The ruins visit the ruins – Beaumaris Castle   8 comments

North Wales has, in my humble opinion, the best collection of castles in the UK. It has the “big 4” of Harlech, Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Conwy as well as numerous other smaller but no less beautiful and evocative ruins across the region.

As you can tell from some of my previous posts (and in due course from my recent trip to France), I love castles. From an early age as a kid, my parents took me to all the major ones in Wales, the borders and across the UK. I have some very fond memories of sunny days spent exploring them, having a picnic in the gardens and pretending to be a medieval knight. They are some of the best days out I can remember as a kid. My grandparents had a caravan in mid-Wales so we often took a day out to the castles in North Wales. As we had to drive through Snowdonia to reach them it also sparked my very first yearning to climb mountains.

I’m pleased to say that my kids and those of my friends share my passion for exploring these old ruins so it’s a pretty sure fire winner for a day out. One of the days on our recent North Wales trip to Towyn was looking gloomy so we decided a castle day out was in order. Caernarfon is the closest and it’s a magnificent building. However we’ve been a couple of times before and fancied a change. Beaumaris is a little further but it’s a nice seaside town to spend the day and of course it has a castle.

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The Inner Ward

After a splendid and whopping fish and chip lunch we set off to explore the castle (minus my beach funster and TYG who wanted to look in the charity shops)

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The zoo

It’s a cracking castle and has what all castles should have in my opinion, a moat, a remnant of the days when you could access the castle direct from the sea.

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The moat and entrance

As you walk in you realise that it’s a concentric castle with both an inner motte and an outer protective wall. When I was a kid you could walk the entire circuit of the outer wall but when I revisited a few years ago some cheerless soul had decided it was far too risky to walk on (the walls are completely intact and perfectly safe) so they were closed (I’ll leave you to insert your own Health and Safety, Nanny State, we don’t to be sued by people too stupid to look after themselves and preyed upon by legal leeches rant so I don’t have to bother). Anyway I was delighted to see they have re-opened the outer wall again (or at least half of it). A walk around the outer wall and then back in around the grassy swathe between the two walls is one of the delights of Beaumaris.

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The outer walls

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The outer court walk

Inside you really get the sense of the scale of the place. It truly is a big castle in area. It doesn’t have the dramatic position of Harlech or the grandeur of Caernarfon but it’s a castle that you can really get a sense of what it must have been like to live in. The inner ward is huge by comparison to other castles as you can see from the photos. The walls are immense with numerous passages and rooms and small chapels contained within. You can also climb a couple of spiral staircases (my favourites, I don’t know why) to access some sections of the wall. From up there the views down into and across the castle are excellent and again really gives you a sense of the scale and with a much greater sense of the height than you do from below or outside.

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Atop the inner walls

Whenever I visit a castle like this I’m always amazed at how they ever got built in age without mechanical assistance. Just assembling the materials must have been difficult especially when consider the volume required when you see how thick the walls are. These places really are historical treasures.

It had been a cold day up until now but the sky had been slowly clearing and the views from the top of the walls along the coast of Anglesey and across to the Carneddau and Great Orme were spectacular with clouds rolling along the tops of the mountains. From a dull start it was turning into a fine day.

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Across the inner ward to the North Wales coast

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Above the gatehouse

The kids are at that age when we can now just let them loose in a castle and let them explore at their leisure. B & S being typical small boys took to trying to kill all of us with plastic swords, a timeless pleasure that every small boy should do at least once. We caught glimpses of them from the tops of walls or waving from windows or bumped into them in the long passages within the walls that the kids really like.

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Damsels in Distress

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A fleeting glimpse of the girls

We spent a really pleasurable couple of hours exploring every nook and cranny, the adults enjoying this just as much as the kids.

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View to the inner ward from the gatehouse

To finish off the day the kids (and some the adults) had a little play on the pleasant park in the grounds and we then took a short stroll to top of the low cliffs just outside the town.

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Adults (with a token kid) at play

The views from here as the sun really came out were just superb, a fine finish to the day.

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Across towards the Carneddau

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Along the coast towards Puffin Island

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Looking back towards Beaumaris and the castle

I was a little disappointed we hadn’t had chance to catch crabs from the pier as it’s a great place for it but there is only so much fun you can have in one day. You can read ED’s account of the day here

A slap up fish and chip lunch, a play in one of Britain’s finest historical monuments and coastal stroll with views across to the mountains. Now that’s a good day.

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8 responses to “The ruins visit the ruins – Beaumaris Castle

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  1. Top day. I should have realised that your castle fixation stems from childhood days out. We used to go to Warwick, and probably elsewhere but it’s Warwick which sticks in my mind.

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    beatingthebounds
    • Probably been to most of these castles at least half a dozen times each and I never tire of them. Always a winner. Not been to Warwick for years though, splendid from what I remember but I think you need a bank loan to get in these days

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  2. Great photos! I love especially that they are enough big to be admired!!!

    Happy blogging and travel.

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    • Hi Sartenada, thanks for the kind words. The photos are the main part of my blog as my writing is not so good 🙂
      I’ve popped over to your blog and dropped a comment and I’ll keep a check on your great photos as well. I’ve also added you to my feeds and blogroll
      Cheers
      Andy

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  3. I’m with you on the castle fixation Andy. I remember running around the castles of Wales on our hols. I think the last “castle” we visited was a broch a couple of years back. Like Beaumaris you could walk between the walls – although the gap was only a couple of feet and the rough hidden passage climbed upwards…same principle though. :D.

    PS Do they normally look like that when heading for a charity shop? 😉

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    • We used to enjoy playing on the brochs in Glenelg. Mind you when I say “play” I should point out we were in our 20’s at the time 🙂
      Securing those charity shop bargains can be a competitive business, hence the aggressive posturing!

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  4. They are great photos – do you post them as ‘full size’? I’m sure I must have been to Beaumaris Castle as a youngster, but I’ve no memory of it. Looks well worth a visit though.

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    • I embed my photos from Flickr and use the large size rather than the original. I tend to use the photos as the main focus of my post as my wrtiting style is pretty plain hence I like the big photos to tell the story along with my musical slideshows. I create those primarily for my own benefit but it’s easy and free to stick them on youtube and embed into the blog
      Beaumaris is a nice place to spend a day with a pleasant sea-front, nice town (with good chippy) as well as the castle. Conwy is pretty good as well, especially as they have opened up most of the town walls now as well

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