Penrhyn Castle is a stylish Victorian manor house offering views of Snowdonia National Park and the Menai Strait. Built at great expense, this National Trust property oozes luxury and extravagance, and is also known for its beautiful walled garden and railway museum.
The mock-Norman castle at Penrhyn was built by the Pennant family in the early 19th Century and is one of the best examples of the Romanesque revival movement that was so popular with architects at this time. Among its incredible features are a one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria.
As well as admiring the elaborate interiors of Penrhyn Castle and marvelling at an impressive art collection that includes works by Rembrandt and Canaletto, a day out here should also include an hour or two strolling through the 60 acres of lush parkland surrounding the property, perched just half a mile from the North Wales coastline. The Victorian walled garden is a must-see, as are the rhododendrons and the exotic tree and shrub collection. The kids might also enjoy the large adventure playground at Penrhyn.
Penrhyn Railway Museum, in the castle's stable block, contains a vintage collection of industrial locomotives that were used at the time the house was built, and includes some that carried stone from nearby Penrhyn quarry. You can also view ongoing restoration work.
Visitors are welcome to Penrhyn Castle throughout the year and at weekends can enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour. It is situated just outside Bangor, less than a 10-minute drive away.