15 Best Welsh Castles to Visit

Discover the medieval magic of Wales at these fairytale fortresses

Posted on 16-05-24, updated on 05-07-24By: Louise G. | 13 minute read

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys, Wales, UK

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys

Explore the Castle Capital of the World

Welsh castles are not just historic landmarks, but also fascinating windows into the past. These ancient structures stand as a testament to the rich history and culture of Wales, showcasing the architectural brilliance and strategic importance of their time. From sprawling fortresses to quaint ruins, Wales is home to some of the most spectacular fortresses on the planet, earning it the nickname of the "castle capital of the world". So, if you're looking for a unique and enriching experience, check out our list of the 15 best Welsh castles to visit, and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Welsh history and heritage!

Looking for somewhere to stay while you explore these Welsh wonders? Check out our holiday parks and lodges in Wales!

Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion, Wales, UK

Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion

1. Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion

Cardigan Castle is a medieval motte and bailey fortress nestled in the heart of Wales, overlooking the River Teifi. Originally built by Norman invaders in the late 11th century, the castle's stunning mix of beauty and history makes it a must-visit for any history buff. Steeped in tales of chivalry and conquest, Cardigan Castle stands as a proud symbol of Wales' resilience and heritage. Visitors can wander through its ancient walls and around the castle grounds, which feature beautiful Grade II-listed gardens and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Tip: The castle is dog-friendly! Dogs are allowed if they're on a lead, for £1 per dog (maximum 2 dogs per visitor and dogs aren't allowed during events).

Postcode: SA43 1JA
Opening hours: Daily 11am-4pm, April-October; 11am-4pm Wednesday-Saturday, November-March
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £4 for children (3-16 years) and £7 for adults, and allow entry for 12 months

Find the perfect place to stay at one of our lodges and holiday parks in Cardigan and Ceredigion.

Conwy Castle, County Conwy, Wales, UK

Conwy Castle, County Conwy

2. Conwy Castle, County Conwy

Prepare to be enchanted by the magnificence of Conwy Castle, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestled amid the picturesque Welsh landscape in the walled market town of Conwy, this medieval marvel is a sight to behold. Built by King Edward I between 1283 and 1287, the castle was designed to control the local population and secure Edward's holdings in North Wales. The castle is considered one of the finest examples of military architecture in Europe, with eight massive towers and a stone curtain wall surrounding the inner ward. As you approach its sturdy stone walls, you'll feel a sense of awe at the craftsmanship and history that permeate the air. Immerse yourself in the past as you explore its towers and battlements, each whispering tales of knights and kings. The panoramic views from the town walls surrounding the castle will take your breath away, offering a glimpse into Wales' storied past.

Postcode: LL32 8AY
Opening hours: Daily 9.30am-5pm March-June and September-October; 9.30am-6pm July-August; 10am-4pm November-February
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £8.30 for children (5-17 years) and £11.90 for adults. Children under 5 are free

Discover our County Conwy holiday parks and lodges, and book your Welsh adventure today!

Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd

3. Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd

Prepare to be captivated by the enchanting allure of Caernarfon Castle in Gwynedd, in North Wales. This majestic fortress stands proudly amid the stunning Welsh landscape, beckoning visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in its regal history. It was built by King Edward I of England in the late 13th century as part of his campaign to conquer Wales, and is famous for its distinctive polygonal towers and formidable walls, which were designed to showcase Edward's military might and to intimidate the Welsh population. As you wander through its grand halls and majestic towers, you'll feel the echoes of centuries past whispering tales of valour and intrigue. Caernarfon Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most impressive castles in the UK, attracting thousands of visitors each year who come to explore its history and architecture.

Postcode: LL55 2AY
Opening hours: Daily 9.30am-5pm March-June and September-October; 9.30am-6pm July-August; 10am-4pm November-February
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £9.10 for children (5-17 years) and £13 for adults. Children under 5 are free

Stay nearby at one of our lodges and holiday parks in Caernarfon.

Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK

Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire

4. Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire

Prepare to be further enchanted by the mystical aura of Pembroke Castle, an iconic fortress in West Wales. Nestled on the banks of the River Cleddau, in Pembrokeshire, this medieval gem boasts a rich tapestry of history and romance. Dating back to the 11th century, it is one of the largest castles in Wales and is known for its massive round keep. Embark on a journey through time as you traverse its towering ramparts and explore its hidden chambers. From its picturesque grounds to its magnificent Great Keep, Pembroke Castle exudes an air of mystery and grandeur that is sure to captivate your imagination. Uncover the stories of knights and nobles that once roamed its corridors - the castle was the birthplace of Henry VII - and revel in the splendour of one of Wales' most iconic landmarks.

