Time Travel: A Tour of a Medieval Castle in Wales


Hi guys! I’m baccckkkkkk.  It’s been over a week (almost two…yikes!) since I’ve posted on here. Man, I’m sure you’ve been missing me (and my novel-sized posts) hugely. You’ve probably even heard crickets if you’ve popped by. I’ve been super busy these days, but things are starting to slow down a bit now thankfully. I hope you’re all doing great!

It’s Cowboy’s birthday today (Yee haw!). We had a wonderful day celebrating it with a yummy brunch at his favourite spot and then a sunny walk with the poochie before heading off to work. To cap off the day, I made him a special surprise: A Chocolate Cream Pie (his all-time fave) with fresh bananas, homemade peanut butter cups, chocolate shavings and roasted pecans.

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He really liked it, but you really can’t go wrong with chocolate pie of any kind right? Needless to say we had quite the chocolate overload. Yum! It was a fun way of celebrating his turning another year kookier, er I mean older . This picture says it all…

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Last weekend I went to a Medieval Festival which was really fun (post coming soon!) and it made me feel like I was time-travelling, one of my favourite past-times obsessions.

It also reminded me of a castle in North Wales I visited a few years ago which I haven’t shared with you guys yet (tsk tsk). And let’s face it, there’s nothing more Medieval than a 800+ year-old castle, right?   

As soon as you lay your eyes upon Conwy Castle, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time 9 or 10 centuries, or so. It’s the perfect way to time-travel (no De Lorean required).

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If you love the Medieval times, fairy tales, and castles– you will love this castle. The tour both inside and throughout the grounds is just spectacular. I was speechless during most of this tour which, if you know me at all, you’ll know that doesn’t happen very often (ha ha).

I may or may not have taken way too many photos here.

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My good friend Al has family in Wales (both his mom and Aunt are from there) so a few years ago he was planning a trip to the U.K to visit his Aunt and he graciously offered for me to come along. How could I say no?

We stayed at his Aunt’s house in Llandudno, a beautiful Victorian seaside resort town on the north coast of Wales. I knew I’d love it even before we got there when I’d heard Bill Bryson (one of my favourite travel writers) considers Llandudno one of his favourite resort towns. As soon as we arrived, I completely understood why.

After a bit of visiting, we finally got a chance to do some sightseeing and Conwy Castle was the first thing on our must-see list here in North Wales.

We’d be crazy to miss this. Absolutely breathtaking...

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This medieval fortress is located in the ancient walled-city of Conwy, which is only a couple of miles from Llandudno where we were staying.

Al’s Aunt offered to drive us there and it was pretty exciting (and slightly scary) driving along the extremely narrow streets. Thank goodness neither of us felt brave enough to drive her car since we’re not used to driving on the wrong other side of the road. Especially on these narrow, wind-y cobblestone streets. We felt like we were on a ride at Universal Studios HA HA! (I swear, I *wasn’t* driving!)

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The town of Conwy is chock-full of beautiful historic medieval and Victorian buildings and, of course, the Castle which dominates the town and also guards the entrance of the city.

I couldn’t wait to get closer to the castle.

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The majestic suspension bridge that connects the castle to the rest of the mainland still guards the entrance to the castle. Built in 1821 by Thomas Telford, this was one of the first suspension bridges in the world.

The bridge is actually built right into the castle as a small part of the building was demolished during the construction of the bridge so that the suspension chains could be anchored right into the rock.  This makes it look like an extended drawbridge, which added even more of a Medieval look to the castle.

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The foreboding fortress, now a Wold Heritage Site, was built in 1293 by  Edward 1 of England to contain the Welsh. It still preserves an authentic medieval atmosphere nearly a thousand years later.

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Some say it’s the finest castle Edward 1 ever built. While I haven’t seen his other ones personally, I can’t imagine a more magical setting for a castle than this one.

Conwy Castle sits perched on a rock right by the Irish sea with the Snowdonia mountains as its backdrop and plenty of beautiful surrounding countryside.

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Its magnificence was mind-blowing, and my love for the Medieval times went into overdrive (about 1.21 gigawatts-worth! Sorry- ‘Back to the Future’ reference…I had to). But I really did feel like I was floating through time.

The castle was spectacular from the outside, we couldn’t wait to get inside to see more.

The town of Conwy is actually a walled-city and the wall is almost a mile in length surrounding the town. It’s guarded by 21 towers that run along the entire circuit.

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As you can probably imagine, this was not an easy castle to penetrate. Which comes in handy for a castle, especially back in those days (a bit less of a concern today, I’m sure).

