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Caerphilly Castle, Cheese and Travel Tips

¦meaning Welcome to Caerphilly County. This is the sign board that greets you on the road or at the railway station. Moving around in Caerphilly can be easier if one is fluent in Welsh. But do not worry, as all the signboards and other important information is available in English too.

Caerphilly Castle - Photo by Flickr's Scott KuperusCaerphilly Castle – Photo by Flickr's Scott Kuperus

The town is situated surrounding the Caerphilly Castell or the Caerphilly castle, in the district of Senghenydd. Caerphilly is well connected to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, which is at a distance of 10 miles by rail and road. Gifted by an abundance of natural beauty, Caerphilly is surrounded by mountains and lakes. With its sculptures and modern facilities, this town is a rich contrast of old and new.

The Caerphilly Castle

The Caerphilly Castle is one of the ancient medieval castles of western Europe, giving the town a prominent identity in Wales. It is the second largest castle in Britain after The Windsor. An excellent example of late 13th century military architecture, the Castle was built by Gilbert de Clare, one of the most powerful and ambitious barons in the court of Henry III.

The castle covers 30 acres complete with buttresses wall and a moat. The reminders of a botched effort of the demolition of the castle during the Civil War can be seen in the wall of the Drum tower that leans by 12 feet from the perpendicular. Never the less it is a beautiful site today. This leaning tower outleans the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Caerphilly Castle is considered to be the finest and earliest example of the true regular concentric fortification in the British Isles. The water defences are thought to be modelled based on the architectural pattern of those of Kenilworth Castle. The collection of massive siege engines is a major visitor attraction.

Caerphilly from the castle - Photo by Flickr's PhillipC
Caerphilly from the castle – Photo by Flickr's PhillipC

According to the local legend, presently the ghost of the Green Lady finds a comfortable accommodation in this ancient castle.

A visit to this castle is a pleasant experience. But make sure that the visit is planned on the information given below:

April – May: 09.30am – 5.00pm daily
June – Sept: 09.30am – 6.00pm daily
October: 09.30am – 5.00pm daily
November – March: 09.30am – 4.00pm Monday to Saturday;

11.00am – 4.00pm Sunday

Last admission half an hour before closing
Closed 24- 26 December and 1 January

Fare Listing :

Adult: £3.00
Concession: £2.50
Children under 16: £2.50
Children under 5: Free
Family Ticket: £8.50 (2 adults and up to 3 children under 16)

It is better to check in advance as these fares are subject to changes.

The Caerphilly Cheese

Caerphilly cheese, originally produced in Wales, is a cheddar-type of cheese, but produced now across the border in England. It is a firm, white, crumbly, cow's milk cheese, with a slightly salty flavour. It is not aged for long (one to two months), and is good for melting. The famous Caerphilly Cheese formed an important part of the diet of the miners and iron workers of the 19th.century.

It is a myth that the Caerphilly Cheese production was stopped in 1995 due to the Euro legislation (which banned delivery of unpasteurised milk in metal churns). It was still produce afterward by Castle Dairies on the Pontygwindy Industrial Estate in the town.

Photo from Flickr's DanieVDM
Photo from Flickr's DanieVDM


Set in the premises of the castle, Caerphilly hosts the Big Cheese Festival every year, the second factor which has added to the fame of the town apart form its castle. This is a must-visit festival, giving a taste of the medieval life. As a finale to the Caerphilly International Festival, this event attracts more than 80,000 visitors and features street theatre shows, craft fayre, fire-eaters, music food market¦and the most watched and participated The Big Cheese Race. Portraying the history, heritage and culture of Caerphilly, this event attracts families from all over Wales and the South West.

Caerphilly County and Borough Council hosts The Balloon Festival every year. Balloon events range from major festivals of 100 balloons to small gatherings of a dozen or so are held throughout the county. These events usually depend on the weather conditions and feature mass displays of huge gas balloons in morning and evening.

The Caerphilly International Summer Festival takes place in July.

Other Attractions

If you have a weak heart, then do not even think of visiting the 17th century Llancaiach Fawr Manor. This has become a great tourist attraction due to the belief of the local people that it is genuinely haunted. People believe that it has about 7 ghosts. Ghost tours run from October to March every year.

Just a ten minute drive from the main town towards Cardiff will take you to Castle Coch. Situated on a hillock, this is a fairy-tale castle with exquisite interiors. Must visit for if you have small children.

If you enjoy a healthy, brisk walk, take the Taff's Trail back from Castle Coch. Its about half an hour walk through the woods of the Castle Coch and it opens straight on the main road. You can catch a bus here to get back to the town.

Caerphilly Accommodation

Caerphilly offers a variety of accommodation options that will suit your needs and your pocket. The region has hotels, farmhouses, guest houses, bed and breakfast, self catering, bunkhouse and touring caravan and camping parks. Check out the inspection grades awarded to accommodation by either the Wales Tourist Board, AA or RAC to be sure that your money is spent well.

The following is the list of some of the short-term accommodations in Caerphilly

1) Llwyn Iago Farmhouse Tel: 01685 844085

A beautifully furnished 17th Century 4 Star Country House, situated at the head of the Darran Valley offers exceptional accommodation facilities. It is a 20 mins drive from Caerphilly and 15 mins to the Brecon Beacons.

2) Lugano Guest House Tel: 02920 852672

Overlooking the Caerphilly Castle, this charming character house offers comfortable accommodation.

3) Upper Grippath Farm Holiday Cottages Tel: 01633 615000

One / two bedroom cottages in 40 acres on working sheep farm. Specially designed units available for less able bodied access including wheel chair users.

4) Toll House Cottage Tel: 01633 440913

A beautiful countryside cottage, providing an ideal base for walking and cycling. It is within walking distance to a traditional town pub with excellent bar food on the menu and a lovely a la carte restaurant.

5) The Cottage Guest House Tel : 02920 869160

A 300 year old, 3star cottage ensures a comfortable stay and a hearty breakfast. This guest house is close to Caerphilly Castle and surrounding valleys.

6) Wyrloed Lodge Guesthouse and Holiday Cottages Tel : 01495 371198

A home away from home, this Victorian style guest-house with beautiful 2 bedroom cottages has a lovely side garden and a guest lounge.

Bed & Breakfast

1) The Coach House Tel: 02920 884772

A homely bed and breakfast situated in the countryside just 2 miles from Caerphilly Castle.

2) Highfields Bed & Breakfast Tel: 01443 862287

This 16th Century farmhouse assures you of a comfortable and a purely welsh accommodation experience.

3) The Courtyard Tel: 02920 866666

Excellent couple accommodation facilities in a small cottage within the beautiful grounds of Caerphilly Castle.

4) Springfield Bungalow Tel: 02920 866 607

A warm welcome and 4course hearty breakfast awaits you at quiet B&B close to Caerphilly Castle and two minutes walk from 2 country pubs.

5) The Capel Pub and B&B Tel : 01443 830272

A Country pub, retaining some of its Victorian charm, is situated on the high street approaching the town of Bargoed. It is a 45 minutes drive from Cardiff city centre and is well connected by rail and road.

7) Wern Ganol Guest House Tel: 01443 450414

Cindy | Apr 16, 2009 | Category: General

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