25 Castles In Wales That Look Straight Out Of A Fantasy Novel
Eat your heart out, Disney.
1. Caerphilly Castle
This giant stone fortress, surrounded by a series of moats and watery islands, was constructed in the 13th century as part of a campaign to conquer Glamorgan. The castle has served as backdrop for many TV shows and films, including the recent BBC series Merlin.
2. Carreg Cennen Castle
Location: Trapp, Carmarthenshire.
Steeped in legend, Carreg Cennen Castle has a rich history dating back to the 12th century, and possibly even earlier. Suituated in the western corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park, legend says that the original fortress belonged to the Welsh Knight Urien Rheged and his son Owain during the reign of King Arthur.
3. Dinefwr Castle
Location: Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire
The ivy-clad ruins of Dinefwr Castle quietly occupies a hilltop high above the scenic Tywi valley. The building's history is closely linked with the rule of the Lord Rhys.
4. Kidwelly Castle
Location: Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire.
The current stone reincarnation of the castle was built sometime in the 13th century by the Normans. Amazingly, the structure is incredibly well-preserved, despite being the site of many battles.
5. Laugharne Castle
Location: Laugharne, Carmarthenshire.
Standing over the estuary, this impressive fortress is a site to behold. Built in the 13th century, atop an earlier Norman castle, the mansion that now stands on site is the lasting legacy of Sir John Perrot. Poet Dylan Thomas once called Laugharne "The strangest town in Wales".
6. Llansteffan Castle
7. Cardiff Castle
8. Dolwyddelan Castle
Location: Dolwyddelan, Conwy.
Sitting amongst the famed mountains of Snowdonia, the remains of the partly-ruined Dolwyddelan Castle blend seamlessly into the beautiful surroundings.
9. Margam Castle
10. Bodelwyddan Castle
Location: Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire.
Bodelwyddan Castle was built around 1460 by the Humphreys family of Anglesey as a manor house. It is now a Grade II* Listed Building and is open to the public.
11. Castell Coch
Location: Tongwynlais, Cardiff.
Overlooking the village of Tongwynlais, this Disney-esque revival castle was rebuilt in the 19th-century – a whole 500 years after its destruction.
12. Caernarfon Castle
Location: Caernarfon, Gwynedd.
With its imposingly high walls, Caernarfon castle is one of the most impressive structures in Wales and more than worthy of its World Heritage status. In 1969, the current Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Charles’s investiture took place here.
13. Dolbadarn Castle
Location: Llanberis, Gwynedd.
Thought to have been built by Llywelyn 'the Great' ab Iorwerth early in the 13th century, the castle is dominated by a massive round-towered keep, standing up to 50 feet high.
14. Harlech Castle
Location: Harlech, Gwynedd.
Constructed at the order of English monarch Edward I in the late 13th century, Harlech Castle is the epitome of a castle designed as a fortress. Sitting atop a large rock formation, the castle blends in beautifully with its natural surroundings.
15. Penrhyn Castle
Location: Llandegai, Gwynedd.
The enormous 19th-century Penrhyn Castle sits dignified between Snowdonia and the Menai Strait. It's estimated that the Pennant Family spent £150,000 on its construction. This is the approximate equivalent to about £49,500,000 today.
16. Beaumaris Castle
Location: Beaumaris, Isle of Anglesey.
Located on the Isle of Anglesey, Beaumaris Castle was built as part of Edward I's campaign to conquer the north of Wales. Work began on the castle in 1295 and ceased around 1330, uncompleted.
17. Caldicot Castle
Location: Caldicot, Monmouthshire.
Built by the Normans, developed as a stronghold in the Middle Ages and restored as a Victorian family home, Caldicot Castle has a long and interesting history.
18. Chepstow Castle
19. Conwy Castle
20. Raglan Castle
21. Usk Castle
22. Carew Castle
Location: Carew, Pembrokeshire.
Carew Castle has a history spanning 2,000 years. Set in a stunning location, overlooking a giant pond on one side, and the natural Pembrokeshire scenery on the other, the castle offers beautiful uninterrupted views to visitors.
23. Manorbier Castle
24. Roch Castle
Location: Roch, Pembrokeshire.
Now serving as a wedding venue and hotel, the 12th century Roch Castle in Pembrokeshire is a restored heritage property located within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.