Dog Friendly Castles In Mid-Wales

Published: 2023-08-02
Design Flourish

There are plenty of dog-friendly activities to enjoy in both Mid. Whether you prefer to explore historic sites, visit charming towns and villages, relax by serene lakes, or stroll along beautiful coastlines, the region offers a diverse range of options for delightful days out with your furry companion. From exploring ancient castles and picturesque gardens to enjoying outdoor adventures and exploring quaint markets, there's something to suit every taste.

So, pack your walking boots or simply bring your sense of adventure, because Mid and North Wales have an abundance of dog-friendly castles waiting for you to uncover. Whether you're drawn to the tranquil countryside or the majestic mountains, this region promises unforgettable moments for both you and your four-legged friend.

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Raglan Castle

From a Welsh fortress palace to a regal residence, Raglan Castle stands tall on a ridge, offering a striking silhouette against the picturesque countryside. This impressive castle owes its existence to Sir William ap Thomas, known as the 'blue knight of Gwent,' who constructed the moated Great Tower in 1435. Over time, Sir William Herbert, the Earl of Pembroke, added the gatehouse with its flared 'machicolations,' which allowed defenders to unleash projectiles on potential attackers. Unlike the turbulent era of castle-building, Raglan was conceived not only for defence but also to leave a lasting impression of grandeur.

With the passing years and under the stewardship of various earls of Worcester, Raglan underwent a remarkable transformation into an exquisite country seat. A fashionable long gallery and one of Britain's finest Renaissance gardens were added, making it an opulent estate. Nevertheless, this allegiance to the crown would eventually prove to be its downfall.

During the Civil War, Raglan faced an extensive siege with an 800-strong garrison, but it eventually succumbed to parliamentary forces, leading to its deliberate destruction. Amid the turmoil, valuable treasures were looted, including a piece of Tudor wooden panelling, which, fortunately, found its way to the visitor centre after being rescued from an unlikely storage place—a cow shed in the 1950s.

Raglan castles offers wonderful gardens for you to explore with you dog aswell as all ground floor level of the sight.

Postcode NP15 2BT

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Bronllys Castle

The resilient stone tower of Bronllys Castle bears witness to its tumultuous past. Originally established as a simple 'motte-and-bailey' castle in the late 11th or early 12th century, the castle's surviving stone tower was constructed during the 13th century. Today, visitors can explore the tower's three floors, offering panoramic views from the highest levels, providing a glimpse of the site's strategic significance. Situated in the contested Marches border region, Bronllys Castle exchanged hands numerous times between the English and Welsh throughout the centuries.

In response to the uprising led by Owain Glyndŵr in the early 15th century, the castle underwent repairs, fortifying its defences against the challenges of the time. However, despite these efforts, it eventually fell into ruin. Besides the tower, the remnants of walls and the deep fossae, or dry moat, still stand as reminders of Bronllys Castle's eventful history.

You and your dog can explore the expansive countryside surrounding this castle as well as the ruins within.

Road: 3/4m (1.2km) NW of Talgarth, on A479, 9m (14.5km) NE of Brecon

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Hay Castle

For a millennium, the captivating Hay Castle has stood as an integral part of the landscape, embodying a blend of Norman, Jacobaean, and Victorian influences. Throughout its long history, the castle has served various roles: as a fortress for invaders, a citadel for patriots, a stately country manor, and even a renowned world-famous bookshop.

The original Hay on Wye Castle referred to as 'castello dae haia,' likely occupied the motte, rising 3m high and spanning 20m in diameter, situated southwest of the town near the parish church. Records mention its existence as early as 1121 and suggest it might have been built by William Revel, a knight of Bernard dae Newmarch. However, a more imposing site was later chosen to the northeast, resulting in the construction of a large oval ringwork measuring 85m by 70m during the 12th century.

Matilda dae Braose is attributed to the construction of the stone keep around 1200, though it is possible she added the gateway arch to a tower built in the 1180s. Tragically, she suffered a terrible fate at the hands of King John, who, in 1216, set fire to the castle and the town of Hay while trying to quell the rebellion led by Giles and Reginald dae Braose.

