A little known fact is that Wales is home to over 600 castles, making it the castle capital of the world, a remarkable feat for such a relatively small country. Among the most iconic castles of Wales or Cymru (Welsh) is Caernarfon Castle, the most expensive castle ever built by a King Of England.
A fortress not to be messed with, Caernarfon Castle has turned its back on traditional round towers opting instead for polygonal towers, with the Eagle Tower considered the most impressive in this structure which showed English dominance over a once subdued Welsh population.
Nestled on the banks of the River Siont, the site of the castle had previously played host to a Norman motte and bailey prior to the arrival of King Edward I of England.
The castle is fit for a prince as it was here that Edward’s son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born in 1284, one year after the castle was constructed. In 1969 it was also the location where one Charles Philip Arthur George was officially bestowed as the Prince of Wales, some 11 years after initially taking up such a role.
When finished taking in the art and aura of the castle don’t forget to visit the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, which is housed in two of the castle’s towers.
Prices range from £5.10 to £6.75
Caernarfon Castle is thirty four minutes south of Holyhead port, making it an ideal destination for any Irish passengers taking the car across the Irish Sea on the ferry from Dun Laoghaire. Upon arrival in Holyhead join the North Wales Expressway/A55 heading south before taking the A487 directly to Balaclava Road in Caernarfon. Continue on Balaclava Road for 0.6 miles until reaching Castle Ditch, home of the fortress.
1 March – 30 June 9.30am – 5pm
1 July – 31 August 9.30am – 6pm
1 September – 31 October 9.30am – 5pm
1 November – 28 February 10am – 4pm (11am opening on Sundays)
Closed 24 – 26 December and 1 January.
Image credit: Velela. Used under CC License.