Harlech Castle and Snowdonia Wales

Harlech Castle and Snowdonia Wales

We headed out early as we were planning to go up Snowdonia Mountain on a steam train.  So we drove to the base town, but when we arrived, the mist was thick. I was told not to bother if it is and to come back another day, so as we will return to Wales later, we will try that.   We then tried to go to the Power Plant but the cost was crazy, so we didn’t do that either! This day was not going as planned.  We drove on through the National Park and stopped by a lovely little bridge. We stopped again so Explorason could run through the mist.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Snowdonia #1
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Exploramum and Explorason – Snowdonia #2

We decided to find out where  Harlech Castle was. My Dad (Explorason’s Grandpa) had sent us a Facebook message we “must” go there.  So we headed off for what seemed to be forever.

Via an Italian village, and a town for a Toy store for some Lego, it was about 2:30p.m. when we finally arrived.

Harlech Castle seems to grow naturally from the rock on which it is perched and is easily seen when you first drive into the town. Once right on the sea, the waters have no receded to a distance as it gazes out across land and sea, keeping a watchful eye over the Snowdonia Ranges.

When you drive into the hilly town, you need to either find a park for the car in one of the streets, or head to the short stay park at the end of town and walk back.

When we arrive the lovely information man offers to make a special entry ticket for my son’s scrapbook.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Harlech Castle #1

We discover a little history. The English monarch Edward I built Harlech in the late 13th century to fulfil this very role. It was one of the most formidable of his ‘iron ring’ of fortresses designed to contain the Welsh and house prisoners, workers and the regal.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Harlech Castle #2 entrance

The view is magnificent. The quaint town below is on one side, and the sea on the other side.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Harlech Castle #2 view

There are many places to climb and towers to explore.  Most rooms around the courtyard are labelled, so it is interesting to imagine ice as it used to be.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Harlech Castle #5 to the castle wall

Way back in 1404 it was taken by Welsh leader Owain Glyn Dwr who then proceeded to hold a parliament here in Harlech. A long siege came about right here during the Wars of the Roses (inspired the stirring song ‘Men of Harlech’).

We climb to the top. No visit is complete without a walk on top the walls of the castle.

The view is just sensational!

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Exploramum and Explorason – Harlech Castle #6 – top view

I do get a little nervous as Explorason wants to take off a hide, and am quite firm there is ‘no running’ on the castle walls.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Harlech Castle #7 Walking along the wall

Now, he is not bowling. He is lifting a snore used in the slingshots and cannons.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Harlech Castle #8

I think we enjoyed the prison area the most. We talked about how cold, wet and lonely it would have been for both prisoner and the guard. There was a small tower where the guard was to keep watch and there was a drawbridge between the prison tower and main castle. We leave and try to find a quaint town to stay.  In the end we drive on to Llangollen at the Wild Pheasant Hotel and have a great stay.  

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Exploramum and Explorason – Railway Station

We really do love Wales.

For more information on Harlech Castle please read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlech_Castle

Opening Hours 2014 – 2015Last admission half an hour before closing.Normal Admissions:- 1st March to 30th June – 09.30 – 17.00 daily 1st July – 31st  August – 09.30 – 18.00 daily 1st September – 31st October – 09.30 – 17.00 daily 1st November to 28th February 10.00 – 16.00  Monday to Saturday – 11.00 – 16.00 Sunday 1st March – 31st March – 09.30 – 17.00  daily Closed 24th, 25th, 26th December, 1stJanuary. Contact and Admission InformationTelephone:- +44 1766 780552Admission Charge:- Adults £4.25, Reduced rate £3.20. Family Ticket:- £12.75 – admits 2 adults and up to 3 children under 16 years. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 5 free. No dogs allowed. Three or seven day explorer passes are available to give you free admission to the historic sites in the care of Cadw.

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