Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Castell Coch

As a complete and utter history nerd, I bloody love a good castle.

Normally, when Mama CupandSaucer visits Cardiff, we go shopping. Cardiff city centre is miles ahead of Plymouth city centre, so we make the most of it and enjoy a good bit of retail therapy whenever she's in Wales. But on Saturday, we decided to branch out a bit, and headed out to Castell Coch, near Pontypridd.

Castell Coch translates from the Welsh as "Red Castle"- so naturally, all I could think was "This is like the real Red Keep!". I managed to keep these thoughts to myself though, which was probably for the best- I'm not convinced Mama CupandSaucer would really have understood what I was on about, otherwise.

The castle is a mixture of the original 13th Century castle and the imagination of a very wealthy Victorian man, who decided to turn the ruin into his dream castle. The result? A pretty mismatch of old castle and intricate interiors (that were incredibly difficult to photograph well, it would seem). Lovely stuff that sent my history nerd brain spinning.

Honestly? Despite some of it being very pretty, I'm not convinced I would recommend Castell Coch if you were after a castle to visit in South Wales. It's nice- and I imagine on a sunny day when you could explore the grounds it would be really lovely- but I just didn't get a real wow from it. And the tearoom was closed. If you ask me- you'd be better off visiting Caerphilly, Chepstow, or Cardiff castles- now they have some wow to them!

Nonetheless- it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. And my bank balance was happier than it would have been if I'd gone shopping... (which is irrelevant, considering the fact that that's exactly what I did on Sunday morning. Oops)


  1. Ooo. I love castles :P You need to go to some proper ones though. Ones that have fallen down and are on hills in the middle of nowhere. Actually Caerphilly is an awesome one. Carreg Cennen, Laugharne (ooo I can take you to that one), Pembroke and Llanstephan are some of my favourites. There's a lovely one called Dryslwyn, it's super fallen down, but the views are amazing!!

    Jenny | sunny sweet pea xx

  2. I love a good Welsh castle, our family used to visit them on our annual holiday to Wales. This one is very pretty but like you say I prefer a good solid castle. This makes fantastic photos though, the little beauty! x

  3. Caerphilly has the wow factor but I always find this one charming. Corfe Caste is a new favourite of mine too x

  4. I've not been living in Wales for too long now, less than a year, but I know there are some pretty impressive castles here. I have visited Caerphilly, as its the county I live in, but no others. Perhaps I'll make Castell Coch next on my list.
    Bits & Bobs

  5. Powys Castle is worth a visit! There is usually a lovely christmas market at castell coch too xx

  6. I love castle exploring, definitely up there in my top ten 'best day out activities'. Over the summer my friends and I stayed in Mumbles, near Swansea, and it has such a sweet little castle, just a five minute walk from where we were staying. It was so lovely to walk past it every day on the way to the beach and I'd find myself longing to go and play hide and seek in there, castle hide and see would be amazing!

    Anna xx | The Girl In The Moon

  7. I liked Castell Coch's uniqueness - the murals were really interesting and quite quirky. When we visited someone was getting married there - what an amazing place for a special day. x

  8. Harlech is a great castle in Wales to explore - certainly has a stunning backdrop against the sea. Although growing up going on Scottish holidays, I always grew up with a liking for a ruined Scottish castle - Doune being a particular favorite.

  9. Castell Coch is one of my favourite castles, I think that is mainly because it brings back childhood memories. Whenever we went on a trip we would see the castle from the motorway and I always called it the fairy tale castle. x

    Leanne - A Slice of My Life

  10. I can't believe how beautiful this place is! Adding it to the list of places I definitely want to visit. x


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