The Top 7 Amazing Sites to See at Beaumaris Castle

Inside wall of Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle is the last and largest of the castles built by King Edward I. Designed from scratch by master James of St. George, who designed Harlech Castle and the medieval town walls surrounding Caernarfon Castle. The design of the castle is almost a perfect concentric symmetry of a castle within a castle. The high defensive inner walls are surrounded by a lower outer wall with 16 towers, two gates, and an 18ft wide moat. Unfortunately, the money ran out before this medieval military architecture was finished. The portion of Beaumaris Castle that is left is a maze of opportunities to explore for families and adventurers alike. 

Beaumaris Castle InformationBeaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle ran out of funds in 1298, and the finished design of the castle was incomplete. The south gate and the six central towers never reached their intended height. The second story by the north gate, along with the buildings for the kitchen and stables in the inner courtyard were also never constructed. But that shouldn’t stop you from visiting. Beaumaris Castle‘s open hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. During August, the castle stays open until 6 p.m. From November to February, the hours change to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The admission fee is £7.30.

Beaumaris Castle is on the southeast side of the Isle of Anglesey. King Edward I created the town of Beaumaris around the castle. This was the only castle that did not have any buildings on the land prior. He ruthlessly relocated an entire 13th-century Welsh town of Llanfaes a mile to Beaumaris. By 1307 there was nothing left of the original village of Llanfaes while Beaumaris thrived.

Castle EntranceMain Entrance to Beaumaris Castle

To enter the castle, you need to proceed through the gift shop at the edge of town. Then you can stroll along the moat to the southern gate. This entrance had a tidal dock where the ships would be able to sail directly to the entrance to supply the castle. The opening, though, was heavily fortified with over 300 arrow loops, which were narrow slits for the castle soldiers to defend the castle by shooting arrows at the intruders. The defenses also included the moat, the barbican, three portcullises, several doors, and obstacles between the outer and inner walls. Beaumaris Castle could have been the most magnificent impenetrable castle if only it were completed. Inside the walls of the castleHeading deeper into the castleArchways in the castleCastle gate to river

Inside CourtyardInside castle courtyard

Walking through the inner walls, you enter into an open 3/4 yard of lush green grass. And feel like you just been shrunk and are now in ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids.’ I can’t even imagine what the original blueprints had for the height of this castle, but it is an impressive sight. When you walk in, you are facing the north gate wall with five large open windows. You can also see some of the foundations where the kitchens and stables would have been. Families will enjoy being their own architect and build a replica of the castle with large sponge blocks. There are a couple of benches for you to sit for those who can’t move around too well. You will be able to rest while the rest of your party explores the castle. Not a bad place to take a break.Gate doorway into castleFoundation ruins within Beaumaris Castle

Castle WallsHeather posing on the castle walls

For those who love to explore and are not afraid of heights, you can climb up to the outer rampart walls. The cobbled stones at the top of the walls might make walking a bit tricky. But, there are railings to hold. The walls are not continuous around the castle. So, you will have to go up and down the stairs a couple of times to get the full 360-degree view from atop the castle walls. You won’t have views of inside the castle, but you have amazing ones looking outward. View at the top of the walls of Beaumaris CastleHeather on the castle walls

Landscape Views from Beaumaris Castle

Pastures on the Isle of AngleseyCattle grazing in a pasture

On the north side of the castle is where you can find the Welsh fields. Hundreds of black brown and white cows dotted the landscape to the north. I loved seeing the birds and cattle commingling with each other.

SnowdoniaViews of Snowdonia from Beaumaris Castle

And to the east of the castle are the picturesque views of the Snowdonia Mountain range. You might even see sailboats on the Menai Strait as the Royal Anglesey Yacht Club is based out of Beaumaris. With the mass of cumulus clouds, it gives off a moody feel to the castle. It did rain on and off while I was exploring Beaumaris, but it is Wales, so have your umbrella or poncho handy.

Castle TowersInside one of the castle towers

Many of the towers are missing the upper floors. But that doesn’t stop you from exploring them. You can explore from the ground or look down from the top of the walls. There are exhibits placed around the castle as well. One of them shows how the castle was built. Other towers have activities for the kids to partake. You might find a medieval harp or even blacksmith tools within the castle. Which makes exploring even more fun as you don’t know what you will find in the next tower. Ruins inside castle towerMusic room in Beaumaris CastleInside view of ruin castle walls

ChapelChapel inside castle

The chapel is on the east side of the castle. There is a door off the inner courtyard that will take you to the chapel where you can see the vaulted ceilings and painted windows. But, you can do what I did and find it by accident by exploring the passages inside the castle. Signs are posted to help you find the church. Once inside, it is very sparse, but you can imagine how it looked furnished with painted walls. See if you can find the place where the king would watch the services.

Exploring the Wall PassagesExploring the halls of the castle

Exploring every nook and cranny of these medieval castles is a must-do whenever I visit a castle. The floors are uneven, steps are spaced unevenly, and the passages are dark and dank. But that is what makes it so exciting to round a corner and see the light from a window hole. What view did they have? Is it a latrine? Or a soldier cubby to defend the castle? There are so many possibilities which make it enjoyable. Your imagination can run wild, and you can pretend you are a princess, and this is your home, or a rival ruler captured you. Or you are a soldier defending your castle from invaders. Each corner of the castle can develop into a new story. Go ahead and set your imagination free. Who will you be in your castle adventure?Long hallways within the castleView through archway into a castle room

SummaryHeather standing in front of Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle should have been King Edward’s crowning glory of his Wales Castles. Although most would consider that it was even without being finished. The castle is a great day out for families looking for some fun and exciting photo opportunities while visiting the Isle of Anglesey. Come and appreciate the beauty of Beaumaris Castle’s proportions and masonry work and explore to your hearts content the largest unfinished castle in Wales.

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Further Reading

If you are coming to Wales for a visit, check out these posts for further travel inspiration:

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