Photo: Tim Fields

Caernarfon Castle is undoubtedly one of north Wales’ most impressive structures, built as a symbol of English dominance over the Welsh. Caernarfon was built to recall the architecture of Constantinople and the imperial strength of Rome. Built on the sea, Gwynedd’s castle has impressive views over the sea and the surrounding countryside.

Enter through one of the two main gates, King’s Gate or Queen’s Gate. Though both are unfinished, it is easy to see how any attempted invasions would have been undertaken with great caution. As you wander around the expansive grounds, find ruins of the incorporated market and city that rested inside the castle walls. Explore the city walls to see how townspeople lived and worked during the time of Edward I.

Climb up one of Caernarfon’s many stout towers to explore why Caernarfon was of such strategic combat importance during its long history. Visit Queen’s Tower, Chamberlain Tower, or Black Tower and tour the bedrooms where important guests stayed during their time at the castle. A must-see is Eagle Tower, which is crowned by no less than three turrets and boasts impressive sea and castle views.

Caernarfon is an unusual castle in the fact that many of its buildings and defences were never completed. Castle Caernarfon was built to be the seat of the Prince of Wales. Though Edward II never visited Caernarfon during his adult life, the current Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Charles, undertook his investiture here in 1969.

When walking around the castle grounds you can see the intricate coloured stonework that characterizes the castle, as well as the polygonal, rather than round, castle towers. But don’t think that meant this was a castle built just for show! Explore the castle walls to find murder holes, arrow slots, and spy holes!

Castle Ditch, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 2AY
Tel: 01286677617
Times: March – June, daily, 09.30 – 17.00
July & August, daily, 09.30 – 18.00
September & October, daily, 09.30 – 17.00
November – February, Monday – Saturday, 10.00 – 16.00
Sunday, 11.00 – 16.00