Tip: Pembroke Castle is dog friendly.

Postcode: SA71 4LA
Opening hours: Daily 9.30am-5.30pm, April-August; 10am-5pm March and September-October; 10am-4pm November-February
Tickets: Tickets can only be purchased at the castle on the day of your visit, and cost from £7 for children (3-15 years) and £10 for adults. Children under 3 are free

Explore our Pembrokeshire holiday parks and lodges to find your perfect home away from home!

Cardiff Castle, Glamorgan, Wales, UK

Cardiff Castle, Glamorgan

5. Cardiff Castle, Glamorgan

Step into a realm of majesty and grandeur at Cardiff Castle, a breathtaking fusion of Roman ruins and Gothic architecture in the centre of the country's capital city. The opulent interiors and meticulously landscaped grounds of this motte and bailey castle offer a glimpse into over 2,000 years of Welsh history and heritage. Explore the lavish apartments, ornate banquet halls and the iconic Clock Tower, all steeped in tales of royalty and intrigue. Don't miss the opportunity to climb the Norman Keep for panoramic views of the city skyline. The castle was originally built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, and has been used as a former Roman fort, a royal palace and a prison throughout its history. The current castle that stands today was largely constructed in the 19th century by architect William Burges, who transformed the medieval castle ruins into a stunning Gothic Revival masterpiece.

Postcode: CF10 3RB
Opening hours: Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm and Monday-Friday 10am-5pm , March-October; Saturday-Sunday 9am-4pm and Monday-Friday 10am-4pm, November-February
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £10.50 for children (5-16 years) and £15.50 for adults. Children under 5 are free

You can stay close to the castle with a city break at one of our Cardiff lodges and holiday parks.

Dinefwr Castle, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK

Dinefwr Castle, Carmarthenshire

6. Dinefwr Castle, Carmarthenshire

Step into the medieval wonders of Dinefwr Castle, where history whispers through its ancient walls. This hidden gem in Carmarthenshire promises an unforgettable journey back in time. The castle dates back to the 12th century and was originally built by the Lord Rhys, a powerful Welsh prince. Today, visitors can roam the picturesque ruins and envision the tales of brave knights and noble families that once graced these lands. With its panoramic views of the rolling countryside and the majestic River Tywi, Dinefwr Castle is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Uncover the secrets of this historical masterpiece and revel in its timeless beauty.

Postcode: SA19 6RT
Opening hours: The castle is usually open daily 10am-4pm, but opening times may vary in summer and winter so it's best to check the website in advance
Tickets: It's free to explore the castle ruins and country park

Visit the castle and explore the beauty of South West Wales from one of our Carmarthenshire holiday parks and lodges.

Castell y Bere, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

Castell y Bere, Gwynedd

7. Castell y Bere, Gwynedd

Nestled amid the breathtaking Welsh landscape is the captivating Castell y Bere, a medieval marvel that stands as a testament to Wales' rich history. The distinctive remains of this ancient fortress, spread across a hilltop in Gwynedd, offer a glimpse into the past. The castle was built by Llywelyn the Great, the Prince of Gwynedd, in the early 13th century to control the strategic pass through the Dysynni valley. Today, you can explore the remains of this native Welsh castle and admire stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Prepare to be spellbound by the enchanting allure of Castell y Bere, a must-visit for any history enthusiast.

Tip: Castell y Bere is dog friendly.

Postcode: LL36 9TS
Opening hours: Daily 10am-4pm
Tickets: It's free to explore the castle remains

Treat yourself to a stay in the heart of North Wales at one of our lodges and holiday parks in Gwynedd.

Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK

Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire

8. Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire

Carew Castle, a 13th-century fortress in Pembrokeshire, awaits to enamour visitors with its rich history and picturesque charm. This enchanting fortress is a true testament to Wales' architectural prowess, showcasing a perfect blend of medieval and Elizabethan elements. The castle is situated on the banks of the Carew River, providing stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Wander through its majestic halls, picture yourself in the midst of vibrant historical events and soak in the beauty of its expansive grounds. Carew Castle has a rich history, having been owned by various noble families throughout its existence - you can learn all about its significance in Welsh history at the onsite visitor centre.

