During our stay in Talacre, North Wales, we visited Rhuddlan Castle. Rhuddlan is a few miles away from Rhyl, next to the River Clwyd. It was built in the 13th Century during Edward I’s conquest of Wales. Edward I lived here at one point and it is thought that his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, was born here.
Rhuddlan Castle has a diamond-shaped layout, with the twin-tower gatehouses at the corners. Within the inner walls of the castle there would have been a great hall, kitchens, living quarters and a chapel. In order to find out more about the castle, the girls were able to do a “dragon hunt”. This was a free activity, and involved finding pictures of dragons located all around the castle in order to find out the answers to a series of questions. After finding all the answers, they were each given a certificate by one of the ladies manning the entrance to the castle.
The girls loved exploring the castle. Freyja was fascinated by the idea of kings and queens living here in the past, and Emily liked peering into the nooks and crannies of the castle.
Staircases had been erected in the towers enabling you to explore more of the ruins, and to get up to the top of the castle walls and admire the views. In part of the outer walls, there are the remains of a defended river gate. It was interesting to learn that when the castle was built, Edward I had the River Clwyd diverted for over 2 miles to provide a deep-water channel for ships and provide provisions and troops to the castle. On the hill down towards the river were lots of metal flowers “planted” into the ground. This was an art installation called the Flower Power Appeal 2016, organised by a local hospice, with the flowers then sold to the public to raise funds for the hospice.
Rhuddlan Castle is open from 10am to 5pm every day until 31st October this year, and with a family ticket costing £9.50, it is an inexpensive place to visit with children. More details about opening times can be found on the website. If you are in North Wales, on a dry day, it is well worth a visit.