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Holidays in Caernarfon

A royal town dominated by a spectacular castle

UK | Wales | North Wales | Caernarfon
Caernarfon Castle

Without a doubt the most famous thing about this town is its magnificent castle, sitting majestically at the mouth of the Afon Seiont river. Built by Edward I as a military stronghold around the end of the 13th century, it was also a royal palace and a place for the government to meet. The first English Prince of Wales was born in the castle in 1284 and the current Prince of Wales made the castle famous once again when his Investiture took place there in 1969.

You will get a feeling that the castle dominates everything you see as you walk around the narrow streets of the medieval walled town, with its eight towers and two twin-towered gateways – they form a circle of just under 750 metres around the old town, built around the same time as the castle.

Caernarfon

Both Caernarfon Castle and walls are now a World Heritage Site, though only part of the walls are open to the public. The towers host various exhibitions throughout the year and the impressive regimental museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers is based there. Slightly outside of the town you will also be able to visit the Church of St Peblig, dating from the 14th century and adjacent to Segontium, the Roman fort.

There are many cafes, pubs and restaurants in and around Caernarfon, from the elegant to the traditional. Try scrumptious fish and chips at Ainsworth’s, some Tuscan cuisine at Osteria or for more traditional Welsh fare, try Y Gegin Fach, a traditional little Caffi, though you might have to brush up on your Welsh to chat to the locals!

Pop along to the enterprise centre of Galeri, which is a cultural space open to the public, with a concert hall, cinema and gallery among other creative spaces. Also look out for the ever-changing exhibitions at Oriel Pendeitsh opposite the castle.

Take a walk through the magical Gypsy Wood Park, a wonderful space for children with train rides, a model railway and park area. Little fairy villages and a fairy princess will tempt little ones while picnic areas are dotted throughout the park for the whole family.

Situated in the middle of Snowdonia National Park, there are so many things to do - walking, climbing and horse riding as well as lots of other activities. You can hop aboard the Welsh Highland Railway which runs to Porthmadog, visit the Beacon Climbing Centre or hire a steed at Snowdonia Riding Centre where you can experience wonderful full-day treks in the foothills of the mountains.

“The impressive castle was the site of the Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969…”

Not far away is the remote island of Anglesey where you can take a fun boat ride along the Menai Strait to Beaumaris Castle or Puffin Island, and you can easily reach the coast and visit popular coastal destinations such as Colwyn Bay, Rhyl or Llandudno by car too.

Take a look at our full collection of Caernarfon cottages for even more holiday inspiration.

While you’re there

Anglesey

This remote isle is lovely for walking with spectacular views across the Irish Sea.

Caernarfon Castle

Without a doubt, one of the most impressive military structures in the country.

Gypsy Wood Park

A magical day out for all the family with lots to do including a model railway and fairy gardens.

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