The Welsh Castles of King Edward I
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Meadows & hills
The 1280s and 1290s saw King Edward I build and strengthen a vast number of Welsh castles in his dispute with the Welsh Princes, including Beaumaris, Caernafon, Conwy and Harlech, which now make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alongside our expert leader uncover Edward’s plans, meet his enforcers and opponents and explore the legacy of this most prolific castle-building period.
- Visits to six Welsh castles
- Exploring the towers and gateways of Conwy and Caernafon town walls
- Small sociable groups of up to 18 guests
- Supporting talks from our knowledgeable leader introducing the history and story of Edward I
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Full programme of excursions and visits
- 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 with PA system, as well as all other transport required as part of your holiday itinerary
- All admissions to places of interest that form part of your holiday itinerary
Craflwyn Hall offers a stunning and peaceful location on the edge of Beddgerlert village. There are superb walks right on the doorstep, with the local mountains of Snowdon and Moel Hebog within easy reach.
Leased from the National Trust, Craflwyn Hall has 21 bedrooms, located in the main building and in the stable block which has been converted retaining many of the original features.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Craflwyn Hall is generally accessible to wheelchair users. There are no ground floor rooms, but there is a lift. One of the rooms on the 1st floor has a converted bathroom that is suitable for wheelchair users.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and guests are requested to read the booklets in the rooms regarding safety procedures. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request. An under-pillow vibrating pad is available on request
- Good signage for fire escape routes
- Internet access computer available free of charge. Free Wifi
- Mobile phone reception in the house and surrounding area is not available
- One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
- Guide dogs can be provided for
- Information can be provided in large print
Our Heritage Tours are your opportunity to immerse yourself in an area of history that interests you, at the same time as exploring the local area with a group of like-minded people. Each day our leaders will provide fascinating commentary on the places visited and share their knowledge with you. This holiday involves some gentle walking, up to 2miles (3.5 kilometres).
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Magnificent Conwy Castle
We join Edward in 1277 as his campaign reaches Rhuddlan, where we view one of his earliest castles, built following the First Welsh War. Then we follow him to 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.
Historic Harlech Castle
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.
Caernarfon & Beaumaris Castles
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.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
The picturesque village of Beddgelert is about 1 mile from Craflwyn Hall. Facilities here are limited and include a post office, pubs and cafés. The nearest town is Porthmadog, about 8 miles away, which has a wide range of shops and facilities
During your visit to Craflwyn Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Welsh Highland Railway
The recently re-opened Welsh Highland railway runs from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, passing through Beddgelert on route. This is a spectacular journey which includes the dramatic Aberglaslyn Pass and views of Snowdon. The steep gradients require powerful locomotives which have to work particularly hard on the climb from Beddgelert to the summit of the line at Rhyd Ddu. www.festrail.co.uk
Great Little Trains of Wales
Snowdonia is noted for its concentration of narrow guage steam railways, all of which offer highly scenic journeys. The Ffestiniog Railway and Snowdon Moutain Railways are both within reach. For a truly unique day out you can take the mountain railway to the summit of Snowdon (best to book in advance as tickets can sell out quickly on busy days). www.greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk
National Slate Museum
Located at Llanberis, the excellent, and free, National Slate Museum tells the story of this once extensive industry. You can see slate being cut by hand, the huge waterwheel that powers the machinery, and the fascinating quarrymen's houses which show their development over the centuries. Llanberis is around 30 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, and can also be reached using the Snowdon Sherpa bus. www.museumwales.ac.uk/slate
Built by King Edward I after his conquest of Wales, Caernarfon Castle is one of the most impressive and well preserved fortifications in the principality. Along with neighbouring castles at Harlech, Beaumaris and Conwy it now has World Heritage status. Caernarfon is around 30 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, or can be reached using the Welsh Highland Railway. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
The seaside town of Criccieth is around 25 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, and full of Victorian character. You could visit the historic castle, relax on the beach, or sample the excellent ice cream at Cadwaders parlour.
The long arm of the Llyn Peninsula offers beautiful and contrasting scenery, with wild cliffs and white sandy coves. Enjoy the glorious beaches at Aberdaron or Abersoch, or walk to the tip of the peninsula and enjoy the views of Bardsey Island.
Harlech Castle occupies a superb vantage point overlooking the coast and the mountains of Snowdonia. Built by Edward I, its imposing walls were built by 1,000 skilled craftsmen between 1283 and 1295. www.cadw.gov.uk
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
Located near Bleanau Ffestiniog, about 30 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, the Llechwedd Slate Caverns are one of the area's most popular attractions. Take the underground railway deep into the mountain where a knowledgeable guide will tell you how slate was hewn by hand. www.llechwedd-slate-caverns.co.uk
Situated in the Conwy Valley, about 50 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, the National Trust's gardens at Bodnant have impressive collections of colour and views of the Snowdonian mountains. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden
The grand house at Plas Newydd enjoys glorious views overlooking the Menai Straits. Built for the 1st Marquess of Anglesey, the house itself is impressive, as are the extensive gardens. Now managed by the National Trust. Around 50 minutes' drive from Beddgelert. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/plas-newydd
This quaint Italianate village was the brainchild of the architect Clough Williams-Ellis. It is also well-known as the setting for the cult 1960’s TV series The Prisoner. Portmeirion is around 20 minutes' drive from Beddgelert. www.portmeirion-village.com
Plas Newydd image ©National Trust Images/John Millar. Caernarfon Castle and Harlech Castle images © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government
Travel to Snowdon
Our address is: Craflwyn Hall, Beddgelert, Gwynedd, LL55 4NG
The nearest railway stations are Porthmadog and Betws-y-Coed; however we would recommend taking the train to Bangor which has the best train service. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 25 mile journey from Bangor railway station takes approximately 40 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £40 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Craflwyn Hall Manager.
There is a limited bus service which runs past Craflwyn Hall. Any bus route that goes between Beddgelert and Pen-y-Gwryd will pass the end of the drive of Craflwyn Hall. For bus times see www.traveline.info
For a lovely drive through the Welsh countryside, head towards Betws-y-Coed. In Betws-y-Coed take the A5, heading towards Bangor, as far as Capel Curig, then turn left onto the A4086. After a further 4 miles bear left onto the A498 at the Pen-y-Gwyrd Hotel; this road follows the Glaslyn Valley passing two large lakes. The entrance to Craflwyn Hall is on the right hand side of the road, approximately 1 mile after the second lake. Look out for the brown National Trust sign.
Travelling from overseas
Manchester Airport has the quickest onward connections to Bangor. Trains from the aiport take 3 hours, with one change at Crewe or Chester. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Bangor by train. You'll need to head to Euston station in the centre of London, from where there are direct trains to Bangor. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
In each case complete your journey to Craflwyn Hall by taxi (see above).
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.