COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

6 Days to Find The Best Castle Ruins in Wales

6 Days to Find The Best Castle Ruins in Wales

Old Feb 10th, 2011, 11:26 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,888
If you go onto the CADW site and click Places to visit you'll find an interactive map of the whole country w/ every CADW property.

Nearly every historic castle is covered except for a very few that are privately owned.

I would normally recommend the Great British Heritage Pass since it covers all CADW plus hundreds of sites in England --and lots of private houses/gardens/palaces/castles. But if you are mainly focusing on Wales and castles --the CADW Pass is all you'll need
janisj is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 12:15 PM
  #22  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
Yes, I had already checked out the list, but hausfrau had difficulty with the GB Heritage Pass, I think.
plr is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 12:32 PM
  #23  
BKP
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,184
plr -- you're right -- the more ruined castles definitely top our list. Two reasons:

1) They are usually less crowded. We really enjoy exploring castles completely on our own.

2) We have a 5 year old. We play a lot of hide and seek and go on treasure hunts! We found the ruins are great for crawling over and hiding behind -- better than standing walls and velvet ropes. Obviously, you will probably be enjoying the actual castle and its history instead of playing silly games!
BKP is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 12:33 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,085
Cardiff to Conwy is around 200 miles, it will take 4.5 to 5 hours. Tractors allowing.
Mucky is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 03:04 PM
  #25  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
BKP, I can certainly understand your choices. No velvet ropes for me, thanks, but I do love climbing up many spiral staircases and exploring all the remarkable rooms & spaces within standing walls.

Mucky--Thanks. That helps me get some perspective on the distance and time I might have or need. Looks like there are some castles on my "must do" list that are at both ends of Wales, naturally.
plr is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 03:06 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,888
plr: I think you misunderstood hausfrau's posts. I believe they had English Heritage overseas Passes. That is an entirely different thing than the GPHP (or the CADW pass for that matter).

The GBHP covers all National Trust, English Heritage, CADW, Historic Scotland, and many private properties.
janisj is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 03:44 PM
  #27  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
Ahh--Thanks for straightening me out, Janis
plr is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 03:56 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,067
We stayed in Bryn Guesthouse in Conwy in September and we are going to stay there again in May- It is our favorite B&B ever. Also we spent two nights in Gwydir Castle near Llanwrst which is about 10 miles from Conwy. It is a unique experience. We are going back here, too. Have a wonderful time in Wales- we did.
Saraho is online now  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 12:28 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
Sorry for the delay...my memory fails me a bit here, but I believe janisj is correct (as she usually is!), I think we had the English Heritage overseas pass. We bought them spur-of-the-moment and did not research beforehand whether that pass would get us into all of the sites that we were interested in.

Glad you found my report helpful, and good luck with your planning!
hausfrau is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 03:47 PM
  #30  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
I've just heard back from CADW. Just in case anyone is interested, the publication VolCrew recommended--"Great Castles and Historic Attractions in Wales"--is out of date in terms of admission fees and opening hours, so they said they would only charge shipping for it, which will be about $8 at the slowest rate I think.

When I planned my trip to Scotland, there was an agency in the USA which handled its tourism and publications, etc. Can't remember what it was, but does anyone know if such a resource exists for Wales in the USA? Perhaps (logically) it was for all of GB or the UK?
plr is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 04:05 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 308
plr, re: book - good to know. I hope you find it helpful anyway. I was inspired by the photography.
VolCrew is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 04:15 PM
  #32  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
Yes, VolCrew--I don't care a thing about the fees or hours, since that's easily available online. Sounds like a great book to have for my trip!
plr is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 04:18 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,888
"When I planned my trip to Scotland, there was an agency in the USA which handled its tourism and publications, etc."

Visit Britain (the British tourist authority) handles tourism and publications for England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland. They used to do a LOT of publications but now much of their info is on line on their websites
janisj is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 04:19 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,888
Meant to add - I always check Amazon UK (they have a lot more UK-centric books/maps/etc than Amazon)
janisj is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 04:20 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,888
oops -- http://www.amazon.co.uk/
janisj is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2011, 04:49 PM
  #36  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
Thanks, Janis. I was hoping to save some $ by contacting and ordering from a USA based tourism office, if such exists. The overseas shipping gets to be a killer. And tourism offices have great stuff not available on Amazon, usually.
plr is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2011, 05:12 PM
  #37  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
Where is Goodrich Castle?
plr is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2011, 10:44 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,888
Visit Britain does have a US based office. That is why I mentioned it . . .

Goodrich Castle is in England (Herefordshire) near Ross-on-Wye and the Forest of Dean,
janisj is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2011, 04:49 AM
  #39  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
Thanks for the clarification, Janis. I should have been more clear as well. I may be dense, but when I visited that website, I couldn't find any publications for sale as I had found for Scotland.
plr is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2011, 11:45 AM
  #40  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 387
Thanks for all your patient replies here, everyone! I Think these may finally be my last questions on this thread!

1) What would be the most expeditious route for me to drive from the northwest of Wales to the Cardiff area? I only see one castle en route that I might like to stop to visit, so would rather pass it up if needed, to make a quicker trip to Cardiff or thereabouts.

2) I would also like to know what it is like to use M5 & M6 to travel back from Cardiff to Manchester at the end of my week? (ie: what type of road is this and what is the speed limit?)

3) It looks like Goodrich Castle would be a great and easy stop on my "quick trip" back to Manchester....Are there any other must-see castles along that route?
plr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO