Caerphilly Castle

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Castle Street, Caerphilly, United Kingdom

Caerphilly Castle Reviews

Vikram Vikram
248 reviews
A huge tourist attraction on paper, but I don't know that I'm its biggest fan! Sep 06, 2015
Funnily, as much as the tourist books talk about visiting Caerphilly Castle when in Cardiff, not many really tout the fact that by area, this is Britain's 2nd largest Castle (the first being Windsor Castle). From a historical and architectural point of view, this Castle set the trend for concentric castle defences, something that would pay off in years to come, and well, why this Castle is still standing. The Castle is also famous for its rather tall gatehouses.

The Castle is by far the only reason for one to visit Caerphilly, a twenty minute train ride from Cardiff Central. And from the train station, it's extremely easy to find your way to the Castle. It looks fairytale - nested in the heart of a huge moat, which in turn is bordered by neatly manicured lawn, the very entrance is a place you'd stop and take lots of photos.

The main entrance to the Castle though is a bridge across the moat that takes you straight to the ticket office. I paid about 6 quid if memory serves me right, and was provided a visitor guide. From here on, thanks to the lack of signage, visitors can wander wherever they wish to. Wherein, for my first problem - I wanted to wander around the Castle and take in views of the moat, and turns out that this was public area anyway, and didn't need a ticket. I kind of felt foolish at this point. So turns out the ticket covers the interiors - the Castle building, the apartments, Hall and the inner gatehouse.

There's a whole lot of history on the Wiki page and so I wont bother regurgitating the historical facts, but the reason I came out of this castle a bit unimpressed is because inside, the tourist "path" seemed like a bit of a mess. All rooms and doors at different levels led to different corridors and other rooms and staircases. I felt like I was hiking for no apparent reason. And, despite my amazement at the historical significance of this Castle (see first paragraph) and the concentric structure, you just can't "see" it and admire it when you're on the ground level. I'd have probably rated this higher if there were a dream helicopter tour (see Wikipedia aerial picture) from where I could see the entire architecture.

I think my biggest "curse" has been the blessing of visiting the UK so many times, in that, Castles these days really have to impress me to get 5 stars. This, despite all its stellar history was a bit meh to me, the casual Nikon DSLR toting tourist!
The front façade of the Castle in…
The main pathway which leads to th…
Another shot of the entrance
View of the Castle and the moat
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Zagnut66 says:
Some places look better from a distance.
Posted on: Nov 09, 2015
joseph98 says:
Hmm...yes, I'm also curious over the three star rating...look forward to reading the rest of the review!
Posted on: Nov 07, 2015
Cho says:
I love to explore old castles and wish I could visit this one, perhaps one day...look forward to reading more of this magnificent medieval castle.
Posted on: Nov 07, 2015
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HelenP HelenP
50 reviews
Caerphilly Castle Aug 29, 2012
Situated approximately 10 KM (6 Miles) north of Cardiff, Caerphilly Castle is one of the great medieval castles of western Europe. Not only impressive in size; the largest castle in Wales, but its design is also, as it uses large-scale water for defence and is the first truly concentric castle in Britain. At the time of its building in the late 13th centuary, it was a revolutionary masterpiece of military planning

The castle was built between 1268–1271 for Gilbert de Clare, one of Henry III's most powerful and ambitious barons. Its purpose was to secure the area and prevent lowland south Wales from falling into the hands of the Welsh leader Llywelyn the Last, who controlled most of mid and north Wales.

The castle was principally used as a base of operations for the de Clares and later the Despensers. Towards the end of the 14th century, the family moved to a more comfortable location and much of the castle was abandoned as a major fortress.

The castle gradually fell into disrepair and this continued until the late 18th century when the first Marquess of Bute began preservation work.

The 3rd Marquis was instumental during the 1930's in restoring the castle to its present state; not without criticism at the time.

In 1950, the 5th Marquess of Bute presented Caerphilly Castle to the British government.

The castle is now a pleasent tourist attraction offering a rare opportunity to walk around an almost totally restored medieval castle.

The castle is also licensed to perform wedding ceremonies - the Great Hall providing facilities for 100 guests.
Caerphilly Castle. Poster Image.
Caerphilly Castle. Pre-restoration…
Caerphilly Castle Today
Caerphilly Castle
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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halilee says:
Congrats on the feature! :D
Posted on: Aug 31, 2012
ilserita says:
Hi Helen! How nice to see you at the front page today!! Many Congrats!! Very beautiful pics and the castle looks really nice and interesting! I think I have to put it on my list of places that I'll visit! :)Have a wonderful weekend!
Posted on: Aug 31, 2012
monky says:
Congrats on your featured review Helen!:)
Posted on: Aug 31, 2012

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