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Wales

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ARTHUR’S QUOIT, Pembrokeshire

Arthur’s Quoit (or Coetan Arthur), according to legend, was thrown from nearby Carn Llidi by King Arthur. This is one of many 'Arthur's Quoits' in Britain - one source identifies more than 30. It is the remains of a single-chambered Neolithic burial chamber, or Dolmen, between 4 and 6,000 years’ old; the capstone (the bit that reminded folk of a quoit) is about 20’ long and now only supported, seemingly precariously, by one upright stone.

Post code is a guide only.  This Arthur's Quoit is located on St David's Head, where there is also the remains of a small prehistoric hut settlement, and can only be reached on foot. Park in Whitesands Bay and follow the coast path.

St David's Head
Pembrokeshire
SA62 6PS
Prehistory
St David's Head
Whitesands Bay
National Trust
BEAUMARIS CASTLE

Beaumaris was the last and largest of the massive castles constructed by English King Edward I to keep the Welsh subjugated.  Construction began in 1295, but Beaumaris was never finished.  Even so, it is often regarded as the most technically perfect medieval castle in Britain.  And it is a World Heritage Site.

Castle Street, Beaumaris
Isle of Anglesey
LL58 8AP
Medieval
Cadw listing for Beaumaris Castle
Conwy Castle
Cadw
BRECON BEACONS (The)

The Brecon Beacons in south-mid Wales is predominantly a mountainous area, famed for its use by Britain's elite forces for training, as well as for its peaks, waterfalls, forests and heritage sites. This is serious walking and climbing country.

Plas y Ffynnon
Cambrian Way
Brecon
Powys
LD3 7HP
N/A
Britain's National Parks
National Park
CAERNARFON CASTLE

Enormous medieval castle, with iconic polygonal towers, constructed from the late 13th century on the orders of Edward I as part of his strategy to subjugate the Welsh. It was built on the site of an earlier Norman castle and close to where a Roman fortress had once stood. The castle and town then became the English administrative HQ for North Wales and was besieged many times - and captured too.

Caernarfon Castle is part of the World Heritage Site "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd".

Castle Ditch
Caernarfon
Gwynedd
LL55 2AY
Medieval
Harlech, Conwy and Beaumaris castles are part of the same World Heritage Site.
Cadw
CASTELL HENLLYS

Castell Henllys is a reconstructed Iron Age village, or fort, but the only one in Britain built on an original Celtic site. So the idea is that you walk in the footsteps of the Demetae tribe that lived there 2,000 or so years ago. It is very much geared to schoolchildren, but it is fascinating for all ages. As well as roundhouses, enclosures etc, there is a visitor centre and you can stroll through the surrounding countryside and take a picnic. Regular events are held.

Meline
Nr Crymych
Pembrokeshire
SA41 3UR
Prehistory
Castell Henllys
In the National Park off the A487 between Newport and Cardigan.
National Park
CHEPSTOW CASTLE

The formidable looking Chepstow Castle dates from 1067 - building began less than a year after William the Conqueror became king. It was constructed in stone from the very start - not wood, as was the case with many Norman castles, in a strategic position overlooking an established crossing point over the River Wye. Building continued through its life right up to the 17th century. It was besieged twice during the English Civil War, eventually falling to Parliamentary troops. By the 18th century, Chepstow Castle was in a state of decay and becoming a tourist attraction.

Chepstow
Monmouthshire
NP16 5EY
Medieval
Tintern Abbey
Cadw
CHIRK CASTLE

Chirk is a picture-book medieval fortress as well as a sumptuous home, with wonderful gardens and a spectacular wrought-iron entrance gate. Roger Mortimer, Marcher Lord, began the castle in 1295 as one of King Edward I's chain of castles along the Welsh/English border. Since 1595, it has been owned by the Myddleton family. From 1910-1946, it was leased to Lord Howard de Walden and was scene of lavish entertaining in the 1930s.

Chirk
Wrexham
LL14 7AF
Medieval
Chirk Castle
Llangollen canal, Offa's Dyke.
National Trust
CONWY CASTLE

The sight of Conwy Castle across the Conwy Estuary is unforgettable. Conwy is one of Britain's few remaining walled towns and its castle, which is part of the defences, is magnificent and massive. One of English King Edward I's 'iron ring' of fortresses designed to keep the Welsh under control, it was his most expensive, and it was built between 1283 and 1289. By the 17th century, though, it was in a poor state. It was occupied by Royalist forces during the Civil War, but fell to Parliament and subsequently intentionally damaged to put it beyond military use. Its owner then stripped it of useful materials.

Conwy Castle is part of a World Heritage Site.

Castle Street
Conwy
Gwynedd
LL32 8AY
Medieval
Conwy Castle on Cadw's website
Plas Mawr
Cadw
CRICCIETH CASTLE

Ruined castle dramatically perched on a headland and towering over the small town of Criccieth. This was originally a Welsh castle, begun by Llywelyn the Great in the 13th century, but it was added to over time - and frequently changed hands between the Welsh and the English. It is dominated by an enormous gatehouse and, allegedly, the scorches made by the flames that finally destroyed it in the 15th century can still be seen on the stonework.

Criccieth
Gwynedd
LL52 0DP
Medieval
Cadw
ELISEG’S PILLAR

Part of a ninth-century inscribed stone erected by Cyngen, prince of Powys, in memory of his great-grandfather, Eliseg.

Abt 2+ miles N of Llangollen on the A542
Denbighshire
LL20 8DD
Dark Ages
Valle Crucis Abbey
Cadwy's listing for Eliseg's Pillar
Near Valle Crucus Abbey. Post code is not 100% accurate.
Cadw