Harlech Castle (Cadw)

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About

None of Edward I’s mighty coastal fortresses has a more spectacular setting.

Harlech Castle crowns a sheer rocky crag overlooking the dunes far below – waiting in vain for the tide to turn and the distant sea to lap at its feet once again.

No further drama is really required but, just in case, the rugged peaks of Snowdonia rise as a backdrop. Against fierce competition from Conwy, Caernarfon and Beaumaris, this is probably the most spectacular setting for any of Edward I’s castles in North Wales. All four are designated as a World Heritage Site.

Harlech was completed from ground to battlements in just seven years under the guidance of gifted architect Master James of St George. Its classic ‘walls within walls’ design makes the most of daunting natural defences.

Even when completely cut off by the rebellion of Madog ap Llewelyn the castle held out – thanks to the ‘Way from the Sea’. This path of 108 steps rising steeply up the rock face allowed the besieged defenders to be fed and watered by ship.

In 1404 the castle fell to the charismatic prince Owain Glyndŵr during the last major rebellion against English rule. Together with nearby Machynlleth it became the centre of Glyndŵr’s inspiring vision of an independent Wales.

Harlech is easier to conquer today. An incredible ‘floating’ footbridge allows you to enter this great castle as Master James intended – for the first time in 600 years.

Pay and display parking

Book Tickets

Facilities

Children

  • Children welcome

Parking

  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Harlech is situated off the A496 north from Barmouth; follow the signs to the Castle off this road into the town centre where there is car parking. From the north, turn off the A487 road to Porthmadog at Maentwrog onto the A496 for Harlech and take the B4573 into the town. Note a steep walk from the railway station to the Castle!

Accessible by Public Transport: Harlech station is 1 mile away.

Harlech Castle (Cadw)

Type:Castle

Castle Square, Harlech, Gwynedd, LL46 2YH

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Tel03000 252239

What's Nearby

  1. Morfa Harlech is one of two extensive sand dune systems which make up much of the…

    0.18 miles away
  2. This 120 acre reserve is a fine example of Ancient Woodland, with a rich flora of mosses,…

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  3. Harlech beach is an ideal place for children to play and an even better spot for adults…

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  1. Llandanwg Beach

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  3. Situated on its own peninsula in Southern Snowdonia, Portmeirion is a sight to behold,…

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  4. Morfa Bychan (Black Rock Sands)

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  5. The Ffestiniog Railway in the heart of the Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park is the oldest…

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  9. Dyffryn (Llanendwyn) Beach

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  11. Gwaith Powdwr Reserve

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