Conwy Castle and Town
Conwy, the Great Walled Town with Well-Preserved Medieval Castle
Conwy Castle and Town
Conwy Castle and Town are a legacy of the relationship between the Welsh and the English. The short story is that the Welsh Princes resisted English control, English monarchs desired that the Welsh Princess "bend the knee" to use a Game of Thrones term. A standard practice for a King to expect fealty from a Prince. Failure to comply with this tradition led to war.
The Welsh knew their mountainous terrain and were determined to resist English dominance. Conquering Wales required a formidable leader with battle experience; they got that in the form of King Edward I. Winning a war is one thing, but maintaining control was another.
To protect his investment in money and men construction began on several giant strongholds, each with access to the sea or securing mountain passes to England. A necklace of stone around the neck of the courageous Welsh. These Castles are of great historical significance and have UNESCO World Heritage Status. If you love Castles, you will love touring Wales with a knowledgeable tour Driver Guide; there are so many, around six-hundred. See our Classic Tour of Wales.
The Welsh culture
The Welsh are formidable sportspeople; the Welsh Rugby team is legendary, and remember the population is just 3.5 million. We like to encourage people to experience a Male Welsh choir in concert; it is spine-tingling and world-class. The Welsh language is beautiful to hear; we always want to teach our visitors a few words. Of course, Welsh lamb is the best in the world. Let us indulge in the Welsh culture in Conwy Town.
The Town Walls
The Castle and Town walls are part the same defences built by King Edward I in the 13th Century. The vast walls are 1.3km long, have twenty-one round towers and three gates. Taking a walk along the walls is an ideal way to see the settlement and appreciate the protective capabilities of the structure. Our guide will lead the way and tell the tale of the town.
The Jewel in the necklace of stone is the Castle. This once white-washed Castle would have shone majestically in the sunlight for miles around. Imagine the colourful banners draped over the walls. Your guide will explain the architectural and defensive details, walking through the site you realise the building grows from the rocks. Access to the town in the past was via a single well-defended drawbridge.
VIP access to the Castle is via the sea, King Edward built a separate 'Royal' section to structure, almost like a giant panic room with fast access to the sea, useful in turbulent times. Your guide will show you around the great hall, the prison tower, the King's chamber and private chapel, and if you are energetic, you can climb a turret.
The other UNESCO castles
Conwy Castle and Town were all part of a massive complex of forts, encircling coastal and mountainous Gwynedd. Beaumaris Castle is known as the prettiest, Caernarfon Castle is politically the most important, and Harlech is in the most dramatic position. You can visit them all on a Private Tour of Wales.
Art, bridges and the first travellers
It wasn't easy to reach Conwy in the past unless you had a boat, or better still a navy - the Alternative involved a trek through Snowdonia Mountain range. Tourism first developed when artists, such as JWM Turner (1775-1851) painted these partially ruined castles with seductive light. These romantic works of art encouraged people to visit, much like film-locations do today. The great engineer Thomas Telford built one of the first-ever suspension bridges (1826) linking Conwy to the other side of the Conwy estuary, access to the town becomes easier. Another great Engineer, Robert Stephenson added a Railway bridge (1848) and now there is a third bridge, giving cars access to the walled town.
Historical houses and shops
There are several great little pubs, Welsh deli's, ice cream parlours and harbour. Traditional Welsh Love spoons are available along with traditional woollen products. Other historical places of interest include; Aberconwy house, a 14th Century merchants house and the extraordinary Plas Mawr, a virtually unchanged family home dating from the Elizabethan period. We highly recommend to include on your itinerary. Lastly, the tiny house on the quay is a curiosity, could it be the smallest house in Britain at just 10ft by 8ft and lived in until 1900.
Touring and accommodation
Conwy Castle and Town is a delightful small town, and we suggest staying overnight as much as we can. Conwy is an ideal base to tour Snowdonia National Park, Bodnant Gardens and partake in adventure activities in the area. Please take a look at our suggested Private Tour of Wales page; Our tour designers can customise an itinerary to match your requirements.
Bodysgallen Hotel and Spa is a traditional manor house style hotel outside of Conwy. It is owned by the National Trust who take care of historic buildings all over the country. The gardens at Bodysgallen are of particular note. The Erskine Arms within the town walls is a high-end gastropub with rooms. Staying within the town allows you to meet the locals and sample local ales at the pub.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Expert DRIVER GUIDED Tour
- Conserved Medieval Walls
- Ideal base for Touring Snowdonia
- VIP Tours Available
Harbour and Castle
Turret Staircases of Conwy Castle
Conwy Castle at Night
Conwy Town from Town Walls