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Location

Gwynedd Map

A cold grey castle on a cold grey day.

Unlike nearby Caernarfon which arguably was built more for show than for defence, Harlech is a brute of a castle, designed to impose its military might on the surrounding area.

Interestingly, in some ways you could say that it was built inside out and back to front.

The fancy ceremonial entrance to the gatehouse cum keep is inside the curtain walls facing the Way from the Sea, a path of 108 steps that rises steeply up the rock face allowing the defenders to be fed and watered by ship.

On the other hand the entrance from the town over the drawbridge, and its replacement the elegant Floating Bridge, leads to what might be seen as the heavily defended "back door".

For opening times, entrance fees, etc. please see Cadw's official site.