Inside the Beaumaris Castle

Menai Straits

Menai Straits | Rebecca Boardman/ via Flickr

In the Castle Capital of the world, why does EF choose to visit Beaumaris Castle? The castle is part of the ‘iron ring’ of Welsh Castles built by Edward I and is both technically and symmetrically perfect. Beaumaris offers spectacular views of the Menai Strait and is our Welsh Castle of choice simply because it is a great place to explore.

A quick stop between England and Ireland on your tour, you could say that Wales itself is a hidden gem. Filled with quaint little towns and more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world, you’ll skip over popular castles such as Cardiff and Chepstow for somewhere a little less crowded. Situated overlooking both Snowdonia and the nearby town, Beaumaris looks like a fairytale castle–complete with a moat and drawbridge. However, the castle was never finished after construction began in 1295, leaving the interior vastly different from the outside walls.

Beaumaris Castle

Neil Page/ via Flickr

Edward I built Beaumaris Castle, the most impressive amongst several others, in an attempt to secure his reign over the newly conquered Wales. He soon fell short of his goal, as the architectural feat was extremely costly. Though construction resumed years later, the castle never reached its intended height. What stands today is mainly the castle’s structure, which is what separates Beaumaris from its Welsh counterparts and from castles all over the world.

While the castle is symmetrical, it looks different depending on the angle you’re viewing it. Classic from afar, and crumbling from the interior, Beaumaris’ different layers offer the chance to explore. The double walls were once meant as military reinforcements but now serve as a playground. Whether you wander in between the walls or climb to the top of them to take in the views, there is something to discover around every corner and up every staircase.

Without tapestries, ballrooms, and fine china, the bare bones of Beaumaris offers a rare perspective. No manicured gardens or art collections, it’s as if Beaumaris grew out of the earth–or as if the earth is taking it back. Instead, you’ll find open air courtyards, ivy-covered walls, and secret passageways–the perfect setting to wander and discover something new.

Is exploring a 13th century castle on your bucket list? Check it off on these tours.

Topics: History, Wales

Julia Karam

Julia traveled with EF in 2015 and started in a content marketing co-op at EF Tours while in college. She has since studied abroad in Florence, Italy, traveled to 10+ countries, and now works as a Tour Consultant with EF Tours.

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