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Caernarfon

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About Caernarfon

North Wales is a place steeped in mystique, history and romance, and Caernarfon is no exception. Famous for its imposing and brutal 13th-century castle, it is a quintessentially Welsh town. Lying near to the savage green mountains and misty gullies of Snowdonia National Park, it is the ideal holiday destination for history lovers and hikers alike. Full of museums, old-fashioned pubs, outdoor adventure activities and some great historical sites, the town and its surrounding area is choc-a-bloc with things to do and see. It is, in fact, in these surrounds where you will find some of the best places to stay in Caernarfon; charming country houses with spectacular views.

If you're hankering for a real taste of Wales, this is the town for you. Over 85% of the locals speak Welsh, so throughout your stay, you will be truly immersed in the Celtic heritage of Caernarfon, whether you're in the lovely old pubs washing down a pie with a pint of Ayr Eryri Gold besides a roaring fireplace, or enjoy local works of art in the Oriel Pendeitsh gallery. The town itself is a maze of charming narrow streets, in the shadow of the looming great Caernarfon Castle and the remnants of its walls by the waterfront, which has been recently and stylishly redeveloped.

The main attraction of Caernarfon is obviously its castle. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was constructed in the 13th-century under the orders of Edward I - costing the equivalent of roughly 90% of the crown's annual income - and was used as a royal palace. A strategically-sound place, the area was once inhabited by Celts and later on, by the Romans, who built a fort called Segontium on the hill above the town, the remains of which can still be seen. The castle also holds the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum inside two of its polygonal towers. St Mary's Church, standing nearby, was built in 1307 to serve as a place of worship for the residents of the tower and although the exterior was reconstructed in the early 19th-century, the original 14th-century masonry remains inside.

For many, Wales is defined by the wildness of its landscape and in nearby Snowdonia National Park, you can readily hear the poems of Dylan Thomas sing through the foggy air. Boasting the highest mountain in Wales, there is a savage beauty to the land. Streams with waters as clear-as-glass flowing through the heart of rugged green valleys, it is an enchanting place and is ideal for hiking.

What not to miss

  • Immerse yourself within the local history by making a stop at the Oriel Pendeitsh art gallery. Afterwards, head towards the castle and check out the Royal Welsh Fusiliers museum, dedicated to Wales' most famous army regiment.
  • Caernarfon Castle is the main attraction of the town. Built in the 13th-century, the castle is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site and was once the royal palace of Edward I.
  • On a hill above the town are the remains of the Roman fort Segontium which are also worth visiting.
  • For an entertaining, action-packed day-out with the kids, the GreenWood Forest Park is ideal, an outdoor adventure centre offering archery, a zip-wire and an eco-friendly rollercoaster.
  • The mountains and hills surrounding Caernarfon are wild and magical. Nearby is the Snowdonia National Park - one of the best hiking destinations in the whole of the UK.

During the summer months, this is a popular destination, so to ensure a room at one of the best places to stay in Caernarfon we suggest you plan well in advance.

The best places to stay in Caernarfon

For a country escape

  • Plas Dinas is a charming country house standing in 15-acre grounds, offering ten majestically-decorated rooms. Filled with original furniture, old family portraits and objet d'art the property has real character.
  • With numerous outdoor pursuits right on the door-step and cosy rooms and a fantastic restaurant to return to Ty'n Rhos makes for the ideal rural getaway.

For local exploring

  • Ty Castell is a restaurant with four contemporary rooms, ideal for exploring the town. Perfectly positioned for sightseeing and in close proximity to some great pubs, it is great for a weekend getaway.

For an apartment or cottage

  • If your preferred option is self-catering, our partner Booking.com has a wide range of cottages and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • The best time to go is during the summer months when the temperature ranges between 14 and 19 degrees with an average of eight days of rain per month.
  • Fly to Manchester Airport and get a train or bus to Caernarfon.
  • If you want to rent a car then we recommend you contact our partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Weather

Monthly Weather in Caernarfon

Best Hotels in Caernarfon

  • Ty Castell Caernarfon (Gwynedd) 4 rooms from $102

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly positioned to discover all Caernarfon and Snowdonia have to offer.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the dramatic 13th century waterfront Caernarfon Castle, just steps away!
    Full of character
    Traditional
    RestaurantNo pets

    A charming restaurant with rooms in historic Caernarfon. Four beautifully styled rooms benefit from plenty of light flooding through the sash windows, open fireplaces and pops of colour coming from the Welsh tapestry bed spreads. With plenty to explore in the area this is the perfect weekend escape. See More

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  • Ty'n Rhos Caernarfon (nr. CAERNARFON) 19 rooms from $146

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly situated between Snowdonia National Park, Caernarfon and Bangor making for easy local exploration.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Caernarfon Castle, possibly the most famous of Wales’s castles.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    A charming hotel in a glorious part of Wales. Simply styled rooms feature floor to ceiling windows (to enjoy the garden views), soft hues and modern bathrooms. A fine-dining restaurant is worthy of a visit alone. With numerous outdoor pursuits in the area this is the perfect country escape. See More

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  • Plas Dinas Caernarfon 10 rooms from $178

    Historic  -  Steeped in Royal History, Plas Dinas still retains many family portraits, memorabilia and original furniture.
    Groups  -  Private Dining for up to 26 & Murder Mystery weekends.
    Rural
    Fishing  -  Bala Lake, is the largest natural still water in North Wales, with the River Dee flowing through it.
    GardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    A fine old house steeped in character and history, set in beautiful 15 acre grounds between Snowdonia and the Irish Sea. Plas Dinas has a number of majestically decorated rooms and several dining options. This remote getaway is perfect for large groups looking for an active and luxurious weekend. See More

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