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Conquer The Castles (in 72 hours)

Conquer The Castles (in 72 hours)

In the late 13th century, King Edward I of England set out on a conquest of North Wales. The result was a series of magnificent castles across the region designed to subjugate the native Welsh population. Today these castles are some of the finest examples of medieval architecture and together form a World Heritage Site.

Make the most out of your holiday in North Wales by following in the footsteps of this world famous conqueror!

Day 1 - Conwy

Start your journey in the beautiful town of Conwy. As you approach the town, over one of Conwy’s three famous bridges, you will get your first glimpse of the magnificent castle! Park in the long stay car park just outside the town walls for the best value for money.

From the car park, make your way into the town via an underpass that takes you under the walls that defended the medieval town’s population from the native Welsh. Turn right and climb up Millgate Tower to walk the smaller of Conwy’s town wall sections, giving you superb views of the Castle and estuary. At the end of this section, descend and enter the Castle - for best value don’t forget to buy a CADW explorer pass that will get you into some other attractions on your tour for free!

After your castle tour, head to Castle Street, taking the opportunity to photograph some of the quaint architecture. There are plenty of places that serve local Welsh food, so why not stop off for a bite to eat or get a little shopping done in the wide selection of independent stores?

On the High Street, you will find Plas Mawr, the town’s fully restored Elizabethan town house which was once home to the Wynn family. Pick up your free audio tour at the entrance to learn lots about the history of the building and Conwy.

As evening approaches, make your way to the train station to find the hidden staircase that will let you access the longer section of the town walls. As you walk, you’ll see Conwy from a whole different perspective, taking in the views of the Conwy Mountain, Llandudno’s Great Orme and the historic Vardre hill in Deganwy that was once the site of a castle of the Welsh Princes.

Suggested overnight stay: Castle Hotel, Conwy.

Day 2- Snowdonia and Caernarfon.

Dolwyddelan Castle

Start your day by driving down the Conwy Valley, taking in the beautiful views of the countryside and mountains of Snowdonia. Your end destination is Dolwyddelan Castle, home of the famous Welsh Prince, Llywelyn the Great. Now is your chance to learn more about the Welsh Princes of Gwynedd and their fight against the English.

From here, double back on yourself slightly to the gateway of Snowdonia, Betws-y-Coed. If you’re feeling peckish, stop off for lunch in one of the town’s many eateries and admire the beautiful Afon Llugwy that runs through the town centre.

You can now join the A5 road which was the main road into North Wales before the A55 dual carriageway was built. You’ll travel through the heart of Snowdonia, getting the opportunity to stop at the many viewpoints along the way to take photos of the stunning locations you’ll come across e.g. Llyn Ogwen, Tryfan and Snowdon.

Once back at the coast, continue along the A487 to Caernarfon, home to the largest of Edward I’s castles! Climb to the top of the Eagle Tower to experience the best views over the Menai Straits to Anglesey. Take the time to explore the Royal Welch Fusilier’s Museum housed inside the towers. Stop off for a selfie at the spot of Prince Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969.

Round off your day taking in the vibrant nightlife of the town. Take a stroll down Palace Street to browse the unqiue shops and pubs. Pop into the waterside Galeri, home to Caernarfon’s creative hub and cinema for some entertainment.

Suggested overnight stay- Caernarfon.

Day 3 - Anglesey and Beaumaris

Menai Bridge

The final leg of your journey starts by crossing over one of two world famous bridges into Anglesey; the Menai Suspension Bridge built by Thomas Telford in 1826, or the Britannia Bridge built by Robert Stephenson in 1850. If you’d like to take some photos of the bridges, be sure to stop off at the Menai Bridge viewpoint for amazing views of both bridges.

Whichever option you choose, it’s then a short drive through the town of Menai Bridge and along the coast to the picturesque town of Beaumaris. The squat, unfinished castle here is a perfect example of the medieval concentric design; an ambitious project that was never fully completed.

Take the time to explore this seaside town after you’ve conquered the castle. There are plenty of shops to peruse and local food to try. If you fancy a bit more history, be sure to visit the gaol and courthouse before you leave to experience the life of a 19th century convict!

Finish off your journey with a short drive to Penmon Priory just beyond Beaumaris. Founded by St Seiriol in the 6th century, the Priory survived the Edwardian conquest until it was dissolved in 1538 under the rule of Henry VIII. While you’re here, you can also take in the stunning views off the edge of Anglesey. You’ll be able to see the nature reserve of Puffin Island and Llandudno’s Great Orme headland.

Product Information

  1. Conwy Castle


    Planning a visit to Conwy Castle?...If so, you have come to the right place!...Click here to get the latest Conwy Castle information direct from the official Conwy & Llandudno tourism website!

  2. Conwy Town Walls


    Over 0.75 miles (1.2km) of town walls, one of the finest and most complete sets in Europe, with twenty-one towers and three gateways, enclosing much of Conwy. A World Heritage Site.

  3. Plas Mawr


  4. Great Orme Country Park Visitor Centre


    With models, interactive displays and exciting films the whole family will enjoy finding out more about the diverse wildlife and history of the Great Orme. Watch the sea bird colonies via a live video-link, test your knowledge on the digital interactivities and spot rock pool creatures in the…

  5. Dolwyddelan Castle


    A square stone keep dating from the 13th Century, built by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth (the Great).

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Conwy Castle (53.28006,-3.82581)Conwy Town Walls (53.28018,-3.82703)0.07
Conwy Town Walls (53.28018,-3.82703)Plas Mawr (53.28113,-3.82992)0.2
Plas Mawr (53.28113,-3.82992)Great Orme Country Park Visitor Centre (53.33225,-3.85441)5.33
Great Orme Country Park Visitor Centre (53.33225,-3.85441)Dolwyddelan Castle (53.0536,-3.90115)28.06
Total Distance *33.65 miles
Estimated Journey Time1.08 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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