Castles of gwynedd
I visited this WHS in June 2016. I drove to this beautiful part of North Wales and I visited all four sites. I stayed for one night in Harlech and shared the moments of joy with Welsh fans as Wales advanced to the quarter final of Euro 2016. The scenic countryside alone (arriving from Pontcysyllte) was worth the visit. After a very wet day, the dark black sky opened up just a bit to let the reddish sunset rays on Harlech castle (picture). Harlech castle was my favourite from the series as it had less visitors, felt more authentic, and the Morfa Harlech National Nature Reserve (and golf course) just opposite was worth visiting. I’m no golf fan but I would have loved to play in such a serene environment. Thanks to Wales’ historic performance at the Euro 2016, free entrance was granted to everyone visiting the Gwynedd castles so I was extremely lucky not to pay for any entrance ticket. Next, I visited Caernarfon which is set very close to the sea and has city wall remains which are worth visiting (you cannot walk on the walls here like in Conwy). The personnel employed in the Caernarfon castle were overjoyed to welcome a WH traveller from Malta and the ‘manager’ was very attentive to anything related to the UNESCO WH list. We had a lovely chat and he pointed out that he had personally asked for the UNESCO plaques to be removed as the Gwynedd castles inscription took place in 1986 not 1987. Next, I visited Beaumaris after crossing the Menai bridge. There are many seabirds here and a short cruise to the nearby Puffin Island and Menai Strait (departures just opposite the castle) will fit in perfectly if you’re into birdwatching. All the castles have pretty much nothing left inside and their interior is mostly visited by visitors with children. Beaumaris castle is perhaps the best example of the series (both interior and exterior) and the moat surrounding the castle enhances its symmetry. I enjoyed the short video shown inside the castle and it helped me appreciate certain aspects which I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Last but not least, I visited Conwy which is the most touristy and visited castle of the series, being very close to Liverpool. The walk on the surrounding walls offers beautiful views of the castle and it would have been enough the appreciate the castle (since it was free though I had to take a quick look inside at least). I enjoyed my second visit in Wales and I’m very happy I’ve seen all the Welsh WHS.
World heritage site