Step back into history at one of these old homes…
North Wales isn’t all about rugged landscapes and extreme sports – there are historical gems tucked away all over the region.
The upkeep of a historical home or castle is no easy matter. Gone are the day when a man’s work could be easily bought for a bowl of soup and a hunk of bread; whilst this is probably a good thing it has meant that the cost of maintaining some of the finest country homes and castles in North Wales has sky-rocketed.
In these tough financial times the ownership of many of these homes has led to them opening up their doors to the public, with some of them even choosing to turn their properties into luxury hotels and spas. Properties of this size often need to be changed or adapted in the process which can lead to huge structural and functional changes in the buildings. One home might need an entire conservatory roof replacement, whilst another could need historically accurate floors designed and built-to-size – needless to say, it can be quite an expensive undertaking!
You don’t have to worry about these details though, all you’ll need is the entry fee and maybe a packed lunch to tuck into:
Whilst you’ll find that domineering fortresses come a dime-a-dozen here in North Wales (thanks to King Edward’s obsession with securing his lands) Penhryn Castle is truly one of a kind. Described as a ‘fantasy castle’ by the National Trust (who have taken ownership of the building and its gardens) it’s hard not to be a little overwhelmed by the variety of features to see here, from the neo-Norman stairways to the quintessential Victorian kitchens.
How much? £13.50 for adults and £6.75 for children (including Gift Aid)
The privately-owned Tower can trace its history all the way back to 1450 making it one of the oldest buildings on this list. Throughout the years it has served a multitude of purposes and has also gone under a number of renovations, the most notable of which took place during the early 18th Century. Despite these changes Tower remains authentic in its medieval nature and makes for a good half-day visit. Although public access is granted to the Tower on select dates throughout the year (it’s best to check their site whilst planning your trip), the building’s main purpose is now a B&B and wedding venue.
How much? £5 for all on select dates
When visitors come to Conwy they expect to see the usual raft of seaside attractions and a standard High Street, which is why Aberconwy House makes for such a pleasant surprise for most.
Once the home of a medieval merchant, this 14th Century house has been kept in immaculate condition by the National Trust who have decked out each room to display what daily life might have looked like throughout it’s near six centuries of existence.
As interesting as this is there isn’t enough here to recommend it for a full day out, but thankfully this is reflected in the modest price tag.
How much? £4.60 for adults, £2.30 for children