Dolwyddelan Castle



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This sturdy three-storey tower appears as almost insignificant among the sweeping hills of the Welsh countryside. Its precise origins are obscured by time, but the Princes of Wales built the castle to guard the ancient pathway that ran from Meirionnydd to the Vale of Conwy. It’s said that one of Wales’ most famous princes, Llywelyn the Great, was born here around 1173. Edward I’s forces attacked Dolwyddelan Castle in 1283 during his Welsh campaign, and seeing its great strategic value, the King had it refortified and manned by English soldiers. The castle itself was originally a rectangular tower of two storeys but was later given an extra floor and a battlemented roof line. Later still, thick walls were added to form an enclosure with another rectangular tower, all protected by ditches cut into the rock. Although the Welsh were responsible for building the castle, the style was borrowed heavily from the Norman style. There was a first-floor entrance, protected by a drawbridge. Now cared for by Cadw. Photo credit: © Crown copyright (2015) Cadw

Dolwyddelan Castle


  • Parking onsite
Opening times
  • Open all year
  • Opening Times: Open all year Apr-Sep, Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 11.30-4; Oct-Mar, Mon-Sat 10-4, Sun 11.30-4 (last admission 30mins before close). Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan

About the area

Discover Conwy

The majority of the population of Conwy lives along its picturesque coastline, while a third of the county falls within jaw-dropping landscape of the Snowdonia National Park. The town of Conwy, which takes its name from the county (which in turn was named after the river that runs through it), is undoubtedly one of the great treasures of Wales.

Three fine bridges – Thomas Telford’s magnificent suspension bridge of 1822, Robert Stephenson’s tubular railway bridge, and a newer crossing – all stretch over the estuary beneath the castle, allowing both road and the railway into this medieval World Heritage Site. Pride of place goes to the castle, dating back to 1287.

Conwy is the most complete walled town in Britain, with walls measuring an impressive six feet in thickness and 35 feet in height. The walkway along the top offers splendid over-the-rooftop views of the castle, the estuary and the rocky knolls of nearby village of Deganwy. At the wall’s end, steps descend to the quayside where fishermen sort their nets and squawking seagulls steal scraps.

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