How is your week going? I read yesterday that autumn is going to pass by this year, skipping his stop at Spain and instead winter will come stronger. Not very good news, not at all. I like autumn: its gorgeous red leaves, hot drinks (hello chai/matcha latte), being able to go out without a coat but with a cozy sweater and wearing tights (I love tights!). Are those too blogger cliché? Oh well, I am totally for them, I never have problems being classified as anything as long as I do what I feel like. Although autumn will not likely make his appearance this year I can live vicariously through other blogger posts (yay! keep them coming!) and feel like I was in it sharing our South Wales pictures. Because, truth be told, our autumn normally looks exactly how late summer looked at Wales.
For today’s post we have wrapped together all our castles visits for the fun of it (list lover here, are you the same?). Castles were maybe THE main attraction of the area, altogether with the Pembrokeshire coast walks, and we knew we wanted to visit a bunch of them: at least 3 or 4. I have to admit that I was afraid that the visits were going to be too monotonous, once you’ve seen one you’ve seen all? As it was my first time with castle-hop, I didn’t know what to expect, but it ended up being such a different experience in each one. I chose each of them making sure that the looks were quite different, so maybe this is a recommendation I can extend: before adding a new castle to your itinerary check if you think you will like it after a few days visiting other castles.
Without further ado: ye olde castles for all of you!
After our rainy visit to Colby Woodland garden we drove towards Carew Castle for a quick walk around its grounds. One of the things that caught more our eye of this castle was the gorgeous lake & location (those straw bundles are priceless). Unfortunately at that time the rain was even worse than in the garden and our walk was the quickest as possible, only stopping to take a few pictures, but not being able to enjoy it as it deserved.
We visited Coch castle, near Cardiff, on our next to last day at Wales. Pictures don’t do justice to what an amazing visit this little one was. Castell Coch is the Victorian dreamt home of John Patrick Crichton-Stuart which asked to William Burges to build on top of the ruins of a real medieval property what a medieval castle looked like in story tales. Mr. Chricton-Stuart was a medieval aficionado and although not in the fashion of his time wanted to create a home that would bring him to his favorite era.
The pink-ish tone of the stones and its (believed) french-inspired medieval cone roofs makes you feel like a real princess but I think I was even more impressed about the ceilings & walls decoration and the furniture of the inside. Special mention to the hexagon room with lots of beautifully painted animals on the walls where there are hidden fables like the Fox and the Crow. Also, one fun note, Castell (castle in the Welsh original) in Catalan also means castle; which makes me smile, is it only me that sees the sign of our brotherhood with Wales here?
Caerphilly Castle was a must visit with a good auto guided tour (Castell Coch had a marvellous audio guide!) where we learnt a story about love & betrayal of its first inhabitants: the king, the queen, the villain & the lover. Intrigued? No need to worry, I am the best historic gossiper in town. The king’s counsellor, aka the villain, was so attached to the king that was decided to make the queen disappear from the castle. He convinced the king to banish the queen, so he would have the king for himself. But he was not aware of the strong character of the queen whom during her banishment met a charming cavalier, the lover. The lover did not only master the art of love but also the art of war; he was decided to defeat the king in order to give back again to the queen her castle. He succeeded killing both the king and the villain and his new reign began. Quite interesting, right? More it is to know that at the end the new king was also killed and the queen had the castle all by herself and her only son as she deserved on the first place.
We talked about Carreg Cennen in its dedicated post South Wales: Carreg Cennen. So jump to learn more about this beauty!
Thanks for following along this castle hop! We enjoy a lot hearing your impressions, so don’t be shy!