Big Trips · Castles · Day Trips

Dolbadarn Castle – Castle Review

Built: Between 1220s and 1230s

Location: Caernarfon LL55 4UB

History: Dolbadarn Castle is a fortification built by the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great during the early 13th century, at the base of the Llanberis Pass, in northern Wales.

The castle was important both militarily and as a symbol of Llywelyn’s power and authority. The castle features a large stone keep, which historian Richard Avent considers “the finest surviving example of a Welsh round tower”.

In 1284 Dolbadarn was taken by Edward I, who removed some of its timbers to build his new castle at Caernarfon. The castle was used as a manor house for some years, before falling into ruin.

Review: So this wasn’t actually a planned trip at all.

Basically, my whole family had gone on a holiday to Wales. We’d taken my grandparents with us as well.

The plan was to go on the train up Snowdon (because why not).

Anyway, we got there early and we had a lot of time to kill.

Grandma and Grandad were perfectly happy sitting in the car and taking in the view.

And mum had decided she wanted to finish her lunch first (and then she’d join us in our exploring) so me, dad and my sister went for a walk.

This Is My Dad’s First Selfie! Look At That Smile

That’s when we came across this lake. Isn’t it stunning?

It was after this photo was taken that we saw that on top of the hill to the right, that there was a castle (you can’t see it in the photo, unfortunately).

So we made our way back to the car and told mum that we were going to go walk up a hill to find a castle.

We looked at our phone and found the way to the top. It was fairly easy to get up as well. So if you are in the area, then this is something which you should consider doing.

It’s not a huge place, but it was certainly worth it.

Anyone Fancy A Paddle?

It is a bit of a steep climb up the castle, but it’s got some pretty things to look at, at least. I mean you’ve got this stream at the bottom of the hill, which I think looks pretty magical!

All in all, the walk took about ten/fifteen minutes.

But it was so worth it.

The only weird thing about this castle when we got to it, was that there was a couple having an engagement photoshoot done at this place. I felt so sorry for the woman in her high heels and dress. It was cold and I would not have enjoyed climbing up to the top in heels.

Knowing me I would have fallen over and broken something. I like wearing solid walking boots if I’m being honest. Much prefer comfort over appearance to be honest.

But anyway, they left pretty much as soon as we got there.

Look How Cute My Family Is – Shame I’m Not In The Photo With Them

I was actually quite surprised to learn that you can walk up the stairs and go up the top of the keep.

There’s not much there, but that was quite a nice thing to do.

Just make sure that no one else is coming up or down, or you’ll be a bit stuck as the staircase is quite narrow (and the stairs are quite steep as well).

You get great views from the top of the castle.

From The Top of Dolbadarn Castle

I mean just look at that view!

Anyway, once we had taken it all in, it was time for us to head back and get the grandparents ready for their train journey.

They were so excited to go up Snowdon (I mean how many 80+ year olds go up Snowdon) and to be honest even taking the train up was quite enjoyable.

It was a relatively clear day as well, so we saw loads on our way up.

The Very Top

I still like saying that I made it to the top of Snowdon – it’s still kind of an achievement haha

Dad Looks So Impressed!

Can you believe how cloudy it is as the top though?

I wish we had been lucky enough to get to the top when it was sunny. That would have been incredible.

You only get a half-hour at the top of Snowdon though before the train comes back down. And you have to make sure you get back in time, otherwise, you’ll be walking down!

One man did decide to run down though. His wife and kid stayed on the train, and he pretty much stayed level with us the entire time. I have no idea how he managed that, but I applaud him for it.

It ended up being quite a long day, to be honest – what with exploring a castle, going up Snowdon.

So we ended up going to a pub for food on the way home. I think the place was called the Bryn Tyrch Inn – I think you can also stay there as well. Which I think I might do in the future.

You could get lamb crackling! Lamb crackling! I mean I’ve never had it before, didn’t even know it was a thing. But my god it was amazing. All the food was amazing though, kind of just want to go back now really. Shame it’s a bit far to drive to from home.

They also did really cool cocktails though, and I did treat myself to one!

This Is A Snowdon Sunrise

Look how cool it looks!

The issue is it was far too nice so I drank it too quickly!

But they do have other cocktails there as well.

I think all of us were pleasantly surprised by how amazing this place actually was.

All in all, this was a fantastic trip out and I would love to do it again but I think I shall have to wait until the next time I go on holiday to Wales.

I love Wales though (if you haven’t already guessed). So I’m sure I’ll be coming back soon.

35 thoughts on “Dolbadarn Castle – Castle Review

  1. What a beautiful place! I’m so jealous. I would love to visit, but it’s going to be a while before anyone goes anywhere I think 😦
    Thanks for the lovely description and gorgeous pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been to Snowdonia national park, but never actually had the chance to go up Snowdon, it is one of my life goals to do it one day. I’ve been to Wales loads of times and it is beautiful and so much to see.

    We might have to plan a weekend away there when we can in the future.

    A fantastic read this was, it made me think of my memories when I used to go to Wales 😁 x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is another Welsh castle I’m yet to visit. Thank you for sharing – I’ll be adding this to my 2020 summer (fingers crossed) road trip list!xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had a slight obsession with castles since the Game of Throns series and the views from Dolbadarn castle are spectacular. I like imagining what all the little crooks, crannies and water sources were used for and what events may have happened there. Thanks for sharing your adventure and the beautiful sights and things to do around Dolbadarn castle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the exact same – I love imagining what happened at these places and the history that took place. It was a great area to go and explore anyway, and this castle was a great little hidden gem. Definitely a highlight of the day!


  5. This is absolutely beautiful! Makes me want to go to Wales ASAP! I’ve never been out of America. I do need to broaden my travels though, and this place will definitely go on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never been to Wales before, and regrettably know very little about it. I do however, want to plan a huge UK trip once corona has gone away, and I now feel as if I should include Wales in the trip as well. Thank you for talking about Dolbadarn Castle and Snowden! Will definitely check them out (even if your dad wasn’t particularly impressed).

    Liked by 1 person

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