Europe, Travel

Caernarfon Castle – A Medieval Fortress in North Wales

Thankfully the weather had improved the day after our visit to Penrhyn Castle so we made our way to the town of Caernarfon to visit the famed castle.

Caernarfon Castle was one of a series of castles built by King Edward I after his invasion of North Wales in 1282. After defeating the Welsh princes and bringing Wales under English rule, he built these castles to ensure that he could hold on to his new lands and keep a lid on rebellious activities. Caernarfon Castle was to be his royal palace-fortress.

In 1284 Edward II was born here and was later pronounced ‘Prince of Wales’. He was the first non-Welsh prince and the first of a line which leads to the current prince, Prince Charles. Charles’ investiture (the ceremony marking the formal creation of the title) was held at Caernarfon Castle in 1969.

Although Caernarfon Castle is now a ruin, it is well-preserved. The walls and most of the towers and rooms are accessible.

Climbing to the top of the towers offers fantastic views of the town and out to sea. The staircases are quite narrow so comfy shoes which are easy to walk in are a must! I swapped my motorcycle boots for a pair of Converse to make exploring the castle a bit easier.

Caernarfon Castle was definitely my favourite medieval castle that we visited in Wales. There was so much to see, you could easily spend hours checking out every nook and cranny.

After we’d finished exploring inside the castle we made sure to check out the other side of the River Seiont to admire the castle in full view.

Visitor information

  • Caernarfon Castle is open all year round, except for 24th, 25th and 26th December and 1st January. Check the Cadw site for opening times as these vary throughout the year.
  • Admission to the castle is £8.95 for adults, however if you are looking to visit multiple castles in Wales you might be better off getting a Cadw Explorer Pass. Many historic attractions in Wales are managed by Cadw, and there are several castles you can visit in North Wales with this pass including Conwy Castle, Beaumaris Castle, Harlech Castle and Rhuddlan Castle.
  • There’s a large public car park by the waterfront next to the castle. You have to pay upon entry to the car park – it only cost 50p to park all day with a motorcycle, for cars it costs £5. There’s also some street parking around the castle but these spots had a 2 hour time limit.
  • Looking for a place to stay nearby? You can actually spend the night in the town’s medieval wall towers.
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