To make the most of our weekend in Wales, we decided to swing by Conwy Castle on the way home. It was a short drive from Betws-y-Coed, just outside Snowdonia National Park, and wouldn’t add too much time to our road trip home to London.
We love castles, so we were excited to check this one out. Edward I went on a castle-building spree in Wales in the 1200s, building a ring of seven key castles in an attempt to control the people of Wales. There are many of them around Wales, in varying states of dilapidation. It is said that Caernarfon Castle is the most beautiful, but we were closer to Conwy and it looked pretty darn beautiful, too. I was really excited to see one of those formidable castles.
We arrived just before it opened and stopped for a quick cuppa at the adorable Castle Gallery Tearooms. It was a lovely little spot to fuel up before touring the castle.
We’ve visited enough castles by now to see precisely why Conwy Castle was built there. It is strategically placed upon a rocky outcrop. It is formidable as you approach.
Less formidable is the fact that now cars drive right around the castle. It is fascinating to see how the modern town of Conwy has cropped up around this beautiful castle.
Built in the 13th century, the castle is magnificent. It is well preserved enough that even today, you can climb up the towers and see remains of the features installed to make this castle fit for a king.
Beautiful detailing can still be seen throughout the castle’s ruins, especially the chapel.
The chapel’s archway still stands, and, yes, you can walk under it!
Throughout the ruins, you can find the remains that give you clues as to what the castle used to look like. Here, a fireplace remains, though the floor of this storey of the tower does not!
The round towers are particularly beautiful and the well-preserved walls of the castle definitely captured my imagination.
It was neat to be able to explore the different levels of the castle, climbing towers or wandering through the courtyard, gaining different perspectives on the castle and the town and sea beyond.
It is not just a strategic location, but a beautiful one as well. Looking away from the harbor, the castle is surrounded by mountains in the distance.
UNESCO considers Conwy one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe.” Exploring what remains, it is no wonder why.
If you visit Conwy Castle, make sure to leave yourself time to explore the bridges and the town walls. The suspension bridge was one of the world’s first road suspension bridges and was built to mimic the style of the castle.
It no longer carries road traffic, but you can walk across.
The town walls of Conwy are remarkably well-preserved and you can walk along them.
The views are stunning.
From up there, you can see how the town has sprung up around the castle and its walls. It was remarkable to see a medieval town, the stone of the walls and castle are very beautiful.
If you go to Conwy, make sure to say hello to my new friend!