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While atop of the castle, you’ll quickly see why there wasn’t much chance sneaking up on this place. You can see for miles out to the Irish sea and the surrounding countryside.

It certainly was an incredible sight to behold.

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If you’re not a big fan of heights, or close spaces, you may not completely love walking up through the turrets to get to the top of the castle. But just go slow and you’ll be fine. Trust me, it’s worth it when you get to the top.

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Al was feeling pretty wiped after going up the twisty, steep steps so he grabbed a seat and relaxed while soaking up the scenery. Sure enough, there ain’t a bad spot up here view-wise.

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When we got to the Prison Tower, we were both feeling right at home (for some reason). Maybe in our past lives (13th century, or so) we spent some time ’round here.  This is where the ‘castle dungeon’ was located, after all.

I may or may not lock Al in here, just to scare him a little. Remind him of the good ole days.

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He’s not looking too worried though, whatsoever. I guess he thinks I’m just joking. He does look very comfortable behind bars, don’t you think? Surely there’s a reason for that…

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I’d better behave (while I’m here, anyway) because I really don’t want to spend much time in here if I can help it. It certainly doesn’t look like a pleasant way to spend a few years (or a day…or even 5 minutes). Yikes!

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But I sure looked pretty happy overlooking the dungeon tower. I guess I’m almost as warped as Al (notice that I said ‘almost’?) 😉

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We chatted with a few other tourists and made lots of prison jokes, of course (hard not too while you’re overlooking a dungeon). We also offered to take each others’ pics so we got a good one of us hanging out atop of the castle. Then I threw threw Al into the dungeon…ha ha!

Okay, Okay, I’m kidding. But if you know Al, you’ll find this rather amusing too.

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I really loved that you can walk to each tower and go up each one if you wanted to. And the view is fairly different (but equally magnificent) no matter where you are around the castle. It’s also a great walk along the walls too so you can explore a bit of the city as well.

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After our castle tour, we wandered around the town for a while and also stopped for a nice cup of coffee at a little cafe called ‘The Tower Coffee House’.

It may look like Al opted out of getting a coffee here, but he was so desperate for caffeine (his Aunt makes him drink Tea with breakfast ha ha) that he drank his coffee like it was a shot. Then he hounded me to share some of mine (crazy talk), to which I suggested he just get himself another coffee instead.

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If you find yourself in North Wales, you have to check out this AMAZING ancient relic. It’s a no-brainer on the list of ‘Things to See & Do’ here, really.  And, as an added bonus, you’ll enjoy a bit of time-travelling for an afternoon too.

Here’s their website if you’d like more info on Conwy Castle. When we were there (Spring 2009) our tickets to the castle were about $10 (Canadian dollars) or so, but it’s closer to $13 now— which is about 6.75 pounds.

 Happy (time) Travels everyone– try to stay outta the dungeon!

Love, Dana xo

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5 thoughts on “Time Travel: A Tour of a Medieval Castle in Wales

  1. Wow, I’ve seen quite a few castles in my time (usually in France or Germany), but this looks great. I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland (not only because I’m a fan of Highlander and Braveheart ;)), and this looks like a place worth visiting.
    That chocolate pie almost looks like an American pizza I ate a while ago, haha. Didn’t know it would work with all the chocolate bits on it (and some marshmallows?), but it sure tasted great. You’ve got to post a recipe for that one ;).

    Liked by 1 person

    • This castle sure is incredible, I was absolutely in love with it the first time I was there. And this was actually my very first castle I’d ever been to as well…so I’ve been spoiled! As I walked on the walls looking out to the city and the ocean, I really did feel like I’d gone back in time a few centuries or so 🙂 If you love Highlander and the movie Braveheart, you’ll definitely LOVE this place.
      I’d love to see some of the castles in Germany too, I’ve been fairly close…(Switzerland and Austria), but didn’t get to Germany– unfortunately.
      The pie was absolutely delicious, thanks! It’s basically a rich chocolate cream pie with a few tasty additions thrown on top. I will definitely post it, that’s a great idea. I didn’t add marshmallows, but that would have been great with it! And the pie is super easy, too (esp if you use a store-bought crust)…which can be dangerous! haha 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I remember this kind of feeling when going to Le Mont-Saint-Michel in France. This was pretty amazing, as you could only go there when the tide wasn’t high. It was completely surrounded by water so you had to wait before going there! Might have to go there again sometime and take pictures ;). Bavaria also has some nice places. I might write a blog article about Castle Neuschwanstein that is connected to the game Gabriel Knight 2 ;).
        Looking forward to that pie recipe and more castle sightseeing tours. Have to check out the rest of your tour as well :).

        Like

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