After an epic hike up Mount Snowdon, all I wanted to do was relax, drink some tea, and wander round a super-cute Welsh town. Enter, Caernarfon. This colourful little spot is home to a medieval castle with world-class views – just the ticket to finish off our awesome Welsh weekender.
We rolled into Caernarfon slightly too early on a Sunday morning – as you can see, the streets were pretty much deserted! However as the castle wasn’t even open yet, we took advantage and ordered tea and Welsh cakes from Caffi Maes. Sitting in the sunshine, we gazed around at the colourful shop-fronts and majestic stone of the castle looming above.
Vitamin D and tea doses complete, we ambled over to explore the castle. It has an impressive pedigree as far as military fortifications go – a Roman fort once stood nearby, and the castle itself dates from 1283 when Edward I decided that the site of a Norman motte-and-bailey should be rebuilt as his centre of power in North Wales.
The spot where Charles, Prince of Wales, was invested in 1969
The castle has a brilliant array of displays, from ancient stones to a mini-movie feature on the castle’s history, tracing right through the centuries from the castle’s role as an administrative centre, to its neglect in the 17th century and eventual rebirth from the 1870s onwards. Another highpoint was the Royal Welch Fusilier museum, where a couple of the girls really got into the military spirit!
My favourite part was the amazing views from the tall tower – and that Welsh dragon flying high!
Looking towards Anglesey Island
Military play-acting and castle-combing complete, we retreated back to Caernarfon’s rainbow-hued streets for another restorative cup of tea before the long drive back to London. All in all, a rather perfect weekend!
For more information on castle entry, click here
Have you visited Caernarfon, or the other castles of Edward I in north Wales?