Caernarfon CastleCaernarfon, Snowdonia

Caernarfon Castle is a mightily impressive medieval fortress; built in North West Wales during the 13th century, it’s loved by all visitors for its intimidating appearance. It truly is a sight to behold! If an unforgettable experience is what you’re after, then this historical attraction will take you on a superb journey back in time. A family day out you won’t forget!

Proudly sitting in the centre of Caernarfon overlooking the straits, Caernarfon Castle’s positioning only adds to its daunting presence. Sheltering the town and looking over to Anglesey, this Castle is in a stunning location surrounded by sea views. If you aren't impressed by history, then you will surely be won over by the architecture and vistas to be seen here. Eight polygonal towers, colour-banded masonry, high wall walks, and a twin-towered gatehouse are all demanding to be admired. It is clear to see why this is considered one of the best attractions in North Wales and has been a part of the World Heritage Site since 1986!

Description

In 1282 King Edward I defeated the last Prince of Wales, Llywelyn Ap Gruffudd, and was determined to conquer Wales and subdue its people. He, therefore, began building his own ‘Iron Ring’ of castles, as they are often known, including Beaumaris, Dolwyddelan, Harlech and of course Caernarfon Castle; the most ambitious and accomplished of them all!

The build was inspired by his fascination with Roman legends surrounding Caernarfon and the Roman City of Constantinople. Much thought went into the location and design of the castle as it then acted as the administrative centre of North Wales. Caernarfon castle was deliberately placed here for the ease of access to the sea from the banks of the River Seiont, as well as the close proximity to the Roman Fort (Segontium).

While the castle was being built, King Edward I erected the town walls around Caernarfon with the intention of turning it into an English power base and these can still be seen throughout the town today. Designed to be a symbol of strength and power, these castle walls conceal an outstanding historical past which has greatly influenced the culture of North Wales into the modern day. Wandering around all of the rooms, passageways and towers, exploring all of the little nooks and crannies, the whole family will have fun learning about the exciting stories hidden within the walls!

The well established towers showcase permanent exhibitions for the public to investigate during their visit (included in the entry fee) to truly appreciate the wonders of Caernarfon Castle. The Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum is located in two towers of the castle, telling the story of over 300 years of service by Wales’ oldest infantry regiment. The Queen’s Tower has an exhibition of uniform, guns, medals and memorabilia while the Chamberlain Tower displays the throne and paraphernalia from the ordination of Prince Charles of Wales, and the Eagle Tower contains an interactive history of the castle.

A guided tour is also on offer while at the castle. If you don’t know where to start, I would recommend paying the additional £3 for the hour long guided tour with knowledgeable staff who can point out interesting details of the construction and reconstruction of the castle, as well as providing you with historical facts to help you make the best of your day!

The Castle has been well preserved under the care of CADW (The Welsh Government’s historic environment service, safeguarding Wales’ heritage) - making this a safe family friendly attraction that is just as spectacular today as the day it was built. With high towers, grass courtyards and arrow slits; it is a real blast into the past! The perfect place for an adventure the whole family will enjoy!

Opening times

1st March - 30th June 2018
Daily: 9:30am - 5pm
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)

1st July - 31st August 2018
Daily: 9:30am - 6pm
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)

1st September - 31st October 2018
Daily: 9:30am - 5pm
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)

1st November - 28th February 2019
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Sunday: 11am - 4pm
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)

Contact details 

Website: http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/caernarfon-castle/?lang=en

Phone number: 01286 677617

Picnic Spot

Grass courtyards inside the Castle - no tables.

Parking

Free street parking for up to six cars at the front of the castle. Another car park is located on the waterfront at the back of the castle for long stays.
 

Accessibility 

Access ramp provided for entry and access on all of the lower floor. There are lifts in some areas of the castle. There is a public toilet five minutes away by the waterfront with disabled facilities.

Dogs

Only assistance dogs.

Other useful info

  • Entry is free to CADW members.
  • Three or seven-day explorer passes are available; they provide free admission to all the historic sites in North Wales in the care of CADW
  • You can also save money on this site and many other Snowdonia attractions with a Snowdonia Pass (10% off entry)

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