Here is a day trip that will take you to five castles, only 10-15 minutes from each other, with the exception of Goodrich, in England, which is 30 minutes, but worth the extra drive. Along the way, I also stopped at Tintern Abbey, which is beyond expectation. There are no detours getting to it, it’s directly on the route. It took me eleven hours to do this, staying an hour and half or longer at the larger castles and the Abbey. The three smaller castles take no time at all, around 10 minutes. It’s a beautiful drive and a castle lovers dream day tour.
Enormous is the first word that comes to mind for castle number one on the trip. Each new owner built a section, so it seems to go on forever. Hugging the cliffs above the River Wye, construction took place from 1067-1690. This castle still has original doors on display, dating 800 years old. The oldest building is the Norman tower.
Heading to the next castle on our list, we came to the skeleton of the Abbey and had to stop. Founded in 1131, by monks who wanted to be far away from civilization as possible. Sadly, King Henry VIII took his anger out on it, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when he disengaged himself from the catholic church, so he could divorce and marry his mistress, so maybe she would produce an heir; something he didn’t have.
Located in England, this beautiful red sandstone castle had the most tourist on the day we visited, but not overloaded.
One of the best preserved English medieval castles, it stands regally above the River Wye, dated between 1160-1270. The Keep was made from grey-green stone and includes a dungeon cell in the basement and you’re able to climb to the top, which produces a fantastic panoramic view.
The castle was held by both sides during the Civil War and today the only surviving ‘Roaring Meg’ can be found in the courtyard.
My absolute favorite out of the day was Raglan; it’s a castle not to be missed, this is what you came to see in Wales. The 15th century castle was built out of red sandstone (red, purple and brown in color). Yellow sandstone, from the River Wye, was used in the fireplaces and the gatehouse.
This was the boyhood home of Henry Tudor, who later became Henry VII.
The next three are 10-15 minutes from each other. Nothing too spectacular, but worth a stop to fill the day.
check out my video…