Caernarfon Castle - Explorer Pass

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Book Caernarfon Castle tickets and Get Your Cadw Explorer Pass to Visit 20 Historic Monuments in Wales

Your key to unlock Wales' greatest castles, in one ticket!

The Castles of Wales Explorer Pass offers the freedom to explore all of Cadw's historic attractions and help you get the most out of your visit to Wales. 

  • Entry to 25 Welsh castles and attractions (see additional info for full list)
  • Visit as many castle as you want
  • Choice of either the 3 day pass or 7 day pass (the 3 day pass gives you 3 days of entrance and is valid for a 7 day period. The 7 day pass gives you 7 days of entrance, valid for 14 days)
  • Save lots of money!

Book your Castle of Wales Explorer Pass by tapping 'Book' on this page. Once booked, your pass will be sent to you by email. Show this pass upon entry to all attractions either on your device or print if you prefer.

Uncover the history of Caernarfon Castle Snowdonia

Located in the scenic coastal town of Caernarfon in north-west Wales (also known as Caernarvon), the castle was originally a Roman motte and bailey that was later transformed into its formidable current form in 1283 by King Edward I of England.

For history buffs, visiting this spectacular fortress is a must but it's not just for those who paid attention in history class.

Architecture fit for a king

As soon as you lay eyes on Caernarfon Castle, you'll be taken aback by its sheer size.

Edward spared no expense in making the building a striking structure so that it would symbolise the strength of his rule.

Although the interior is now empty, as you wander the castle's halls, you'll be able to imagine the grand furnishings he would have once displayed here.

The eagle statues and polygonal towers are purposely reminiscent of Roman architecture, perhaps to allow the Welsh subjects to draw comparisons between Edward’s kingdom and the mighty Roman empire.

But the grandest part of the whole structure is the Eagle Tower, with walls 18 feet thick and three turrets that rise from it to almost touch the clouds.

From that tower, the English royalty oversaw the country.

As you wander around the castle grounds, cowering in the shadows of its dense looming walls, you'll immediately understand the statement Edward was making when he built this place.

A royal and bloody history at Caernarfon Castle Gwynedd

The history of Caernarfon Castle is one filled with anger and war.

Edward had it built after he took over rule of Wales, and it was especially fortified compared to his other nearby castles.

This was likely because Caernarfon was meant to be the centre of government in northern Wales, and so it had to be able to withstand attacks in case the Welsh resisted his presence there.

If you walk atop the castle walls, looking out over the Menai Strait and the ancient town below, you might put yourself in the shoes of the soldiers that were once stationed here, the many men who guarded these walls for centuries.

As tensions between the Welsh and English gradually mellowed, however, the castle was no longer needed as a defensive bastion and would go on to become known for being the place where Prince Charles received his investiture in 1969.

The town walls

While often overshadowed by the mighty castle, the town walls surrounding the town of Caernarfon are also an important part of this area’s history.

Still almost completely intact, these walls kept the town safe from Edward’s enemies and reminded them that those who would not submit to his rule were not welcome.

The walls were high and nearly impenetrable save for two gates on the eastern and western sides, the latter of which was only accessible by the sea for a large portion of its history.

Built into these walls are eight massive towers that all still stand today, from which the town was vigilantly watched by English soldiers.

Caernarfon Castle is an unforgettable sight and an immensely important place in the history of both Wales and England.

We guarantee that the sight of this castle will stick in your mind for a long time, and since there’s plenty to do in the town of Caernarfon as well, it’s a great day out.

What other Cadw attractions can I visit with the Castles of Wales Pass? 

Gwynedd LL55 2AY
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  • Toilets
  • Paid parking

People also ask:

Castles of Wales Explorer 3-day pass and 7-day pass explained:

  • The 3 day pass gives you 3 days of free entrance, that is valid for a 7 day period. The 7 day pass gives you 7 days of free entrance, valid for 14 days.
  • The passes have been designed to be flexible and suit families and tourists spending one or two week weeks in Wales.

How much money will I save with the Castles of Wales Explorer Pass?

  • The more castles you see the more you'll save. 
  • Entry to the Castles of Wales can be anywhere between £8-£15 (approx) each, so this pass is great for anyone wishing to visit a bunch castes on their visit to Wales. 
  • You can visit a lot of castles in 1-2 weeks!

Who is the Castles of Wales Explorer Pass for?

  • Ideal for anyone looking for things to do in Wales, for anyone wanting to soak up as much Welsh culture as possible, and perfect for families on a budget!
  • Wales is often referred to as the "Castle Capital of the World" and has more castles per square mile than any other country, so this pass is also great for any tourists coming to Wales too!

What does Cadw mean?

  • Cadw [cad-oo] is the Welsh word for 'castle' or 'keep' 

What are the Castle of Wales Explorer Pass family tickets?

  • 2 adults and up to 3 children/grandchildren under 18. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

What Cadw attractions are included in the Castle of Wales Explorer Pass? 

  • Beaumaris Castle
  • Blaenavon Ironworks
  • Caerleon Roman Baths
  • Caernarfon Castle
  • Caerphilly Castle
  • Carreg Cennen Castle
  • Castell Coch 
  • Chepstow Castle
  • Cilgerran Castle
  • Conwy Castle
  • Criccieth Castle
  • Denbigh Castle 
  • Harlech Castle
  • Kidwelly Castle 
  • Laugharne Castle 
  • Oxwich Castle
  • Plas Mawr Elizabethan Town House
  • Raglan Castle
  • Rhuddlan Castle
  • Rug Chapel
  • St Davids Bishop's Palace
  • Tintern Abbey
  • Tretower Court and Castle
  • Valle Crucis Abbey
  • Weobley Castle

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