Towering on its rocky crag overlooking Cardigan Bay, Harlech Castle has always been a imposing sight. Now, exciting new developments give the castle the context it deserves as a World Heritage Site.
Although we often visit Harlech (the fabulous home-made ice cream shop is a great incentive to cycle up the coast!) I hadn’t visited the castle itself for a few years. A crane and builders’ hoarding obscured the entrance for many months while a new bridge was built to allow wheelchair access to the castle.
All was revealed in August this year and I was really impressed. You are welcomed in through a glossy gift shop. But step into a small, dark room and you’re suddenly immersed into the spirit of this ancient castle. A dramatic and poetic audio visual presentation surrounds you with the sights and sounds of what these castles were made to do – dominate, defend, fight.
Walk across the elegant new bridge and you can climb high onto the castle battlements – although you’ll need a good head for heights! The views from here and from the fab new cafe have to be some of the most spectacular in Wales.
You can pop into the cafe anytime for a really good lunch or home-made cake. The cafe is dog friendly and there is talk of allowing dogs on leads into the castle too in the future.
The castle, endless sandy beach, quirky shops and great cafes make Harlech a really good day out any time of year.