The Ultimate Guide to Castles in South Wales

The Ultimate Guide to Castles in South Wales Discover the Best Historic Fortresses in the 130790330

Updated On: April 20, 2024 by   Maha YassinMaha Yassin

How many castles are too many castles in a single region? We don’t know, and neither does Wales! Castles in South Wales are a dime a dozen. It’s like everywhere you go, there is a magical castle just there waiting for you to explore it! As a first-time visitor to Wales, it can get a little overwhelming, but we’re here to help!

Having thoroughly explored South Wales’ nooks and crannies and delved into its rich tapestry of history, we’ve crafted this guide; your trusty compass directs you towards the region’s most splendid historic fortresses. So why not join us on this enchanting journey through time and stone, where each castle whispers a tale as grand as its architecture?

Key Takeaways

  • Cardiff Castle is a historic fortress in South Wales with over 2,000 years of history, including Roman and Norman influence.
  •  Caerphilly Castle is the largest castle in Wales and offers a grand experience with its medieval architecture and surrounding moat.
  •  Castell Coch is a stunning Gothic Victorian castle known for its vibrant red exterior, lavish interiors, and breathtaking countryside views.
  •  Llancaiach Fawr takes visitors back to the 17th century with its well-preserved Tudor manor house and authentic furnishings.
  •  Cyfarthfa Castle showcases Wales’ industrial past, as it was once home to prominent ironmasters during the Industrial Revolution. Its impressive Gothic architecture and beautiful parkland make it worth visiting for history buffs and nature lovers alike.
  •  White Castle is renowned for its medieval architecture and picturesque countryside views. It offers an immersive experience of Welsh heritage while providing tranquillity in nature’s embrace.

Top 10 Must-Visit Castles in South Wales

So you fancy yourself a bit of a royal enthusiast, do you? Well then, my dear friend, have I got a treat for you! Stroll through history and visit the top 10 must-visit castles in South Wales. These castles, from the majestic Cardiff Castle to the fairytale-like Castell Coch, are practically begging to be explored.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle sits right in the heart of the city. It is not just any castle. Its walls tell tales of over 2,000 years! Romans built it first; then Normans made it their home. Later on, a wealthy family turned it into a fancy Victorian mansion.

Today, you can walk its halls and feel its history. You can stroll along the old Roman walls or roam through lush parklands around the site. Cardiff Castle is the one place in South Wales all travellers should visit!

Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle is one of the best castles in Wales, and it’s a must-visit for history buffs. This castle is unique because it’s the largest in the country! When you visit, you’ll be amazed by its grandeur and medieval architecture.

Caerphilly Castle is surrounded by a moat, which adds to its charm. It’s a great place to explore if you’re into history and want to learn more about medieval times. The castle also hosts events throughout the year, so something interesting might happen when you visit!

Castell Coch

Castell Coch is a stunning castle located in South Wales. This Gothic Victorian castle stands out with its vibrant red exterior and fairytale-like appearance.

Explore the lavish interiors and learn about the castle’s fascinating history. Castell Coch offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, making it an ideal spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts to visit.

Raglan Castle

Raglan Castle is a magnificent medieval fortress located in South Wales. It is known for its impressive architecture and rich history. As a traveller, you can explore the castle’s grand halls and towers, imagining life during medieval times.

You will appreciate the stunning views from the castle’s battlements and gardens, perfect for picnics and relaxation. Anyone will be captivated by the castle’s elegant design and beautiful surroundings!

You can also explore nearby traditional Welsh cuisine restaurants if you get hungry.

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle is a stunning fortress on the River Wye banks in South Wales. It is one of Britain’s oldest surviving stone castles, dating back to the 11th century.

As you explore this historic site, you’ll be awe-struck by its massive towers and thick stone walls. The castle offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the river below. History enthusiasts will be fascinated by its rich past, which includes stories of battles and sieges.

Llancaiach Fawr

Llancaiach Fawr is a hidden gem among the castles of South Wales. This well-preserved Tudor manor house takes you back to the 17th century. As you explore its rooms, you can learn about the daily lives of the people who lived there centuries ago.

You will be fascinated by the authentic furnishings and historical artefacts on display. The beautiful gardens surrounding Llancaiach Fawr provide a peaceful escape from modern life.

St. Donat’s Castle

St. Donat’s Castle is a magnificent and historic fortress on the stunning South Wales coastline. It offers a unique and enchanting experience for visitors, with its rich history and picturesque surroundings. This castle dates back to the 12th century and has been beautifully preserved. As you explore this impressive structure, you can imagine what life was like in medieval times.

The castle also hosts various events, making it an ideal destination for cultural activities such as concerts, art exhibitions, and theatre performances. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the coast while immersing themselves in the fascinating history of St. Donat.

Cyfarthfa Castle

Cyfarthfa Castle, located in Merthyr Tydfil, is a must-visit for anyone visiting South Wales. This 19th-century castle was once the grand residence of the Crawshay family, prominent ironmasters during the Industrial Revolution.

With its stunning Gothic architecture and beautiful surrounding parkland, Cyfarthfa Castle offers a fascinating glimpse into Wales’ industrial past. Explore the museum inside to learn about the region’s rich heritage and view impressive displays of local industry and art collections.

White Castle

White Castle is a historic fortress located in South Wales. It is one of the 23 most beautiful castles in the region, known for its medieval architecture and stunning countryside views.

Exploring White Castle can be an exciting adventure for a solo traveller or backpacker. You can wander through the ancient ruins, imagining what life was like centuries ago. For history buffs, White Castle offers insight into Welsh heritage and the country’s medieval past.

