5 castles you have to check out in Wales, Great Britain

UNITED KINGDOM - 2005/01/01: Uk, Wales, Pembroke Castle, View From Across River. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - 2005/01/01: Uk, Wales, Pembroke Castle, View From Across River. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

As a general rule, Wales tends to get overlooked by some tourists. They tend to gravitate towards England, Scotland, and Ireland for some exceedingly obvious reasons. But Wales also has a lot to offer visitors from around the world.

A big draw in Wales is all of the castles. Reputedly, it has the most castles out of any country in Europe. And each one of them has its own unique charm and history. This is a huge reason to travel to this fantastic country.

Powis Castle in central Wales

Powis Castle, Wales
Powys Castle, Welshpool’, circa 1896. From Pictorial England and Wales. [Cassell and Company, Limited, London, Paris & Melbourne, circa 1896]. Artist Hudson. (Photo by The Print Collector/Getty Images) /

When planning a tour of castles in Wales, number one on the list

absolutely has to be Powis Castle

. Constructed in the 1200s, it was built for a Welsh prince by the name of Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn. It is a stunning structure, to say the least.

The distinctive terraced gardens stand out from other castles in the region. On top of that, the interiors are reputedly sublime and are reflective of the different eras Powis has existed through. But the luxurious feeling remains the same.

Caernarfon Castle in northwest Wales

Caernarfon Castle, Wales
UNITED KINGDOM – 2005/01/01: Uk, Wales, Caernarfon Castle. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

More than a castle, this is an outright fortress. Still, it is referred to as Caernarfon Castle, and it’s hard to put its magnificence into words. It actually started out as a very different structure until King Edward I of England began the current building in the late 1200s.

Considered to be one of the greatest castles of the middle ages, this massive fortress needs to be seen to be believed. Roman architecture was a heavy influence on its design. Just the look of this place is worth the trip.

Pembroke Castle in western Wales

The first castle built on this site was established in 1083. It’s a good spot considering the location on the banks of the Pembroke River. After spending a number of decades as a wooden fort, it was eventually developed into a full stone castle.

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Pembroke Castle could not be more picturesque if it was surrounded by unicorns and dragons. Honestly, it feels like if you stopped by at the right time of day, you might see them. It has a certain magic to it that is worth experiencing in person.

Conwy Castle in northern Wales

Conwy Castle, Wales
A First North Western Class 175 runs beneath the battlements of historic Conwy castle on the North wales coast with a service from Holyhead to Crewe. September 2004. (Photo by Rail Photo/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images) /

Classified as a World Heritage Site, Conwy Castle is reputedly a prime example of military architecture from its era. Built in the late 1200s, it was part of creating the walled town of Conwy in Wales. Now, it’s a key stop for castle enthusiasts from Wales and beyond.

It’s located on the banks of the River Conwy at one end of the Conwy Suspension Bridge. The setting has to be taken in as a whole to be fully understood. Admittedly, it doesn’t hurt that you’re a hop, skip, and a jump away from Conwy Bay.

Raglan Castle in southeast Wales

Of all the castles on this list, this one might be the one built the most recently. But being a new castle in Wales is an incredibly relevant statement. Even though there have been structures on this site dating back to the 1100s, modern Raglan Castle began its development in the 1400s.

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This castle might be the embodiment of the word grand. Part fortress, part castle, and all regal residence, Raglan is a magnificent stop on your tour of Welsh castles. Some say it’s the greatest one ever built by a Welshman, a bold statement if there ever was one.