Things to Do in Wales
Conwy Castle sits against the backdrop of the rugged Snowdonia landscape just outside the town of Llandudno, Wales. It was built in the late 13th century by King Edward I as one of the key fortresses in his iron ring of castles intended to contain the Welsh. The castle has a straight forward design with high curtain walls and eight imposing round towers. These towers give visitors a stunning view across the estuary of the River Conwy. Though the roof of the castle is no longer there, much of the interior remains intact. Visitors can still admire the 130-foot Great Hall and the King's Apartments.
The Conwy city walls are still standing as well. The walls are three quarters of a mile long and completely enclose the old town. The walls include 21 towers and three gates and are among the finest in Europe. Most of the wall is open to the public, allowing visitors to walk along it and get a sense of history while viewing the town and the castle.
Presiding over the city center and surrounded by the idyllic Bute Park, Cardiff Castle is one of the capital’s most visited tourist attractions. Spanning an incredible 2,000 years of the city’s illustrious history, the castle has been variously, a Roman Garrison, a Norman Stronghold, a Second World War hideout and, most recently, the fairytale medieval home of the Marquess of Bute.
With a breathtaking panorama from the castle’s iconic Clock tower, it’s worth a look for the views alone, but a visit to the castle offers much more than just a photo opportunity. Guided tours whisk visitors around the battlements, the Norman Keep and the castle’s Victorian era apartments. Inside, the opulent furnishings bring to life the work of architect William Burges whose 1866 refurbishments feature dramatic murals, intricate stained glass fittings and tasteful gilding.
Reigning over the Menai Strait on the northwestern coast of Wales, the regal grandeur of Caernarfon Castle is so impressive that the fortress was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status back in 1985. Characterized by its unique polygonal towers, color-blocked stone work and crenellated ramparts, few castles are as imposing, but its mighty size hasn’t stopped it from being captured several times throughout history. Built for King Edward I in 1283, the castle was intended as a display of English wealth and power over Wales and was allegedly modeled on the 5th century walls of Constantinople. Famously the birthplace of the first English Prince of Wales in 1284, the castle has retained its royal connections, employed in 1969 for the investiture of the current Prince of Wales, Charles.
Llandudno is the largest seaside resort town in Wales. The town continues to embrace its Victorian and Edwardian elegance along with its modern day characteristics. There are two beaches, the North Shore and the West Shore, where you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and other water activities. The Victorian Llandudno Pier, with its gorgeous sea views, is lined with retro stores, arcades, Punch and Judy stalls, shops selling traditional Welsh gifts, and ice cream shops.
The Great Orme, an impressive coastal landmark with nature reserve status, sits more than 650 feet above the sea. You can reach the summit on foot or by using the tramway. Visitors can also explore Conwy Castle, which was built for King Edward I at the end of the 13th century and is full of medieval history. If you're interested in more history, the Llandudno Museum delves into the heritage of the town and its evolution from an industrial town to a popular beach resort.
Built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup Final and celebrate the upcoming millennium, the Cardiff Millennium Stadium is now the city’s largest venue and the National Stadium of Wales. Designed by Rod Sheard, the grand stadium seats up to 74,500 and features a fully retractable roof.
Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium is home to the Wales national rugby union team and the Wales national football team, as well as having hosted a number of important sporting events over the years, including the World Rally Championship, the Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain and the 2012 Summer Olympics football events. Boxing, motor sports, cricket and equestrian sports have all been played within the stadium at some point, but the arena is most known as a music venue, with acts like Bon Jovi, U2, Eric Clapton, Rihanna, Madonna and The Rolling Stones all hosting concerts within its walls.
More Things to Do in Wales
Standing proud in the heart of the city since Cardiff was granted its city status back in 1906, the City Hall remains the focal point of the city’s celebrated civic center – encircled in landscaped gardens, tree-lined alcoves and striking architectural landmarks.
The arresting Edwardian building blends English and French Renaissance styles, with its magnificent façade characterized by its domed atrium, striking clock tower and dramatic water feature. It’s the 194-foot high clock tower with it’s four-face gilded dials and the HC Fear statue of a Welsh dragon perched atop the dome, that have become most iconic to its design, taking prominent place on the city skyline.
Alongside hosting prestigious national and international events, the City hall makes a popular wedding and celebration venue, with its exquisite interiors carved from Portland Stone and embellished with bronze chandeliers.
- Things to do in Cardiff
- Things to do in Swansea
- Things to do in Bangor
- Things to do in Wrexham
- Things to do in Caernarfon
- Things to do in Llandudno
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