Almost 2 decades ago I lived in North Wales for a few months with my future husband. During that time we visited many castles and other places of interest. We never made it to Beaumaris castle on Anglesey though and when Cadw Wales released tickets for a few of their castles the other day my husband recommended that we book. I’m glad he did as it is a really lovely castle.
A Brief History of Beaumaris Castle on Anglesey
Named the Greatest Castle that was never built. It was actually built and there is a lot still standing today. It was just never finished. It was the last of the royal strongholds created by Edward I in Wales. They’d already constructed the great castles of Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech. This was to be their crowning glory, the castle to end all castles.
They built a large symmetrical castle with a moat with access to the sea. They even included 300 arrow loop holes. It would, however, have been a relatively easy castle to attack despite all it’s arrow holes. In the 1320s a lack of money meant that work had to be stopped. A lot of the walls never reached their full height but they are there and even now they are still relatively high.
How to get to Beaumaris Castle
If you are arriving from mainland Wales the castle is well signposted. You don’t need to worry about parking. There are a few smaller car parks near the castle. There is also a huge car park opposite (between the castle and the sea) with hundreds of space for just £4.00 all-day parking.
Address for parking: Beaumaris LL58 8BY
There is no railway station nearby. If you want to arrive by bus the route details are: Ena’s 100m/110yards, routes 53/57/58 Bangor-Beaumaris-Llandonna/Penmon.
A Review of Beaumaris Castle
Cadw Wales have been slow to reopen their many castles as they wanted to get it right and to keep us all safe. Tickets for just a few of their castles came on sale just a few days before we left home for our one week holiday in North Wales. Luckily Beaumaris was one of them.
We booked in for 2 pm in the afternoon and we noticed just a few people during our visit. When we were talking to a member of staff later on she informed us that they are only letting in 15 people an hour at Beaumaris.
As well as there being just a few people allowed in at one time they have also put a one way system in place on their wall walk and in the interior buildings.
The one thing we hadn’t realised is that the moat at Beaumaris actually still has water in. This is very unusual and it was lovely to see. They also still have water in the dock where boats would have once delivered goods. We then entered the castle via a bridge across the moat and through the main gate.
We then started off our visit to the castle by walking on the walls. You can walk along around half of the outer wall. There are some lovely views looking down to the moat and across to the countryside. The one way system is clear and there’s plenty of hand sanitiser stations around the site should you need it.
We then left the walls to walk around the rest of the outer wall. We basically shot pretend arrows through every arrow loop we came across. Even at the playground next to the castle (this is not part of the castle visit).
Afterwards, we entered the interior walls and buildings where there is a small room showing a film on a loop about the castle. This was worth watching and they are keeping the benches apart from others and only one family is allowed on a bench.
We then explored the interior. If you head to the far end and go up the right-hand steps you explore the interior rooms and corridors. There’s even a small chapel with stained glass windows. Although it was a hot day without any rain the previous day a lot of the corridors were very wet and slippy so do take care and wear sensible shoes.
If you are feeling adventurous there’s another wall walk. This one is accessed via the top left corner in the picture below. It goes a lot higher than the outer walls. In the centre is an incomplete or possibly ruined building where you can look in some rooms (with no roof).
We loved our visit and spent around 1.5 hours there so it doesn’t quite make it to my 2+ hour days out list but we’d certainly recommend a visit.
Beaumaris Castle Important Information
Currently you have to book a timed slot to visit the castle. You will be turned away if you haven’t done this. Even members have to prebook although there will be no charge.
Currently they are open for most of the year but closed on Thursday and Friday’s. Opening times vary and they shut between 1pm and 2pm.
If you are members of Cadw Wales it is free to visit. Otherwise, an adult ticket costs just £6.50 and £3.90 for children aged 5-17. Under 5’s are free.
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