Day 79 (4.2.17): The Best Castle in the UK. Seriously.

After our impromptu visit to Dryslwn Castle, we were off to Carreg Cennen.  I’m still doing my own personal study, but I think it might be the best castle in Wales.  Maybe all of the U.K.  Perched on top of a cliff, this castle dates back to the 1200s, though use of the magnificent location a defensive stronghold dates back much longer.  More on that in a bit.

IMG_9389.JPG

We started by hiking up the hill to the castle of course.  We stopped outside of the walls to rest a bit.

IMG_9394.JPG

Note that those are trees at the top of the picture.  What you can’t see from this angle is the massive cliff between Lydie and those trees.  We headed inside and started to climb and to explore.

IMG_9401.JPG

The girls found an old oven, and Cassie immediately climbed inside.

IMG_9407

The funny thing is that I visited this castle 20 years ago with my cousin Ben, and I’m pretty sure we did exactly the same thing.  The girls were having a ball!

IMG_9411

It wasn’t long before Lydie and Cassie started finding some higher places to climb.

IMG_9421

Eventually, the girls made it onto the outer curtain wall.

IMG_3435

The tiny sheep on the left side of this photo give you some idea of the elevation.  Indeed, the views from this wall of the castle and the countryside were unparalleled.

IMG_3437

And the weather!  I know we’re going to pay our dues with the British weather before our trip is done, but this day was sunny and 65 degrees.  We were extremely lucky!

But Carreg Cennen doesn’t just have great ruins in a great location. It has a cave that can only be accessed from inside the castle.  There are no lights in the cave, so you have to bring your own flashlights (or “torches” as the Brits call them).

IMG_3438

To reach the cave, you have to walk down a narrow covered passage that runs down the edge of the cliff.

IMG_3442

The passage ends at the entrance to the cave, which cuts straight into the hillside.  Lydie and Cassie *loved* the cave.

IMG_9426

Lydie and Cassie had the flashlights we brought, but the girls were too excited to wait for their slow parents to find a safe route through the steeply descending cave.  Thank goodness Julie and I had flashlights on our phones.

Along the way, we saw a bat on the wall about waist height.  He was nice to share his cave with us.

IMG_3445

Eventually the cave ends in a small chamber where there are couple of natural pools.  The rock look liked melted wax, showing that water has been dripping through the cave for thousands (if not millions) of years.

IMG_3452

This natural cave  with water combined with the natural defense offered by the hill and cliffs are probably the reasons that people have been using the site for thousands of years.  Near this pool people had scratched their names into the wall.  We were momentarily disappointed to see graffiti until we noticed that the years carved in the wall were from the 1800s.  Those people must have had real torches!

We ended our time at the castle with a short hike around the hilltop near the castle.

IMG_3462.JPG

Best. Day. Ever.

-Will

 

 

3 thoughts on “Day 79 (4.2.17): The Best Castle in the UK. Seriously.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s