Southern Wales has a rich history of land being contested and holding on to power, which explains why we have over 30 castles that you can explore. Here are 3 day itineraries that will give your visitors unusual visits.
Day 1 – Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan
Ogmore Castle, Coity Castle and Newcastle were built by the Normans to protect the important river crossings and protect Glamorgan from the Welsh who controlled most of Wales. All are charming ruins and free to visit.
If you continue on around the Glamorgan Coastline you’ll reach St Donat’s Castle, a stunning medieval castle and home to UWC Atlantic Experience. You can book a private tour of the castle and grounds that were once home to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Afternoon teas can be booked.
Other small castles that can be explored include St Quentin’s Castle and Ystradowen.
Day 2 – Cardiff and The Valleys
Caerphilly Castle is Wales’ largest has a fascinating story to explore – including the leaning tower that out leans Pisa! Major developments are planned to enhance the visitor experience over the nest 2 years.
Meanwhile Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch are both magical buildings which were restored by the third Marquess of Bute and his architect William Burges. Castell Coch sits on the hills above Cardiff whilst Cardiff Castle dominates the centre of the city.
Also in Cardiff, St Fagan’s Castle sits at the centre of St Fagan’s National Museum of History – its often overlooked on a visit to this stunning attraction.
Another small castle is Llantrisant Castle, in the old town above the Royal Mint Experience.
Day 3 – Monmouthshire and Newport
The east of Wales was fought over for centuries, so there are many castles to explore.
Work started to build Chepstow Castle in 1067 by Earl William fitz Osbern, a close friend of William the Conqueror. It sits high above the River Wye, controlling this key access.
The defensive Three Castle of Gwent (White Castle, Grosmont Castle and Skenfrith Castle) where originally wooden structures later replaced with the strong structures that can be explored today (all a re free to visit). If you have an energetic group then you can link these 3 castles with a 19 mile walk!!
One of the most imposing castles has to be Raglan Castle which sits overlooking the Vale of Usk, and was more a castle/palace than a defensive structure.
Other castles include Abergavenny Castle, Newport Castle and Monmouth Castle.
For even more castles across Southern Wales check out the Castle Wales website.
There are plenty of lunch and refreshment stops either at the suggested places to visit or en route - contact Southern Wales Tourism for assistance in finding the right location for your group.