures are still in relatively good condition. Here are the seven best castles in Wales:
1. Raglan Castle
Raglan Castle is known as one of the last-standing Medieval castles in Wales. It was constructed in the 13th century and features a giant tower and classic moat, to help protect the castle. The castle has deep cellars, which were used to hold wine for its inhabitants. It’s located in the county of Gwent.
2. Pembroke Castle
Pembroke Castle is located in the stunning county of Pembrokeshire. It’s one of Wales’ oldest castles, which was built in 1093. It’s best known as the birthplace of King Henry VII, who was the first monarch of the House of Tudor and the father of the notorious King Henry VIII, who was known for having six wives. The castle fell into disrepair over the years, however it has since been fully restored.
3. Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle is an Edwardian-style building, which was constructed in 1283. It’s an enormous, foreboding structure that was very difficult to attack. It was built on the site of a previous Norman motte and bailey castle, and before that stood a Roman fortress nearby. Find a place to stay in Caernarfon.
4. Harlech Castle
Harlech Castle is a Medieval fortress that was built by Edward I during his invasion of Wales in the 13th century. The castle played a pivotal role in several wars and sieges, including during the English Civil War.
5. Chepstow Castle
Chepstow Castle has the oldest castle doors in Europe, with the wood still being the same that was used 800 years ago. The original doors were used in the main gateway until 1962, however they were moved to an exhibition room for protection. Over the years the castle has been added to by its conquerors and today stands as a large, foreboding structure in Chepstow.
6. Conwy Castle
Conwy Castle is another Edwardian Castle that was built during Edward I’s invasion of Wales. It sits on a strategic location on a rocky hill bank on Wales’ northern coast. The castle has two fortified gates and eight tall towers, so if you were looking to attack it, don’t bother, it’ll be a hard job. Explore accommodation options in Conwy.
7. Beaumaris Castle
The stunning Beaumaris Castle was constructed in 1295. The castle’s design is fascinating as it has a moat that is connected to the sea, with towers on each corner of the moat. It was built this way to provide the ultimate defense against attackers.