Visit Southern Wales

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Archive for tag: Poland

Welsh Castles Come Out on Top

Ogmore CastleGreat news this morning from the BBC that, according to a Visit Britain survey, what overseas visitors to the UK want to see more than anything are Welsh castles.

10,000 people from all over the world were surveyed and 34% said their must do activity was a visit to one of our castles.  The castles beat Buckingham Palace, a shopping trip to Harrods and watching a Premier League football match to come out on top.  A visit to our castles was particularly popular agmonst Russian and Polish holiday makers.

Of course it comes as no surprise to those that know out castles that it came out on top.  There are 641 castles in Wales and in Southern Wales we have the biggest, oldest, newest, grandest and most picturesque.

Caerphilly Castles is amongst the biggest in Europe.  It dominates the town of the same name and its impressive moat system would have been formidable to attacking forces in the middle ages.

If Caerphilly is the biggest then one of the oldest is Chepstow.  Standing on the banks of the River Wye, which marks the border between Wales and England, and was one of the first to be built by the invading Norman forces.  Nearby Raglan castle was one of the last to be built and was intended more of a grand stately home than as a fort.

If it's a grand stately home you want, then nothing beats Cardiff Castle.  Transformed from a Norman fort into a palatial residence by the Marquess of Bute, the apartments interiors have to be seen to be believed.

Finally Ogmore Castle has to be one of the most picturesque.  Sitting on the banks of the River Ewenny near the tiny village of Merthyr Mawr the castle is accessed via a set of stepping stones across the river.  The setting could not be more idyllic.