Castle Accommodation in Wales

A distinctive Celtic culture, Welsh language, mountainous national parks, and rugged coastline.  These are what come to mind when we think of Wales. While it is part of the United Kingdom, Wales takes pride in its own identity, culture, language, and history.

Wales is a small country in southwest Great Britain. It comprises six distinctive regions: the Welsh borderland, the industrial South Wales, the southwestern lowlands, the Cardigan coast, the North Wales lowlands, and the central heartland. It has more than 3 million inhabitants and its capital city is Cardiff, a refined coastal city with a vibrant nightlife scene and thriving culture.

This country was one of the prominent cultural and political centres of Celtic Europe. While it shares political and social history with Britain, Wales has retained its distinct identity. Many aspects of its culture, including its language, are different from the rest of the United Kingdom. In terms of terrain, Wales is largely mountainous and has a 2,700 km coastline.

The prehistoric origins of Wales can be traced back 29,000 years ago. Among the early inhabitants of Wales were Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from Central Europe. Many burial sites from the Neolithic period (4500 BCE) are still around to this day. 

The Roman conquest began in AD 48. Wales shared largely the same experience during the Roman era with the rest of Britain. The Roman occupation lasted for over 300 years. When the Romans left in the 5th century, Welsh national identity began to emerge, an identity distinct and separate from the rest of Britain. During this period, Wales was regarded as one of the central Celtic nations.

Several Welsh kingdoms were established by AD 500. These were the kingdoms of Dyfed, Gwent, Gwynedd, Morgannwg, Powys, and Seisyllwg, which were all independent Welsh states free from Anglo-Saxon rule. Then came the Norman Conquest, which culminated in the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, who was then the Prince of Wales, in 1282. 

After a brief period of independence, Wales was annexed to England. Through the enactment of Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, Wales was incorporated within the English legal system. During the Industrial Revolution, Wales grew into a rich industrial nation, with the development of metallurgical and mining industries. Distinct Welsh politics emerged in the 19th century. Such sentiment grew during the 20th century, with policy matters focused on the promotion of Welsh identity, culture, and language. 

 

Best Castles to Stay in Wales

For a small country, Wales surely has plenty of castles. There were more than 600 castles in Wales. While some of these are now in ruins, many are still continually being inhabited. These castles have been here for a thousand years. With some of these castles converted into hotels, tourists and locals can now stay in a Welsh castle hotel. 

A map of Welsh castles shows that there are more castles per square mile in Wales than in anywhere else in the world. Some of these castles were built by Welsh royal dynasties; while others were built during the Norman Conquest. However, today, only 100 of these castles remain standing. 

Hundreds of castles were built during the Norman Conquest, particularly during the time of King Edward. The most popular of these castles are the Harlech Castle, Conwy Castle, Caernarfon Castle, and Beaumaris Castle, which are collectively known as the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward. These castles are considered among the finest examples of military architecture in Europe during the 13th century and early 14th century.

The oldest surviving castle in Wales is Chepstow Castle. Located in Monmouthshire, Wales, this castle was built around the year 1067, making it the oldest post-Roman stone fortification not only in Wales but in all of Britain. Despite its age, the castle’s condition is mostly intact. The most popular castle, however, is Caernarfon Castle. Located in North West Wales, this castle is the most visited castle in the country. Other popular castles include Conwy Castle and Cardiff Castle.

With some castles converted into hotels, castle accommodation in Wales is now quite popular among visitors. The most popular castle hotel in Wales, which is also the grandest, is Chateau Rhianfa. It is considered one of the most extraordinary Victorian mansions in Britain. Other best castles to stay in Wales include Ruthin Castle and Castell Deudraeth.