The peaceful surroundings and picturesque landscapes surrounding this castle are also worth visiting and maybe taking some pictures.

Grosmont Castle

Grosmont Castle is a historic South Wales fortress known for its impressive medieval architecture. As you explore this castle, you’ll be transported back to the medieval period and get a glimpse of what life was like.

The castle is a testament to the region’s rich history and offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in Wales’ cultural heritage.

If you’re a history lover or simply someone who appreciates ancient structures, Grosmont Castle is worth a visit. You can wander through its imposing walls and towers, imagining knights and noble figures walking these grounds centuries ago.

Hidden Gems: 9 Lesser-Known Castles in South Wales

Discover the hidden gems of South Wales with these 15 lesser-known castles waiting to be explored and admired.

Abergavenny Museum and Castle

Abergavenny Museum and Castle is a fascinating historic site located in South Wales. The castle dates back to the 11th century and offers visitors a glimpse into medieval life. It has beautiful gardens and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

You can explore exhibits in the museum showcasing Abergavenny’s history and people. There are also art exhibitions featuring the work of local artists. Abergavenny Museum and Castle is worth a visit when exploring castles in South Wales.

Pennard Castle

Pennard Castle is an interesting castle located in South Wales. It is a hidden gem few people know about, making it perfect for those who want to explore off the beaten path.

The castle sits on a hilltop overlooking stunning views of the coast and countryside. As a history buff, I was fascinated by the medieval architecture and the stories behind this fortress.

Oystermouth Castle

Oystermouth Castle is a hidden gem nestled on the coast of South Wales. This medieval fortress offers a captivating glimpse into the region’s history. As we explored its ruins, we couldn’t help but be amazed by its stunning location and panoramic views of Swansea Bay.

The castle has witnessed centuries of battles and sieges and is now a testament to Wales’ rich heritage. History buffs will appreciate the well-preserved walls and towers, while nature lovers can enjoy wandering around the woodland.

Carew Castle

Carew Castle is a historic fortress located in South Wales. It’s a fascinating site for history buffs and nature lovers alike. The castle dates back over 2,000 years and has played an essential role throughout Welsh history.

Visitors can explore the impressive medieval architecture, walk along the castle walls, and learn about the castle’s rich past through informative displays and exhibits. Don’t forget to stroll around the beautiful Carew Tidal Mill nearby, where you can marvel at its unique engineering design that harnesses tidal power for milling grain.

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a must-visit castle in South Wales. It is located in the historic town of Pembroke, surrounded by beautiful countryside and close to stunning beaches. This medieval fortress has a history of over 900 years and offers visitors a chance to step back in time.

As you explore the castle walls, towers, and keep, you can imagine what life was like for knights and nobles during the Middle Ages. The castle also offers guided tours that provide fascinating insights into its past. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb to the top of one of the towers for panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Llawhaden Castle

Llawhaden Castle is a hidden gem in South Wales that captivates history buffs and nature lovers. This medieval fortress, nestled in the countryside, offers a glimpse into Wales’ rich heritage.

As you explore its impressive ruins, you can imagine the castle’s past glory and envision the stories of knights and royalty who once walked its halls. Surrounded by lush green fields and commanding views, Llawhaden Castle provides a peaceful retreat for those seeking solace in nature.

Kidwelly Castle

Kidwelly Castle is a stunning medieval fortress located in South Wales. As we explored its towering walls and ancient ruins, we couldn’t help but be amazed by the history surrounding us.

This castle was built around the 12th century and has stood the test of time, witnessing countless battles and sieges. It’s known for its impressive gatehouse, complete with drawbridges and murder holes to defend against invaders. Visitors can wander through the great hall, climb up spiral staircases to reach lookout points, and even explore underground passages.

Oxwich Castle

Oxwich Castle is a hidden gem nestled on the stunning coastline of South Wales. As a history buff, exploring this medieval fortress was an absolute delight. The castle’s ruins provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

As I wandered through its remains, I couldn’t help but imagine what life must have been like during its heyday. With its rich history and picturesque location, Oxwich Castle is a must-visit for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Welsh heritage.

Laugharne Castle

Laugharne Castle is a hidden gem located in South Wales. This historic fortress offers a unique glimpse into the past and is a must-visit for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

With its stunning coastal setting and medieval ruins, Laugharne Castle provides a picturesque backdrop for exploration. As you wander through the castle grounds, you’ll discover fascinating stories of its rich history, including its connections to the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Whether you are interested in architecture or literature or simply enjoying breathtaking views, Laugharne Castle should be on your itinerary when visiting South Wales.

Discover the best historic fortresses in South Wales with our ultimate guide to castles in the region. From majestic Cardiff Castle to the lesser-known hidden gems, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff or simply love exploring stunning architectural landmarks, South Wales is a must-visit destination. So grab your map and get ready for an unforgettable castle-hopping adventure!


How many castles are there in South Wales?

Some people call Wales the “Castles Capital of the World” because of how many castles there are over there! Wales has around 600 castles, with 100 castles still standing! You can visit almost all of them as a tourist.

What is the most historic castle in Wales?

The most historic castle in Wales is located in the North of Wales and is called Conwy Castle. Conwy Castle was built between 1283 and 1287 and is a World Heritage Site.

How many castles are in Cardiff?

There are 21 castles and palaces around Cardiff. All of them are open for visitors, and you can walk around and bask in the rich history within their walls and rooms.

Are castles free in Wales?

All 400 castles in Wales are open for visitors. Some cost a small fee to enter, while others are free. You should check beforehand because even though tickets are usually available on-site, it will be easier to buy them online if possible to avoid lines.

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