The castle endured further destruction when it was burnt again by Llywelyn Fawr in 1231, requiring Henry III to oversee its rebuilding. Subsequently, in 1232 and 1237, the townsfolk of Hay was granted the right to collect a special toll to fund the fortification of the town with stone walls. The castle witnessed more conflicts, including being captured by Prince Edward in 1264 and falling into the hands of Simon dae Montfort's forces in 1265.

Despite these tumultuous events, some elements of the castle remain, including a four-storey keep and a striking arched gateway. The Jacobaean manor, characterised by its multiple gables, suffered severe damage from fires in 1939 and 1977. Among the surviving remnants are the 18th-century formal gardens and 19th-century terraced gardens.

Today, Hay Castle thrives as a vibrant hub at the heart of Hay-on-Wye, affectionately known as the "Town of Books" and home to the renowned Hay Literary Festival. This esteemed festival draws exciting writers, thinkers, and artists from all over for ten days each year, inspiring and entertaining hundreds of thousands of visitors. Building on its rich creative legacy, Hay Castle has embraced a new purpose as a prominent centre for culture, arts, and education, continuing to enrich the lives of those who visit and contribute to this historic and imaginative haven.

Dog are welcome across the entirety of the ground of hay castle as well as the café and the ground floor of the castle.

Location: Hay Castle, Oxford Road, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5DG

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Strata Florida Abbey

Nestled amidst the lush meadows along the serene river Teifi, the grand medieval abbey of Strata Florida, which translates to 'Vale of Flowers' in Latin, has graced the landscape since 1201. Founded by the white-robed Cistercian monks, this abbey played a significant role in the vast movement that swept across Western Europe during the early Middle Ages. Over time, it gained immense renown, becoming second only to St. Davids, and assumed the mantle of a revered pilgrimage site and a pivotal symbol of Welsh culture.

As one wanders among the ruins, the echoes of its former greatness resonate. The carved west doorway offers a magnificent vista down the nave, leading the gaze to where the high altar once stood, evoking a sense of awe and reverence.

Though time has weathered its floors, remnants of the exquisitely decorated tiles remain, adorned with depictions of griffins, birds, and fleurs-dae-lis, encircling the enigmatic figure known as the 'Man with the Mirror.' This 14th-century representation, garbed in a doublet and close-fitting hood, is believed to symbolise vanity, serving as a thought-provoking reminder of human nature.

Strata Florida, also known locally as Ystrad Fflur, serves as the eternal resting place for generations of medieval Welsh princes. Among the distinguished figures laid to rest here is the great poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, whose burial site lies beneath the protective shade of a yew tree in the churchyard. Such historical significance has earned Strata Florida the affectionate title of 'the Westminster Abbey of Wales.' As time endures, this venerable site continues to captivate hearts and minds, preserving its rich heritage and cultural heritage for generations to come.

Dogs on leads welcome to access ground floor levels of the site.

Location: Postcode SY25 6ES.

Dog-Friendly Hotel with Spa in Wales

Lake Country House is a dog friendly luxury spa hotel in mid-Wales, nestled in a picturesque rural setting, offering the perfect gateway to explore the enchanting mid-Wales countryside. We take joy in being a dog-friendly establishment, extending a warm welcome to well-behaved dogs, so they can revel in the miles of walking routes around our grounds and nearby areas. While your furry friend enjoys their adventures, you can indulge in the serene ambience of our spa, relish our award-winning restaurant, try your hand at fishing, and make use of all the other excellent facilities we have to offer.

Mid Wales is a haven for both you and your canine companion, boasting an array of outdoor delights to be explored together. Whether you have a shared love for the great outdoors or simply want to unwind amidst nature's beauty, you'll find some fantastic walking destinations in Wales. Be sure to check out our Hotel Special Offers for information on the best available tariffs, and head to our main hotel page to find enticing deals for great value short breaks.

Please note that we have a small charge of £20 per dog per night, which covers the thorough cleaning of your room after your departure, ensuring that our high standards of cleanliness are maintained.

As an added treat, you may even encounter our resident dog, Molly, who loves to show guests around the 50 acres of grounds. Whether she's cosily lying by the fire or basking in the evening sun, Molly is always happy to receive some attention. At The Lake Country House & Spa, we believe that every day is a dog's life worth celebrating! So, bring your furry friend along, and together, let's embark on a delightful and rejuvenating escape amid the beauty of mid-Wales.