A visit to Conwy castle was meant to be our family half term activity. We had grand plans to see the castle and teach Little Z all about them and show him this part of beautiful Wales. He’s never been and we tend to go up to Scotland so it was a nice plan to have a long day out and learn something at the same time. As luck would have it, the baby was teething and a bit grumpy the night before and family had generously volunteered to look after him so that they could have quality baby nephew time. Little Z decided he didn’t want to go if his brother wasn’t going so a family day out turned into a rare couples day out instead. And it was a lot of fun!
Conway Castle was first on our list and we were presented with a huge medieval castle from the 13th century built for Edward I. It is how you imagine an old majestic castle to look with its high towers, a massive fort and bridge on the outside of the castle and beautiful views that royalty must have admired on clear days. It cost £15,000 to build it and you can see that it must have been created with fine sturdy material as the exterior still stands proudly to this day with all its old aged charm.
The inside is mostly ruins which I was a bit sad about, but then it’s done really well to stand the test of time if it was built over 7 whole centuries ago. You can explore quite freely and there are signs showing the boundaries of each room and Great hall. The towers are still very much intact and you can go up the spiral staircases to get the views at the very top. Like all historical towers, they are designed with the typical spiral staircase which narrows are you get further up. Some little parts are worn away so they aren’t child friendly for very young kids but are still safe, you just have to be a bit careful, especially in rainy weather in case it’s a bit slippery. There aren’t any lifts or ramps so it’s not stroller friendly and I was relieved we’d left the baby at home else we would have had to take turns to go to the top alone.
Apparently Edward I didn’t really spend much time there at all and I wonder if he treated it as a bit of a holiday home. I definitely would have. The views are so lovely in Conwy and I can imagine that it must have been a very pretty place to walk around. It’s stunning today too but you can tell from all the dates on the architecture that Conwy became a lot more inhabited and established in the 1800s, so it must have been quite a remote place to come to before that. It took us just over an hour to see the whole place and we decided to take a look at the harbour and the rest of Conwy.
The harbour and town are now very much a bustling place to be. Tourism and fishing are two big things there and the tourist season kicks off in March. As we went in the middle of February we found some places were completely shut. It’s still a very picturesque little place in the winter months and a very nice place to spend the day. We asked a few people where the best fish and chips could be found and ended up in a little place called the Fishermans that served the catch of the day. Their portions were huge but very nice and it felt so nice to have a classic fish, chips and mushy peas lunch with bread and butter and a pot of tea. I’m sure it’s been over 20 years since I last had a lunch like that.
Smallest house in Great Britain
The harbour is quite big and dominated by fishing and sailing. You can have a good sit down and admire all the boats, as well as the smallest house in Great Britain. It wasn’t due to open till March so we had to make do with peering in through the window. As it’s only one up, one down, there isn’t too much to see but it’s definitely worth popping by even for a few minutes so that you can stand next to the door and feel like a giant. Or at least I did. I’m not sure how a 6ft 3 fisherman lived in it, I’m 5ft tall and I’m pretty sure it would have been just about tall enough for me. It’s still owned today by his descendants and it’s a £1 to go into it to see it all.
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