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.


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


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.


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


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!


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


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


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.


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).


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


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


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.


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.


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.


Best. Day. Ever.




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

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