‘Wales knows a thing or two about amazing attractions. In total, there are 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North Wales...’

This is a rundown of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North Wales and a bit of background about them…

Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle is in the town of Conwy (who’d have thought?) and is a massively imposing structure that still has its boundary walls intact.

The Castle was built by Edward 1 during his, quite frankly, very rude conquest of Wales.

At the time of building, it was one of the most expensive castles ever constructed. Clearly, Edward thought a great deal of himself.

It was built from lime and sandstone and completely dominates the skyline. The sight of Conwy Castle, when approaching the town, really is something special.

Conwy Castle has been a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1986.

Harlech Castle

Like Conwy, Harlech Castle was also built by Edward the First. Because why have one massive castle when you can two?

The castle was built around 1283 and it sits on top of a 200 ft. rock, jutting out across Cardigan Bay.

The hill leading to the town of Harlech is the steepest in Britain and if that doesn’t put you off invading it, then nothing will.

The castle was famously used as a base for all-round Welsh legend, Owain Glyndwr, as he led the revolt against the English.

Harlech is a sandstone castle and has been on the UNESCO list since 1986.

Beaumaris Castle

You probably won’t be too shocked if I tell you that Beaumaris Castle was built by our good friend, Edward 1.

Beaumaris sits on the North West coast of Wales, on the Island of Anglesey.  When building works on the castle were halted midway through construction.  This was due to the English having invaded Scotland and the money being used for the build was needed elsewhere.

If I was Welsh, I’d probably have been pleased to get rid of them. As I’m Scottish, however, I’m just speechless at their gall. Wind your neck in, England.

Anyway, after the pesky Scots were taken care of, building resumed in Beaumaris. However, the castle was never fully completed. I believe the lesson we can learn from this is that invading Scotland is a VERY BAD IDEA.

Limestone, sandstone and something called schist was used in construction (I’ve never heard of it, either…) and it was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Hall of Fame in 1986.

Caernarfon Castle

Guess what? You got it…Eddie’s been up to his old tricks again. Did that man ever stop?

To be fair to him, he builds a pretty sweet castle and Caernarfon is possibly the most impressive of his homes in North Wales.  It’s not as good as my house, as I’ve got a full roof, but you can’t have it all, can you?

Also, to be fair to him, it takes a long time to march between Caernarfon and Harlech, so it’s always good to have a few options in case you get tired of all that marauding.

Caernarfon Castle is the birthplace of the original Prince of Wales.  No, not Charles, but Big Eddie the first’s son, Wee Eddie the second.

Investiture of the current Prince of Wales was also held at the castle in 1969. Why mess with tradition, eh?

UNESCO granted the site world heritage status in 1986. It was a particularly busy year for Welsh castle inspections, by all accounts.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

This is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in North Wales that isn’t a castle.  And, as far as I’m aware, it wasn’t built by Edward 1st, so we can all be grateful for that.

The aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal to the River Dee and design and build was carried out by legendary engineers, Thomas Telford and William Jessop.  It consists of 19 pillars standing at more than 100 ft. tall.

The aqueduct has a footpath, so you can easily wander across.  The views from the top are amazing and there are pubs at both ends.  Score!

Poncysyllte has been on the UNESCO register since 2009. It also has Grade 1 listed building status.

Have you visited any of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North Wales?


Suz xx