Tip: The site welcomes well-behaved dogs on leads everywhere except inside the Nest Tearoom.

Postcode: SA70 8SL
Opening hours: Daily 10am-4.30pm, late-March to early November
Tickets: Tickets start from £6 for children (4-16 years) and £8 for adults

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys, Wales, UK

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys

9. Powis Castle and Garden, Powys

Hidden amid the rolling hills of Powys, overlooking the market town of Welshpool, stands Powis Castle and Garden. This magnificent fortress boasts 26 acres of stunning terraced gardens and a history dating back to the 13th century. As you wander through its grand halls and intricate rooms, adorned with lavis decor and imposing architecture, you'll be transported to a world of chivalry and splendour, gaining a glimpse into the lives of Welsh nobility. Powis Castle is open to the public and is managed by the National Trust, attracting visitors from around the world who come to explore its historic rooms, enjoy the gardens and learn about its rich history.

Postcode: SY21 8RF
Opening hours: Daily 11am-4pm
Tickets: Tickets for the castle and garden start from £7.50 for children and £15 for adults

Delve into the timeless beauty of Mid Wales from one of our Powys lodges and holiday parks.

Laugharne Castle, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK

Laugharne Castle, Carmarthenshire

10. Laugharne Castle, Carmarthenshire

Hidden along the mystical coast of Carmarthenshire lies Laugharne Castle, a charming slice of Welsh history waiting to enchant you. This 12th-century castle, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, offers a glimpse into Wales' storied past. As you explore its crumbling walls and winding passages, you'll feel the whispers of ancient tales and noble deeds. From the majestic views of the Taf Estuary to the serene beauty of its surroundings, Laugharne Castle is a haven for those seeking a touch of magic in their travels. The castle is also famous for its association with the poet and writer Dylan Thomas, who lived in Laugharne during the 1930s and 1940s and found inspiration in the castle's ruins for his work. Explore Laugharne Castle and add a new chapter to your Welsh adventure.

Tip: Dogs are welcome on the ground floor levels of the site.

Postcode: SA33 4SA
Opening hours: Thursday-Monday 10am-5pm, April-October
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £4.10 for children (5-17 years) and £5.90 for adults. Children under 5 are free

Caerphilly Castle, Glamorgan, Wales, UK

Caerphilly Castle, Glamorgan

11. Caerphilly Castle, Glamorgan

Nestled in the vibrant town of Caerphilly, in South Wales, stands the magnificent Caerphilly Castle, a true marvel of Welsh heritage waiting to be discovered. This grand medieval fortress, with its towering walls and strategic moats, is a testament to the ingenuity of its builders. It is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Britain after Windsor Castle. As you step inside, prepare to be transported back in time to an era of knights and kings, where legends were born and battles were fought. Caerphilly Castle is famous for its leaning tower, which leans at a greater angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The sprawling grounds and imposing architecture of Caerphilly Castle, now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, promise an unforgettable journey through history, offering a glimpse into Wales' rich and colourful past. Get ready to be awed by the grandeur of this Norman castle and immerse yourself in the grand tapestry of Welsh history.

Tip: The castle is currently undergoing a £10 million regeneration project, which may result in certain areas being closed during your visit, so be sure to double check this in advance.

Postcode: CF83 1JD
Opening hours: 9.30am-5pm, March-June and September-October; 9.30am-6pm, July
August; 10am-4pm, November-February
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £7.60 for children (5-17 years) and £10.90 for adults. Children under 5 are free

Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK

Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire

12. Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire

Perched along the serene waters of the River Wye, Chepstow Castle is a symbol of Welsh resilience and architectural brilliance. This ancient stronghold, with its imposing stone towers and commanding views, invites visitors to explore a world of medieval grandeur and feudal power. With a colourful history dating back to the 11th century, the Norman castle has undergone various modifications and additions by different owners, and played a key role in the struggles between the English and Welsh during the Middle Ages. Stepping within its historic walls, you are transported to a time of chivalry and honour, where legends were forged and alliances tested. The rich tapestry of Chepstow Castle's past promises an enriching experience for history enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

Tip: Dogs are welcome on the ground floor levels of the site.

