Monday, 26 September 2016

A Weekend Exploring Castles

It’s no secret we are trying to rein in the finances at the moment so when we heard Cadw were doing their Open Doors event at the weekend with free entry to lots of castles we quickly booked up some tickets with the aim of having fab free entertainment.  Aside from a couple of quid in parking we spent very little, it was a great way to educate the boys in bygone times and have a good workout making our way around the castle walls, seeing where each winding staircase took us and having a proper adventure – my body still aches!  But then it’s a pretty tall order squeezing four castles into one weekend; I am not one to do things by small measures. 

Beaumaris Castle

Our first stop was this castle on the Island of Anglesey, which was my personal favourite from our mini tour. 

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It was very picturesque even if it was the castle that was never quite finished!  Edward ran out of money before he could complete it (I know the feeling although my project is on a much smaller scale!).  I like how around the castle there were a few exhibits for children to interact with, like this musical instrument, which we could hear long before finding it.

Harlech Castle

Another highlight because they have a dragon in residence at the moment.  It’s quite impressive with its huge claw and the perfect photo opportunity.  Occasionally its nostrils breathe out smoke much to the excitement of everyone there.

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Denbigh Castle

The boys liked the sound effects as you walk in it got them into the right frame of mind for exploring a castle.  The stocks in the visitor centre/shop were appreciated too!  Just the thing if your children are being a handful.

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The grassy area is lovely to stop and relax especially when the sun is shining.  The little slope was perfect for children to roll down too.

Rhuddlan Castle

This was our quickest visit there is not a huge amount to explore here; it still looks a beautiful building though so seeing as entry was free I am glad we included it anyway.  The modern steel staircases to get higher up seemed slightly out of sorts after the more traditional castles we had explored but least it means you can now see more of the place.  I think it would be better saving this castle for when they have special events on rather than as a standalone visit.

A weekend exploring castles is a good weekend indeed!


  1. I love open days like this, and it seems you really got good value out of it managing to visit 4 places!

  2. So many fab castles. Wales is such a great place for castles. We spent some time there when the boys were little and into castles. I love the pic of the two of you at Denbeigh

  3. We spend a lot of time in Wales and we have never visited a castle, so I will have to add a couple of these to the list as they looks fab.

  4. Looks like a great weekend. I love visiting castles........wish we were closer

  5. I love visiting castles and finding about the history behind them. I often find myself in a day dream imagining I am back in time x

  6. wow, four castles in one weekend! I do love visiting castles although I've not been for a while. I'm not sure how far I'd get now that I'm immobile, I know some places are tricky to access, which is the whole point really.