Regarded as one of the most impressive castles in Wales, visitors to Carew Castle can trace the structure’s history from Norman fortifications to when it became an Elizabethan country home owned by Sir John Perrot, possibly an illegitimate son of Henry VIII, before its eventual abandonment in the 17th Century. Several notable features have resulted, including earthworks created by Royalist defenders during the Civil War and window frames dating to Tudor times that were made of imported Cotswold stone that stands out against the local limestone used for the rest of the building.
Now in the capable hands of the National Trust, which has embarked on a major restoration programme, the Castle is an exceptional attraction for anyone visiting South Wales.
Masses of events take place here, from classic car rallies to falconry demonstrations, archaeology tours and medieval fun days for the kids. There is a beautifully preserved medieval bridge Wales’ only restored tidal mill - which would have been fed by the nearby Carew river - an 11th century Celtic cross and a diverse range of wildlife from swans to owls, and several species of bat. Even, if legend is to be believed, the ghost of a Barbary ape!
Visit and learn of Carew Castle’s colourful past, featuring Princess Nest, said to have been the most beautiful woman in Wales, rumours of treason and piracy, and a spell in the Tower of London for one unfortunate owner. Bring a picnic to enjoy and make sure you take the circular one-mile walk around the grounds that takes in the principal highlights and allows superb views of the castle.