Conwy Castle is one of several castles in North Wales built by Edward I in the 13th century. The castles in this group are known as the “ring of fire” and their purpose was to contain the rebellious locals within an area that was easy to control.
It is easy to imagine the bloody and violent past of this castle when it first comes into view as it dominates the landscape for miles around. The importance of the architecture of the castle has been recognised by its inclusion in the list of world heritage sites.
All of the eight huge round towers are well preserved, as are the connecting walls between them. The climb to top of the towers, via spiral staircases, offers views over the surrounding countryside and the mountains of Snowdonia. Young children will need careful supervision as many of the stairs are very steep and can be slippery in places.
From this vantage point it is also possible to see the extent of the fortified town walls of Conwy town. Built at the same time as the castle, and integrated with the castle walls, they stretch for more than three quarters of a mile, (approximately 1.25 km). Although some parts of the wall have disappeared it is still possible to walk along the remainder which includes 21 towers and three gateways.
There is easy wheelchair access to the castle entrance, gift shop and the exhibition areas. The grounds have different levels with steps for access. One of the towers houses an exhibition and there are plenty of information boards dotted around which provide interesting facts about the buildings.
The castle has no food or drink facilities but there is no shortage of places to eat in the town. There is a small gift shop and public toilets are adjacent to the shop.
As well as visiting the castle there are some interesting things to see in Conwy village. These include the smallest house in Britain, a museum dedicated to teapots, and Aberconwy House, a well preserved merchant's house dating from the 14th century. The Conwy Suspension Bridge, built by Thomas Telford in 1826, is also nearby.
Conwy is easily reached by rail and the railway station is next to the castle. For those travelling by road there is a pay-and-display car park next to the castle which is free for disabled badge holders.
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