Born out of a bitter war between Welsh princes, Caernarfon Castle radiates history. When built in 1283 for Edward I, it was recognised as one of the greatest buildings of its time. Jutting out into the harbour in Caernarfon town in northwest Wales, it stands perfectly preserved today, with many activities and exhibitions inside. Here’s our pick of the best hotels nearby – bookable on Culture Trip.
What better way to step back into the Middle Ages than with a stay at a 16th-century inn? Some rooms at the Black Boy Inn have carved wooden, four-poster beds so that you can live it up like Edward I himself under timber-beamed ceilings. Downstairs, the bar is a picture-perfect cosy country pub, with heavy oak beams across the low ceiling and a huge array of real ales and beers from local breweries.
A short walk from Caernarfon’s walled old town and castle, the Celtic Royal Hotel is all ivy-clad Georgian splendour on the outside and contemporary chic inside. The basement features a sprawling indoor swimming pool, hot tubs and more. For dinner, you can dine on elevated pub grub in rooms that once held lavish society balls.
This former home of the renowned Armstrong-Jones family is now a country house hotel offering an elegant place to retreat. Snowdonia National Park is on your doorstep, and it’s 5mi (8km) into Caernarfon. The traffic-free cycle and walking path of Lon Eifion runs right by the hotel, taking you to the castle. Rooms are individually styled with four-poster beds, gilded mirrors and antique armchairs, and the Gunroom Restaurant serves fabulous fine dining courtesy of award-winning chef Daniel ap Geraint.
Within the 13th-century walls of Caernarfon town, Ty Dre Townhouse offers a little Edwardian charm. Rooms at the top retain their gabled ceilings, and all bedrooms come furnished with antique end tables and wardrobes. It’s part of the Black Boy Inn cluster of accommodation in Caernarfon, so you can return to the inn’s cosy pub after a day exploring the castle and harbour.
Crossing the Menai Suspension Bridge onto Anglesey, 8mi (13km) from Caernarfon, the first building to greet you is the Anglesey Arms. Spacious rooms are brightened by big windows, letting in views of the water or tree-filled countryside. The pub is a big draw for travellers to Anglesey, with a beer garden overlooking the Menai Strait, allowing you to enjoy the traditional and seasonal menu in the sun.
This Grade II-listed building on the banks of the Menai Strait was inspired by the châteaux in France. Its cone-topped turrets and gabled verandas wouldn’t look out of place in the Loire Valley. The standard lodge rooms in the modern annexe have free-standing tubs in their ensuites, but the individually styled château rooms steal the show. Choose between four-poster beds, bookcase-lined walls and free-standing tubs overlooking the grounds below. Small groups can book a cottage suite, which fits up to six people.
Just a few steps from Caernarfon Castle is Tŷ Castell, offering a combined eat, drink and stay experience that allows you to get a feel for the area. The hotel was known as the Wine Cellar centuries ago, and it remains true to its gastronomic roots. The restaurant serves locally sourced food from Gwynedd, inspired by Spanish tapas dishes, and the bar stocks locally brewed beers, cider and locally roasted coffee, too. There are just four rooms, each featuring contemporary decor with a few antique touches.
Looking for somewhere different? Choose one of the best hotels in Wales to reconnect with nature or a hotel near Snowdon – bookable on Culture Trip. While in Snowdonia, we know the best things to see and do; if you’re travelling further afield, don’t miss a visit to the most beautiful Welsh towns and villages you might not have heard of. There are certain Welsh dishes you won’t want to miss out on.
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