Sept. 11, 2018: Kidwelly Castle, Wales

 

“With over 600 castles, wherever you go on holiday in Wales, you won't be too far from a castle” is one of the Welsh tourist board's marketing slogans. There certainly are quite a few within easy travelling distance of Swansea, where we live. The one pictured above is the Norman castle of Kidwelly, a small town about 30km away along the coast. It features on the tourist board's list of '10 unusual castles'. I am not quite sure why that is, but I suspect the fact that it featured in one of the Monty Python films ('Monty Python and the Holy Grail') has something to do with it. For me, one of its outstanding attributes is its idyllic location.

The photo below shows the castle's gatehouse:

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A fortified stronghold has stood on the site since the 12th century, but the original one was burnt down after it was captured by the Welsh – who rebuilt it. However, it soon changed hands again and underwent extensive alterations over time. The basic stone structure that can be seen today stems largely from the late 13th and early 14th century, but there are some parts which were added much later. The diagram below shows the castle's layout.

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The logo in the top left-hand corner is that of Cadw (meaning 'to keep'/'to protect'), the Welsh Government's historic environment service, who are responsible for maintaining the castle.

Whilst the site is not extensive, there is plenty to see – certainly enough for an hour or two. There are a number of benches and visitors often bring a picnic. The photos below show various areas inside the castle walls.

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Kidwelly lies on the Wales Coastal Path, a well-signposted 1400km long walking route which runs all along the coast of Wales. In this area it overlaps partly with a cycle path and the ride (on the flat) past Burry Port to Llanelli takes you through some lovely countryside.

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I did try several slightly different perspectives and distances - some worked better than others. I thought the stream (which is actually one branch of the River Gwendraeth) should be in the picture. It adds a great deal to the attractiveness of the location.

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