Conwy Castle, Wales

Built by King Edward I between 1283 and 1287, Conwy Castle is one of the most impressive castles to gaze upon–and adventure through–in all of Great Britain. It is also considered one of the greatest Medieval fortresses in Europe.

Situated on the coast of north Wales, the castle is built on a rocky ridge, and the castle walls completely encircle the town. Plan to explore the castle itself, then spend some time walking the three-quarters of a mile around the castle walls, taking in the town of Conwy as you go.

Unlike many castles, this one is completely open for exploration. When you arrive at the castle, pick up a free Quest card at the ticket office. The card will point your children towards six historical information panels throughout the castle. The Quest card is also a puzzle challenge–solve the mystery and you’ll leave with a badge as a prize.

Let the children lead you through the castle grounds, climb up a high tower, then look down into the castle and enjoy the well-preserved interior features–the Inner Ward, Great Hall and Cellars, and King’s Hall. From your tower vantage point, turn and gaze out over the vast sea ahead, the boats dotting the harbor, and seagulls swooping by. Look inland and spot the flocks of sheep scampering across the snow-capped peaks of Snowdonia.

Venture into the streets of the town of Conwy to find some lunch at a pub, or a fish and chip shop. You can walk high above on the ancient town walls, or walk through the simple streets and enjoy the local shops. Step out of time into the medieval past, and let your children experience a medieval town that has kept so much of the past intact.

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