The Welsh Castles of King Edward I in Northern Snowdonia
The 1280s and 1290s saw King Edward I build and strengthen a vast number of castles during his disputes with the Welsh Princes. You’ll explore Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech, which now make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Visit six of Edward's Welsh strongholds
- Explore Beaumaris Castle - the greatest castle never built
- Discover the domineering Caernarfon Castle
- Climb to the top of Conwy's towers and look down upon the town
- High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
- The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- All transport on touring days on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach
- All admissions to places of interest that form part of your holiday itinerary, excluding National Trust and English Heritage properties
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
We join Edward in 1277 as his campaign reaches Rhuddlan, where we view one of his earliest castles built after the First Welsh War. We follow him to the magnificent Conwy Castle to see his huge manifestation of power on the north coast. But, following the town walls, we see and hear how easily his castle was captured.
Today’s highlight is Harlech Castle, dominant and seemingly impregnable on its plinth of rock, but with a history of capture and siege beyond the late 13th century. On the opposite side of the bay, at Criccieth Castle, we can see how Edward improved an existing castle to suit his own purposes.
First to Caernarfon, where the largest of all the castles still defines the area physically and culturally. Dare you inspect the view from the top of the Eagle Tower? Or take a more leisurely walk around the town walls? Later we explore Edward’s final castle at Beaumaris, uncompleted but clearly showing the development of castle-building knowledge.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
In the heart of Snowdonia, Craflwyn Hall at the foot of Mount Snowdon, close to the picturesque village of Beddgelert, is a glorious story of recovery; once a substantial 19th century house in the heart of the Nan Gwynant Valley, the property was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair before being acquired by the National Trust and painstakingly restored. Now a walkers’ mountain retreat in a picture-perfect spot, it’s the ideal base for exploring northern Snowdonia. As well as places to stay in the main house, the stable block has been imaginatively converted into bedrooms too. Comfy lounges and a snug bar provide other creature comforts. The countryside on the doorstep provides the ultimate attraction though. Wake up early and enjoy the views if the cloud is up, then grab your walking boots and head out on to one of the trails up Snowdon. Or you could go further afield to the Glydrs, Moel Siabod, Cricht and Moel Hebog, as well as the pretty town of Betws Y Coed.
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house or in one of the handful of bedrooms in the converted stables behind the house. With 22 rooms, Craflwyn Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Ask for Room 1, a large corner space with great green views, or Room 8, for its giant square picture window.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, three lounges, library and board games to borrow
After a day rambling over the slopes of Snowdon or summiting a cracking peak, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Sit out in the grounds with a coffee or great local Welsh ale or take a chance to relax in the small conservatory. If the weather’s not so favourable retire to the lounge and sink into one of the squashy leather sofas in front of the fireplace. The snug bar provides a great space to swap stories of mountain days too.
Food & Drink
As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Craflwyn Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Kick off your day with a ‘Miner’s Breakfast’. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours. Look out for highlights including Glamorgan sausages, braised salt marsh lamb shoulder shepherd’s pie and a Welsh version of Eve’s pudding.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.
All of our Heritage Tours involve active sightseeing and you should, therefore, be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera, sun protection, and drinks during the day.
Please be sure to bring your National Trust or English Heritage membership cards if you have them - admissions to sites owned by these two organisations are not included in the price of your holiday. If you are a member of an organisation which has reciprocal arrangements with National Trust or English Heritage, do be sure to bring your membership cards too.
After 30 years as a Transport Planner, Graham successfully retrained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He is a geographer by qualification and an explorer by instinct, and frequently has a map in his hand. Graham's travels have taken him to many parts of the country, where he enjoys discovering out-of-the-way places as well as an area's better known towns and buildings. He has a particular interest in the countryside, waterways, industrial heritage and places where history happened. Graham is also an HF Holidays' walking leader and has led at more than half of the UK's Country Houses.
Excellent leader. Did his best to make the holiday as good as possible for each one of the guests on the Discovery Tour.
Leader to Be Announced
We’ll announce the leader for this holiday shortly. Be assured that all of our expert leaders share one goal; to create an exceptional experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you on this holiday.
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
06 Jul - 10 Jul
|4||Heritage Tour||£499 £469||Save £30 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
10 Aug - 14 Aug
|4||Heritage Tour||£499 £469||Save £30 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
4 nights from £499pp £469pp
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