The mountains and castles of Wales

Llanberis Travel Blog

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Caernarfon Castle
The weather looked poor in Llanberis, so we headed out for the coast and ended up having a glorious day with perfect weather.

Our first stop was Caernarfon Castle. The castle was constructed by King Edward I of England, after his invasion of Gwynedd in 1283. It was modelled on the walls of Constantinople and cost £22,000 (a staggering amount at the time, more than the royal income for a year), forming one of the strongest castles in Europe in an effort to hold on to his gains in Wales. Without the series of castles we saw at Caernarfon, Conwy and Dolbadern it is unlikely that Edward the First could have conquored Wales at all.
Conwy Castle
One of the pleasant surprises of Caernarfon (apart from the perfect weather and beautiful stonework) was seeing Welsh as a living vibrant language. I had half expected Welsh to be limited to old men mumbling to each other in smoky bars, but instead bilingual signs were not just on official government signage, but also on private businesses. As a sign of how alive and well the language is we saw a well dressed young woman abuse her five year old daughter in Welsh - obviously not something you do in a second language.

Following Caernarfon we drove to Conwy, to see the city walls and castle also built by King Edward (between 1283 and 1289). We also saw in Conwy the smallest house in Great Britain. It was condemned for human habitation in 1900, then the owner then went around Great Britain with a ruler measuring small houses to prove that his was the smallest.

On the drive back to Llanberis we passed through Llanrwst, with its beautiful stone bridge, and Betws-y-Coed. St Michael's Church at Betws-y-Coed is closed down now but shows a rich heritage of tombstones (with an interesting transition from Welsh to English on family tombs). We stopped at Swallow Falls, where they charged us one pound to see the waterfall and we got scared out of the toffee shop by a Grandmother promising to beat her child when they got home, then climbed over the ruins of Dolbadern Castle back in Llanberis.

It was really a beautiful day spent in the mountains and castles of Wales.
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Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Conwy Castle
Conwy Castle
Llanrwst
Llanrwst
Dolbadern Castle
Dolbadern Castle
St Michaels Church, Betws-y-Coed.
St Michael's Church, Betws-y-Coed.
Swallow Falls, Snowdonia National …
Swallow Falls, Snowdonia National…
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon
Caernarfon
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon
Caernarfon
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon
Caernarfon
The smallest house in Great Britai…
The smallest house in Great Brita…
Llanrwst
Llanrwst
Llanrwst
Llanrwst
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park
Dolbadern Castle
Dolbadern Castle
Dolbadern Castle
Dolbadern Castle
Dolbadern Castle
Dolbadern Castle
Llanberis Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
One of the best meals of my life
We had one of the most amazing meals of my life at the Peak Restaurant in Llanberis. The chef, Angela Dwyer, calls herself trained in the "traditional… read entire review
Llanberis Hostels review
Pricey for a YHA, but in beautiful surroundings
We stayed at the YHA Llanberis for two nights. It was more expensive than I would like for a YHA, ~£20 a bed (the private rooms are a good deal, you … read entire review
Llanberis
photo by: pyrrho