Wales – Anglesey AbbeyThis isle in the north of Wales often referred is to as the famous isle of Mona is commonly known as the last Celtic stronghold before the invasion of the Roman Catholics. Faces the Menai Straight and affords breathtaking scenery.
Partly due to Edward the I’s effort to bring an end to the Welsh sovereignty forged in the 13th century by the Llywelyns, Wales boasts more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the World. Listed below are some of our favorites.
Wales – Beaumaris CastleThe last and largest castle to be built by Edward I in Wales. Impressive due to its size and symmetry. Invaders faced many obstacles including a moat, a curtain wall, an inner wall and several rounded guard towers.
Wales – Caernarfon CastleModeled after Constantinople, this castle remains unfinished. Impressively set on a peninsula near the Manai Straight, highlights include the castle’s Eagle Tower overlooking the sea and the history exhibit on the ground floor.
Tel: 01286 674 369
Wales – Caerphilly CastleA spectacular moated castle located 6 miles north of Cardiff. This remarkable castle covers more than 30 acres. A running exhibition in the outer gatehouse narrates the story of the castle and surrounding areas.
Wales – Cardiff CastleIn south Wales, construction of Cardiff Castle spaned several architectural periods. Highlights include a medieval clock tower and an array of Victorian modifications.
If you work up an appetite trekking through ancient ruins, check out the Celtic Cauldron across the way, which serves up a delectable array of Celtic fare. (www.celtic-cauldron.co.uk)
Wales – Conwy CastleDramatically perched on a cliff overlooking the sea and completed in 1287, Conwy’s most impressive features include eight guard towers.
Tel: 01492 592 358
A British built Roman fortress settlement; Caerleon is not to be missed. From 74 AD, Caerleon not only served as a military fortress but also a town complete with a stone ampitheater, which housed blood sports and gladiator combat. Caerleon is widely regarded as one of the most important military sites in Europe. Legend speculates that Caerleon was the site of King Arthur’s Camelot.
Wales – Tintern AbbeyOne of Wales’ most popular attractions, founded in 1131 by Cistercian monks, the magnificent Tintern Abbey and its setting amidst the forested Wye Valley has long been the inspiration of artists such as Wordsworth and Turner.
Closed: Dec 24 – 26 and Jan 1
Tel: 01291 689251
St. David’s Cathedral
Saint David, one of the founders of the Celtic Christian church and the patron saint of Wales, founded a monastery in southwest Wales around 550. It later became one of the most important Christian places of worship. Points of interest include the great hall, the cathedral which was such an important pilgramage destination that three visits here were seen to equal one to Jerusalem, and the nave which features a remarkable stained glass window and ornate oak ceiling.
Swansea and the Gower Penninsula
Birthplace of Wales’ famous son, Dylan Thomas, Swansea is Wales’ second city (after Cardiff) and is picturesquely set along an ample bay. The city maintains an authentic Welsh feeling – from the outdoor food market filled with traditional Welsh treats such as laverbread and locally caught cockles and the Maritime Quarter which houses several impressive musuems and galleries.