Cadw Castle Heritage

Harlech Castle - Castles of Wales

Visit Harlech Castle with the Castles of Wales Explorer Pass

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.

Welcome to the famous Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle, or Castell Harlech as it's known in Welsh, is set in a staggeringly beautiful location.

The castle stands atop a hill known as the Harlech Dome, made taller still by the castle’s towering walls.

There, it rises to loom over the town of Harlech and the Irish Sea, and bestows a mighty view of the magnificent Snowdonia mountains in the distance.

A fort not easily taken

Built by Edward I in the 13th-century, Harlech Castle was one of several fortresses whose purpose was to solidify English rule in Wales - but it wasn't entirely successful.

The castle was besieged many times and was even briefly captured by the Welsh, who associate Harlech with their local mythology and the legend of Branwen, a Welsh princess.

More often than not though, the castle resisted those who tried to conquer it, in part thanks to its strong inner and outer walls, as well as its sea door known as “The Way from the Sea”.

This door was accessed by scaling over a hundred steps that are carved into the steep cliffside, where the waves of the Irish Sea once lay below, allowing friendly ships to deliver supplies to the defenders.

You can still see those steps today, although the sea below has long since retreated.

The men of Harlech

One of the castle’s biggest claims to fame is for it being the place that inspired the world-famous song Men of Harlech.

A song so well-known and loved in Wales that calling it their second national anthem wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

Yet the exact story behind how the song came to be is disputed, as two of the many sieges that the castle saw are both argued to have inspired it.

As you wander the walls of Harlech Castle, try to picture the battles that were fought here - you might draw your own conclusions about what the song means.

Harlech Castle is an impressive structure made more impressive still by its war-ridden history.

A day out in Harlech

Since there are plenty of things to see and do in the nearby town of Harlech as well, this castle is the ideal place to spend a day out.

Especially for those who wish to learn about its rich history or appreciate its breathtaking views.

Look out for special events as well, because if you’re lucky you might even be able to see dragons lurking on the castle grounds!

We’re sure that this castle will stick in your mind as one of the most memorable in all of Britain.

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

Gwynedd
LL46 2YH
  • Paid parking
  • Toilets
  • Café

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