One of the country’s best-preserved medieval castles, Caerphilly, is less than an hour’s drive from Cardiff. It’s the largest castle in Wales, built in 1268 for one of Henry III’s barons, Lord Glamorgan. With its thick stone walls, moat and drawbridge, turrets and crenellated walls, visitors truly feel as if they’ve stepped back to ancient times. Climb the narrow winding stone steps for great countryside views.
Another 13th century castle is Chirk, in the town in Chirk in North Wales. Built in 1295 by Roger Mortimer, an earl under Edward I, the imposing structure is now owned and operated by the National Trust. Couples can can take a tour of the various galleries, halls, and dungeons and have a bite to eat in the Tea Room.
Powis in Mid Wales is an imposing red sandstone building that sits regally atop a hill. This 12th-century military stronghold is also a National Trust property. Highlights include the Long Gallery with ornate plasterwork and Renaissance busts and the 26-acre Baroque gardens with Italianate terraces, a 30-foot yew hedge and herbaceous borders.