Castell Coch (illuminated at night)
Castell Coch (illuminated at night)


Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country on earth. There are over 600 of them. These imposing monuments left from the middle ages are a “must-see” for any visitor to the country. A recent survey of 10,000 overseas visitors to the UK by Visit Britain suggested that a tour of a Welsh castle was more popular than a visit to Harrods shopping, a Premier League football match, a whisky tour or a visit to Buckingham Palace.

South Wales Castles
Visitors to South Wales is blessed with some of the World’s greatest castles. Here are our top five:

Castell Carreg Cennen is perched on the edge of a 300 foot cliff and visitors are invited to explore the secret cave-dungeon where prisoners were once kept. This castle is without question one of the highlights of a visit to South Wales and is one of the most atmospheric castles in Europe.

Castell Llansteffan can lay claim to being the hidden gem of South Wales castles. Situated overlooking the sands of the Tywi Estuary on one side and the rolling green hills of Wales on the other, this lesser-known castle is one for the romantics.

Castell Coch is a gothic fantasy castle perched on a mountainous hillside north of Cardiff. Dream-like when it comes into view, this is South Wales’ fairy-tale castle.

Kidwelly Castle has eveything you would expect of a castle from the middle ages – it’s built atop a steep earth mound, it has tall towers, high walls and a large gatehouse to explore.  You can almost imagine being holed up inside and under siege.

Castell Caerphilly was built to defend against Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (‘Llywelyn The Last’), the last Prince of a united Wales before the conquest of Edward I. It is huge – the second largest castle in Britain (after Windsor) and one the largest fortresses in Europe. It’s water defences are spectacular, as are the re-built war machines that sit ready to attack this remarkeable structure. One of the towers leans over at a greater angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

For more information on the subject, take a look at our three favourite Welsh castle websites –
CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments  and the National Trust are officials guardians of many Welsh castles.
Castles of Wales  is a fantastic website run by castle enthusiast Jeff Thomas. The site has information and great photos of over 400 different Welsh castles including many of the lesser-known ruins.