Age: 733 (c. 1283 – but completed in 1289)
Location: Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales
History: Harlech Castle is renowned for its spectacular location on a rocky crag, overlooking the sea and framed by the mountains of Snowdonia.
It was built by Edward I during his invasion of Wales between 1282 and 1289 at the substantial cost of £8,190.
Review: This castle is the one that offers stunning views of the coastline and of Snowdonia, at the top of its towers.
The castle walls are largely intact and it is easy enough to navigate your way around. Although this is not a huge castle in comparison to others, I was still able to spend a few hours here, by taking in the history of it all.
If you’re like me and need to know every detail about every event that occurred at this castle then it is sure to be an easy way to spend your afternoon.
Sunshine is needed, as exploring castles are never fun if it rains particularly as you’ll be wanting to stand at the top of these towers to take in the beautiful views that it provides.
One thing that I did notice is that if you are afraid of heights or have young children (who may get too close to the edge at times), the barriers are either low or with wide gaps between the bars. I didn’t find it an issue, but if you’re worried for safety reasons it is one thing to bear in mind.
Overall, though I thought that this was a great little gem of a castle. Particularly, when you compare it to some of the bigger ones nearby it, such as Caernarfon. This is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area and have a free afternoon off.
As a bonus, there is also a cafe which provides excellent food and drink.
Finally, once you’re finished looking at this castle and might be in need of doing a little extra, make your way down to the beach, it’s quiet and allows for the perfect ending to a perfect day.