Postcode: NP16 5EY
Opening hours: 9.30am-5pm, March-June and September-October; 9.30am-6pm, July-August; 10am-4pm, November-February
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £6.70 for children (5-17 years) and £9.50 for adults. Children under 5 are free

Plan your trip to one of Wales's most iconic castles from one of our Monmouthshire holiday cottages.

Harlech Castle, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

Harlech Castle, Gwynedd

13. Harlech Castle, Gwynedd

Located on a rocky crag overlooking the glistening waters of Cardigan Bay close to the Irish Sea, Harlech Castle exudes an aura of strength and majesty. This 13th-century fortress, with its mighty walls and breathtaking views, beckons travellers to immerse themselves in a world of legends and conquests. The castle, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the best-preserved examples of a concentric castle in Europe, with a series of walls and defensive towers arranged in a concentric layout. Explore the storied halls and winding passages, and let your imagination soar amid the echoes of centuries past. Get ready to be captivated by the sheer grandeur and resilience of Harlech Castle, a true testament to Wales' enduring heritage and glory. While your here, don't miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Harlech Beach, rated one of the best beaches in Wales on Tripadvisor.

Tip: Dogs are welcome on the ground floor levels of the site.

Postcode: LL46 2YH
Opening hours: 9.30am-5pm, March-June and September-October; 9.30am-6pm, July-August; 10am-4pm, November-February
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £6.70 for children (5-17 years) and £9.50 for adults. Children under 5 are free

Book one of our Harlech holiday cottages and stay within walking distance of this magnificent fortress!

Kidwelly Castle, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK

Kidwelly Castle, Carmarthenshire

14. Kidwelly Castle, Carmarthenshire

Venture into the enchanting realm of Kidwelly Castle, a 12th-century Norman castle set amidst the verdant landscapes of Carmarthenshire. This picturesque fortress, with its imposing towers and tranquil surroundings, is one of the best-preserved castles in Wales, and has been used as a filming location for popular TV shows and films like "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and "Doctor Who". The castle played a key role in defending the area during the Welsh Wars of Independence and the Wars of the Roses. Stroll through the impressive medieval structures, bask in the beauty of the sprawling countryside and let the whispers of history guide your exploration. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure through the corridors of this historic masterpiece.

Tip: Dogs are welcome on the ground floor levels of the site.

Postcode: SA17 5BQ
Opening hours: 9.30am-5pm, March-June and September-October; 9.30am-6pm, July-August; 10am-4pm, November-February
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £5.30 for children (5-17 years) and £7.50 for adults. Children under 5 are free

Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey, Wales, UK

Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey

15. Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey

Situated on the picturesque Isle of Anglesey, Beaumaris Castle is a fine example of medieval architectural brilliance. Its symmetrical design and strategic moat reflect a time of grandeur and strength, and it is often regarded as one of the most technically perfect castles in Britain. Despite its impressive design, Beaumaris Castle was never actually completed due to lack of funding and the outbreak of the Welsh Wars. Visitors can still explore the towering walls and intricate passageways of the UNESCO World Heritage site. From the panoramic views of the Snowdonia mountains to the shimmering waters of the Menai Strait, Beaumaris Castle offers a glimpse into Wales' majestic history. Unlock the mysteries of this remarkable fortress and let its timeless charm leave you in awe.

Tip: The ground floor levels of the site are dog friendly.

Postcode: LL58 8AP
Opening hours: 9.30am-5pm, March-June and September-October; 9.30am-6pm, July-August; 10am-4pm, November-February
Tickets: Advance online tickets start from £6.70 for children (5-17 years) and £9.50 for adults. Children under 5 are free

Explore the castle and the captivating island for yourself from one of our Anglesey lodges and holiday parks!

Plan your UK Adventure to the Best Welsh Castles

As you embark on your Welsh castle explorations, let your curiosity and wanderlust guide you to these gems awaiting your discovery. From the imposing walls of Conwy Castle to the enchanting gardens of Cardiff Castle, each fortress holds a unique story waiting to be unveiled. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history woven within the ancient stones of Caernarfon Castle and experience the grandeur of medieval Wales at Harlech Castle. With each step, you'll be transported back in time, surrounded by the echoes of a bygone era. Get ready to witness the magic of Wales' castles and create memories that will last a lifetime. Adventure awaits!

Many of these iconic castles welcome canine companions, so check out our dog-friendly stays in Wales to find suitable accommodation for you and your furry friend!

Conwy Castle, County Conwy, Wales, UK

Conwy Castle, County Conwy

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