Time travel with Cadw

Wales Coast Path teams up with Cadw to ensure fun for the family this half term.

Castles and ancient monuments can be discovered all along the Path and offer a fun filled family day out. Wales’ castles tell exciting tales of some of the most prolific periods in Welsh history. Perhaps most notable are the impressive and well known castles of King Edward I. Having snatched power from the Welsh prince Llewellyn ap Gruffudd, Edward I of England proceeded to erect a network of castles along the North West coast, from which he ruled over Wales and protected his position of power. Many of Edward I’s remarkable castles still stand, and visiting these landmark monuments is a great way to add a historical taste to the walk along the Wales Coast Path.

Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environment service, protects these locations and helps bring history to life. They have a great range of family friendly activities this half term so wrap up warm, discover the tale of Wales’ turbulent history and try some great coastal walking.

North Wales Coast & Dee Estuary

Enjoy the short coastal walk that takes in Flint Castle and the views of the Dee Estuary. While stopping to rest, pop in to see the fantastic ruins of one of the first castles to be built in Wales by King Edward I.

Entry to Flint Castle: Free

Open: Daily 10.00am – 4.00pm

Great walkFlint Castle & Dee Estuary 

Isle of Anglesey

The beautiful island of Anglesey is home to Beaumaris Castle, the most technically perfect castle in Britain. A huge creation which was the last impression made on the Welsh landscape by King Edward 1.

Entry to Beaumaris Castle: Adult - £3.80, Family - £11.00 (other concessions available)

Open: Daily 9.30am - 5.00pm until 31 October.

Great walk: Explore the lovely seaside town of Beaumaris.

Menai, Llŷn & Meirionnydd

You can enjoy the magnificent castles of Caernarfon, Criccieth and Harlech on this stretch of the Path. King Edward I’s Caernarfon castle in particular is a sight to behold. It is a huge castle with unusually shaped towers and is one of the most impressive stone structures in Wales.

Caernarfon Castle

Entry: Adult - £5.25, Family - £15.35 (other concessions available)

Open: Daily 9.30am - 5.00pm until 31 October 2012

Harlech Castle

Entry: £3.80 - adult, £11.00 – family (other concessions available)

Open: Daily 9.30am – 5pm until 31 October 2012

Criccieth Castle

Entry: £3.20 – adult, £9.20 – family (other concessions apply)

Open: Daily 10.00am – 5pm until 31 October 2012.

Special half term event: Saturday 27 October – Sunday 28 October, 11.00am – 4.00pm The Big Draw, Criccieth Castle: Come and exercise your artistic talents as members of the Harlech Medieval Society lead art and drawing workshops as part of this national event. Normal admission applies. Call 01766 522227 for more information or visitwww.cadw.wales.gov.uk

Great walk: Caernarvon, Criccieth and Harlech castles all sit on the path so try a short stroll for great views of these mighty structures.

Ceredigion

Take in the wildly beautiful coastline of Ceredigion which boasts a diverse landscape and includes sweeping, award winning sandy beaches, dunes and rock pools, with abundant wildlife. Why not incorporate the walk with an inland adventure to the edge of the Cambrian Mountains to discover the remains of Strata Florida Abbey - a wonderful historic landmark in the heart of Ceredigion.

Entry: Adult - £3.20, Family - £9.20 (other concessions available)

Open: Daily 10.00am - 5.00pm until 31 October 2012

Great walkLlanon or Aberystwyth to Llanrhystud.

Pembrokeshire

Deep in the heart of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park lies the Bishop’s Palace in St Davids. This is a dramatic building with a stunning backdrop and many features still intact, which evoke memories of medieval times. Open-air theatre performances take place here on occasion and come highly recommended. Children will enjoy exploring here all day long while parents can take a look at the grand hall and wander the exhibition.

Entry: Adult - £3.20, Family - £9.20 (other concessions available)

Open: Daily 9.30am - 5.00pm until 31 October

Great walk: Explore Britain’s small city. 

Carmarthenshire

Explore the famed Kidwelly Castle, a 13th century castle made by the Chaworth family. The great gate house on the site is famed for its late completion in 1422, after Owain Glyndŵr went to great lengths to try and stop its completion. The main footbridge into the castle makes access for wheelchair access.

Entry: Adult - £3.50, Family - £10.10 (other concessions available)

Open: Daily 9.30am - 5.00pm until 31 October

Great walkFor great views of the castle, try the Kidwelly Quay walk.

Gower & Swansea Bay

Gower in itself is a sight to behold, with stunning backdrops and coastline that stretches for miles. As the Coast Path takes you around Worm’s Head and onto Llanrhidian, there lies Weobley Castle. Weobley was the proud home of the de la Bere family until the 15th century. There aren’t many places left where you can stand at the same window as someone did half a millennium ago and witness the same unspoilt view. The vista from Weobley over the north Gower marshlands and mudflats is one such rare place. The de la Beres were an elegant and refined family by all accounts. Domestic niceties incorporated into their manor house included a fine hall with fireplace, private rooms and sizeable guest chamber. The decorative windows are also well worth a peek. Their craftsmanship speaks volumes.

Entry: Adult - £2.80, Family - £8.00* (other concessions available) *Admits 2 adults and all children under 16

Open: Daily 9.30am - 6.00pm from 01 April - 31 October 2012

Great WalkOxwich Point

South Wales Coast & Severn Estuary

Chepstow is the geographical southernmost point of the Wales Coast Path, as well as being the home to Chepstow castle. This castle boasts the oldest known castle doors in Europe. Made of solid wood they are over 800 years old and are steeped in history just like the entire structure. Chepstow castle tells the story of years of hard work and development – its creation continued into the seventeenth century. Its location in the historical town makes it an ideal spot to stop off and take a breather.

Entry: Adult - £4.00, Family - £ £11.60

Open: Daily 9.30am - 5.00pm from 1 September - 31 October 2012

Half term event: Saturday 27 October – Sunday 28 October, 11.00am – 4.00pm Welsh Witches and Wizards, Chepstow Castle: White witches and Welsh wizards cast away the gloom with spells and potions as winter comes. Discover the enchanting world of Welsh myth and legend relating to witchcraft and wizardry. Normal admission applies. Call 01291 624065 for more information or visit www.cadw.wales.gov.uk

Great walks: Try the river walk which takes in the start (and finish) of the 870 mile Wales Coast Path!