Last Updated on
This is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse. It is a growing directory – over 780 entries as of June 2020. Most entries have links for further information.
Remains of a communal tomb constructed maybe around 3,500 BC. The remaining stones form a doorway with a capstone on top some 17 feet (5.1 metres) long and weighing an estimated 16 tonnes. It is thought the original structure would have been about 120 feet (36 metres) long. Bits of pottery and worked flint have been found on site, but no human remains have been found.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, as its name suggests, is predominantly coastal. and has been likened to Cornwall without the crowds. It offers a 260-mile coastline in south-west Wales, but in addition to high cliffs, dramatic seascapes and beautiful sandy beaches, it also has inland hills to explore. It is renowned for its wildlife, including seals and dolphins, and prehistoric sites.
With a dramatic background and probably built by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth ('the Great') early in the thirteenth century, the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle are dominated by a massive round-towered keep, still standing up to 50 feet (15.2m) high, with walls up to 8 feet (2.4m) thick. Access to the keep was via a removable staircase at first floor level. The castle occupies a strategic location guarding the Llanberis Pass and was seized by an English army under the Earl of Pembroke in 1282, following which it was abandoned and pillaged for building materials. It is possible it was used again during the revolt under Owain Glyndwr in the late 14th/early 15th century.
Dinas Bran Castle, or Castell Dinas Brân (Crow Castle in English), is a legendary ruined fortress built on the site of an Iron age hillfort. The medieval castle was probably built in the 1260s by Gruffudd ap Madog, Lord of Powys Fadog. However, to prevent it falling into English hands, the Welsh burned it to the ground shortly afterwards and, by 1282, it had been abandoned. Part of it was later used as a dwelling and it was apparently home to a Myfanwy Fychan in the 14th century, for whom the poet Hywel ap Einion Llygliw (c1330-1370) wrote a love poem - Myfanwy Fychan of Castell Dinas Brân. There are many legends and stories associated with Dinas Bran - it was the castle of Bran, hiding place of the Holy Grail - etc. The site is only accessible by foot and is about 1,000 feet (307m) above sea level.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.