No stay in north Wales would be complete without a visit to one of the many castles that are dotted along the coast. Caernarfon Castle is a short distance from the Bodnant Estate and well worth a visit.
The beauty of Caernarfon Castle is its grandeur. King Edward I was determined to leave his mark on the Welsh, building several castles along the coast in defensive hotspots so he could see any invading army, Welsh or otherwise.
Taking nearly 50 years to build and costing a whopping £25k (millions of pounds in today’s money), it is a gigantic building with towering skirt walls that would be difficult for even the most determined of invaders to breach.
It had 6 portcullises at its entrance, as well as the traditional soldiers with hot oil to keep invaders at bay.
But it isn’t just ancient history that you’ll find here, but more recent spectacles too, such as the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
The castle sits overlooking the sea, an important defensive position, and is well maintained by CADW. So much so, you can explore its narrow passages and stairways, climbing to the top of the towers to enjoy the view of 21st century Caernarfon.
What else can you do in Caernarfon?
The castle will enchant you for hours but when you want a change of scenery, you can enjoy the town of Caernarfon that sits at its feet.
There are plenty of cafes and pubs to enjoy meals and snacks during the day, as well as a mix of shops. There is a market on some days too, well worth wandering around for buying from local producers, including plants and flowers, as well as food stuff.
Being a little further out from the Bodnant Estate, you might want to stop off at other towns and places.
As well as visiting Conwy castle and this fortress at Caernarfon, head further along the coast to Beaumaris to take a wander around the final castle that was commissioned by King Edward I. The building of these castles across the coast was a huge undertaking and by the time Beaumaris castle started to take shape, the funds were running low. As a result, it is not as grand or as large as its cousin further along the coast but it has a story to tell too.
A walk on the wild side
On your way back toward the Bodnant Estate, why not stop off at Abergwyngregyn and take the short but beautiful walk to see the waterfall at the end of the path. There are places to explore along the path and is an ideal walk for families, as well as people who need a solid path underfoot.
Explore Caernarfon Castle
It is a wonderful place to explore but like all CADW sites, it is worth checking the opening times for the castle. A great place to visit, especially if you are planning on staying in one of the holiday cottages on the Bodnant Estate.