Castell y Bere

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Rising high over the beautiful landscapes of Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Castell y Bere is one of the mightiest and most striking castles ever constructed by the native princes who ruled here long ago.

If you're interested in learning about Wales' tumultuous past, or you're a fan of gorgeous, sweeping landscapes, seeing this place for yourself should definitely be on your list of things to do in Gwynedd.

The ways of the Welsh

Built atop a rocky outcrop during the 13th century by Llywelyn the Great, the proud defenders of Castell y Bere would have had a fantastic view over the surrounding area.

While little remains of the fortress now, the hills and pastures around it remain unchanged.

As you explore this place, you’ll be captivated by the same view that Llywelyn himself would have had as he gazed over his kingdom.

Yet while the views here are lovely, this location was also strategic: from this spot, the castle could protect the south of Gwynedd, Llywelyn’s homeland.

This castle's architecture was incredibly advanced for the time, and the distinctive D-shaped tower was a hallmark of Welsh castles seen nowhere else in the world (you can actually see the remains of a similar tower over at Ewloe Castle).

You might have to use your imagination to picture what Castell y Bere would have looked like in its prime, but trust us when we say it was a truly magnificent structure!

A history of greatness

Llywelyn the Great built this place to defend his homeland, but it wasn’t long before Edward I of England set his eyes upon it.

Following a bloody battle, the English armies took the castle, and once it was his, Edward hoped it would turn into a prosperous town.

But Edward’s optimism proved fruitless.

Unhappy with his presence in their country, Welsh locals revolted and seized the castle back after a bloody siege.

They burned and destroyed parts of it, and rather than repair it, Edward decided it best to leave Castell y Bere behind.

As a result, this place gradually fell into disrepair, and little but ruins remain today.

Despite its sorry state, Castell y Bere is still undoubtedly beautiful.

As you walk around, searching for the stories within its rubble, you’ll get a glimpse into what made Llywelyn the Great such a legendary figure in Welsh history, and you’ll gain some insight into the hardships and bloodshed which this ancient country has had to endure.

For those interested in history, Castell y Bere is a truly fascinating place which has seen its fair share of war, although it's worth coming here just for the wonderful views alone.

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