Conwy Castle is a spectacular medieval fortification in northern Wales that was built between 1283 and 1289. Today the castle remains in great condition and towers over the town of Conwy as it has for the last 700 years.
It is one of the most iconic castles in Wales and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. Here’s a complete guide for visitors with information about opening hours, tickets, history, and facts about Conwy Castle.
|Family (2 Adults and up to 3 Children)||£28.90|
|Disabled and Companion||Free|
|Juniors (Aged 5-17) / NUS / Armed Forces and Veterans||£6.00|
|Seniors (Aged 65+)||£8.00|
The castle also sells a joint ticket for those who are planning on visiting the nearby Plas Mawr, an Elizabethan townhouse from the 16th century, too.
Conwy Castle & Plas Mawr combination ticket
|Family (2 Adults and up to 3 Children)||£35.10|
|Disabled and Companion||Free|
|Juniors (Aged 5-17) / NUS / Armed Forces and Veterans||£7.30|
|Seniors (Aged 65+)||£9.70|
Conwy Castles’ opening times are seasonal and you should check the castle’s official website prior to your visit to check the opening dates. For 2020, use the following opening times:
- 1st March – 30th June: 9:30 am – 5 pm
- 1st July – 31st August: 9:30 am – 6 pm
- 1st September – 31st October: 9:30 am – 5 pm
- 1st November – 28th February: 10 am – 4 pm (Monday- Saturday) and 11 am – 4 pm (Sunday)
*Last admission is always 30-minutes before closing.
History & more information
Conwy Castle was built in just four years by Edward I during his conquest of Wales and was constructed as part of a wider project to help protect the walled town of Conwy.
The castle, which cost £15,000 to build, is one of three castles built by Edward I and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Despite having spent such a large sum of money on building the castle, and decorating the inside with opulent decor, King Edward I only spent one night here when trapped by a Welsh rebellion in 1284!
The royal rooms themselves, which were reserved for visiting royalty, were sparsely used over the years and after the Civil War, the rooms were never used again.
A visit to Conwy Castle offers a vivid insight into the life of the medieval English royal family and court and inside the castle, you’ll find some of the best-preserved medieval royal apartments in Wales.
Make sure you climb at least one of the castle’s beautiful spiral staircases and visit the King’s Great Chamber; a beautiful chapel reserved for his majesty’s private use. Also, check out the color of the castle walls which are now faded and dark but once were white!
Points of Interest
Admire the exterior of the castle before entering the inside. The main entrance to the castle is through the western barbican, an exterior defense in front of the main gate.
The Outer Ward
The castle has a rectangular plan and is divided into an Inner and Outer Ward, separated by a cross-wall. The Outer Ward, when first built, would have been used as service buildings.
The Inner Ward
The Inner Ward was originally separated from the Outer Ward by an internal wall, a drawbridge and a gate, protected by a ditch cut into the rock.
How to get to Conwy Castle
Access Conwy Castle via the A55 or B5106.
- Postcode LL32 8AY
There are three car parks within walking distance from the castle, all with plenty of spaces.
There are two main stations in the town of Conwy:
- Llandudno Junction: From the train station, it’s just a 20-minute walk to the castle. This station runs on the Crewe-Llandudno Junction/ Holyhead route.
- Conwy Station: From the train station, it’s just a 4-minute walk to the castle. This station runs on the Crewe-Llandudno Junction/ Holyhead route.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Conwy Castle is from October until February. In October, the earliest you can enter the castle to beat the crowds is 9:30 am, while November to February is 10 am Monday-Saturday and 11 am on Sundays.
Try to avoid public holidays, school holidays, and Saturday afternoons if you prefer to visit with fewer group tours on the premises.
Facts about Conwy Castle
- The castle was built by Kinh Edward I, during his conquest of Wales, between 1283 and 1289.
- At the end of the 14th century, the castle was used as a refuge by Richard II from the forces of his rival, Henry Bolingbroke.
- In 1627 Conwy castle was sold for £100. Charles I sold it to Edward Conway and his son, also called Edward, inherited the ruined castle in 1631.
- The castle sits on a big rocky ridge made of grey sand and limestone. Most of the stone that the castle is built of comes from the ridge, most likely when the site was first cleared.
- In the 21stcentury, the castle is managed by Cadw as a tourist attraction and 186,897 tourists visited the castle in 2010.
- In 1401, two brothers attacked Conwy castle. Rhys ap Tudur and his brother Gwilym pretended to be castle carpenters and gained entry by killing the watchmen on duty and took control of the castle.
- Conwy Castle was not well maintained during the early 14th centuryand by 1321 a survey reported it was poorly equipped, with limited stores and suffering from leaking roofs and rotten timbers.
- Divided into an Inner and Outer Ward, it is defended by eight large towers and two barbicans, with a postern gate leading down to the river, allowing the castle to be resupplied from the sea.
- The castle is sometimes called Conway castle. This is because it was owned by the Conway family multiple times in its history.
- The design of the structure and the direction of the build was commanded by King Edward I’s master-builder, James of St. George.
FAQ’s (Things to know before you go)
Is Conwy Castle part of the National Trust?
The Suspension Bridge to the castle is a National Trust property and Conwy Castle is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Will my National Trust membership card get me free entry?
No. Conwy Castle is a CADW property.
Is there parking at Conwy castle?
There’s plenty of parking in town, just a short walk from the castle.
Are drones allowed to fly over Conwy Castle?
Cadw does not allow drone flying from or over its guardianship sites, except by contractors commissioned for a specific purpose.
Is there WiFi?
Cadw free public WiFi is available at the site.
What is Conwy Castle made out of?
The castle is made out of limestone and sandstone.
Are dogs allowed inside the castle?
Only assistance dogs are allowed into the castle.
How long time should I plan for my visit?
There’s no time limit on your visit to Conwy Castle, but most visitors spend around two-hours exploring the castle and grounds.
Do you have more questions before visiting Conwy Castle in Wales? Leave a comment below!