Even if you don’t know how to pronounce the mysterious name of Caerphilly, it certainly is worth visiting its castle, the largest in Wales, located just a short drive from the capital, Cardiff.
The castle surrounded by huge green grounds and water defences is the monument to its 13th century owner’s ambitions to rule the South of Wales and scare off his enemies coming from the North.
Apparently, after hearing of the castle’s impressive and newly-invented defence systems the enemies immediately got the message and didn’t even attack the castle!
Caerphilly Castle is said to be one of the largest castles in Great Britain and a very well-preserved Medieval military masterpiece.
On a very windy June day Caerphilly Castle felt somewhat empty, which didn’t leave us disappointed since photo opportunities were not interrupted by fellow travellers trying to pose in the same spots as us 😀
Approaching the castle from the wrong side first, we were forced to walk around the green grounds and castle walls to finally reach the castle’s actual entrance.
This was a perfect opportunity to experience what castle grounds have to offer, since they look truly impressive from far off.
We would have enjoyed the walk much more and even would have had a picnic on the grass if it wasn’t heavily littered with birds’ droppings…
…but we can’t complain, the little fellas live there…
So we continued stepping over the bird droppings and trying to avoid the flocks resting all over the place.
When you reach the actual main entrance…
Even if you are not interested in history and its monuments, you will appreciate the grandeur of this impressive structure – thick defensive walls and towers, as well as cleverly thought through defensive water canals and dams.
Younger visitors will enjoy a walk through the castle’s numerous narrow passages, winding stairs, defence galleries and a peek through tiny shooting windows with sound installations and some educational films.
And a Welsh dragon emerging from the earth at the entrance will be a cool bonus photo opportunity for everyone, young or more experienced!
Caerphilly Castle seems like a perfect place to spend a day with the whole family – bring everyone who wants to have some fun in an unforgettable historical place!
Although the castle seems truly impressive it cannot boast a long and illustrious ‘career’.
It was only used at the end of the 13th and the start of 14th centuries, after which it slowly started falling into ruin and oblivion.
Sounds like one of those very expensive and, eventually, wasted grand projects to me…
It was only in the 19th-20th centuries that Caerphilly Castle was partially restored, the surrounding canals filled with water again and brought back to its current impressive state by a few successive Marquesses of Butes as well as Welsh heritage institutions.
Today Caerphilly Castle attracts lots of visitors to a small town of Caerphilly which otherwise wouldn’t be on anyone’s ‘must-visit’ list. The little town doesn’t seem to have any of those quaint little souvenir shops or tea rooms that are normally associated with touristy locations.
But it seems a grand 13th-century project wasn’t wasted after all – it seems to be helping the 21st-century Welsh person to earn a living :DDD
On a final note:
In August 2018 Caerphilly Castle saw two new family attractions – an interactive Maze and a mystical Dragon’s Lair. You can find more information about these new developments HERE
The small town of Caerphilly doesn’t seem to be a fascinating place to visit, the castle seems to be the only attraction here. Although the castle and the grounds cover a truly large area, so one can easily spend half a day roaming around.
Travel Wales, enjoy your life!
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