Dominated by its huge medieval fortress and surrounded by calm waterways, Caernarfon is one of Wales’ most picturesque towns.
Visit pretty Caernarfon to explore one of Wales’ most historically rich destinations. The area has been populated since pre-Roman times and features fascinating architecture from every era since. Explore narrow streets lined with Georgian houses, visit a Roman fort and see the enormous castle.
Caernarfon was founded in A.D. 60 when the Romans built the Segontium Roman Fort as part of their campaign against the druids of Anglesey. In subsequent centuries it held a court of the original Welsh princes, who successfully defended it against the army of William the Conqueror.
The town’s most impressive legacy, however, was built by its first English king, Edward I. The gigantic Caernarfon Castle was completed in 1330 and has survived a series of battles between English and Welsh armies over the centuries. See the famous polygonal towers and climb to the ramparts to look out across the surrounding waterways to the mountains of Snowdonia.
The best way to see the rest of town is to book a guided walk, available through the North Wales Tour Guide Association. Pass pretty market squares and historic cobbled streets to reach St. Mary’s Church. This impressive structure was built at the same time as the castle and was originally part of the old town walls.
Caernarfon is surrounded by water, with the Menai Strait to the west and the River Seiont flowing from the east. Book a cruise of the surrounding coastline or rent a boat or kayak and explore on your own. Views of the castle are particularly impressive from the water.
As one of Wales’ major towns, Caernarfon is easily accessible by bus, train and car. Spend a few days exploring this charming town.