The town walls of Conwy are a major tourist attraction for the town, and with good reason: they are regarded as one of the most impressive and most intact walled circuits in all of Europe. Dating back to the late 13th century, they are as old as the town itself, and constructed by Edward I to pair with the equally impressive Conwy Castle, they form a foreboding defensive installation.
These days, there are fewer attacks from Welsh princes, and the site is maintained by Cadw, the Welsh historic tourist and culture group. The walls and the castle are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the ‘Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd’.
The walls themselves stretch for almost a mile around the town, and include three gatehouses and 21 separate towers. They have a rather colourful history, with many battles and sieges taking place until around the 1600s, by which time large defensive walls such as these were not as necessary. Made mostly from local sandstone and limestone, the walls cost a staggering £15,000; this is estimated to be more than £10 million in today’s money, but is likely significantly higher (potentially hundreds of times larger) when things such as the average wage of the time are taken into account.
The walls make for a perfect jaunt around the city. At less than a mile, the walk is not too taxing, although at parts the steps can be rather steep, making it unsuitable for wheelchairs and difficult for pushchairs. The views along the walls are spectacular, allowing you to see out across the town and the castle. From the highest point on the walls the best direction to look is out onto the estuary of the River Conwy, which makes for a great photograph on a clear day.
However, the most impressive view is from the turrets. Look to the west and you will be able to take in the imposing Conwy Mountain, while all around you are the towns of Llandudno and Deganwy, and even the edges of the Snowdonia National Park. This latter beautiful part of North Wales is well worth a day’s visit or two to itself, and as it’s not far at all from Conwy, it’s easy enough to reach. Even without a car you’ll be okay as the public transport services in the area are excellent.
Click here and you can find out more about our options for self-catered accommodation in the Conwy area. It’s the perfect way to start your North Wales discovery.
Conwy is on the north coast of Wales not far from Llandudno. It is easily accessible by car on the A55 coast road or by rail.
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Conwy Castle is easily the most spectacular of all the castles in North Wales (and cost the most to build, too!). The castle was built for Edward I by Master James of St George, and is one of the most impressive surviving medieval fortifications in Britain.
Plas Mawr, which translates to “Great Hall” in English is an Elizabethan townhouse located within the walls of Conwy. Plas Mawr dates back to the 16th century, was built by the merchant Robert Wynn and completed in 1585.
Enjoy everything Conwy has to offer by staying in a cottage in and around the town or Conwy Marina. Attractions include Conwy Castle, the town walls, Plas Mawr Elizabethan House, The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art, pleasure cruises and a wide range of shops and restaurants.
Take a walk to the end of the pier, make sand castles on the beach, ride the tram or a cable car to the top of the Great Orme and treat yourself to a meal at one of the many restaurants. Llandudno has a lot to offer and is a great base for exploring North Wales.