Dolbadarn Castle, Llanberis, North Wales

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I’m not sure how many times we have been to and passed through Llanberis, must be quite a few times and in those times, I never realised there was a castle.  This is the view that made me suddenly realised there was one, in 2013 we were walking towards the twin lakes of Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris and the Country Park, when I looked back to take a photo and there it was.  I had to wait until we had our walk, and then a look at the Llanberis Lake Railway, and then look at the station for going up Mount Snowdon, thank goodness it was all booked up, or it would have taken longer, anyway we have been on it before.  Then it was time to find the castle…….which was not as easy as it sounds….where, there was a sign post pointing in the general direction of Doladarn castle, at least now I knew what we were looking for, but then nothing.  Well we walked into something that looked like a wood yard…no, the other half was getting a little tetchy, after all we had done a lot of walking.


I noticed a path running through a wood on the other side of the river, so we found a bridge and started to walk up through the woods, quite a steep climb, but then we saw the Castle Keep through the trees.



When we reached the top, even tetchy husband said it was worth it for the views.




Dolbadarn Castle is another Welsh Castle, built by a Welsh prince, it stands guarding the beautiful rugged Llanberis Pass.  Built by the Welsh prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth The Great, during the early 13th century, the castle was crucial both militarily and as a symbol of Llywelyn’s power and authority.




There were originally two more rectangular towers and a large hall and curtain walling of which little now remain. But the keep is solid and does give you some idea of how strong the castle would have been.

Edward Ist army captured the castle in 1283, but then, Edward 1st focused his attention on developing his own castle in Caernarfon. The then abandoned Dolbardarn Castle was plundered for its building stone and timber beams.  I wonder how many of the old village houses are built with castle stone and timber.

8 Replies to “Dolbadarn Castle, Llanberis, North Wales”

  1. Have long wanted to visit this magical place~ it has been on my list for years~ still hoping to get there. Just met a man who lived just beneath the site of the castle for several years. What a fine place to live . Wonderful photos Lynne~ felt as
    if I was walking along with you and discovering it from the beginning of the path to he top. Thank you

      1. Thank you Lynne ~ It was lovely to be able to see so much of the way it looks walking up to the actual castle ~ Seen many photos of it looking over the valley and the tower but not actually the pathway up through the trees. How long a walk would you estimate it is?

      2. From the roadside finding the path, and then it took about 10 mins, I’m not sure if we went the right way first, but it was a nice walk through the woods. I liked it when we first saw the castle through the trees and then I knew we weren’t lost 🙂

  2. Wonderful views! The plants growing above the window on the inside almost look like they might have been planned. A bit of green decor. 🙂 Is it possible the stone for the castle could have come from the quarry across the water? Do quarries last that long? I’m surprised you went by there and didn’t spot the castle. What a wonderful discovery. 🙂

    1. I know, I just never noticed it before, just wonder how many more I have missed. The quarry is a slate one, I’m not sure where the stone would have come from, will have to find out 🙂

  3. Fantastic! I am ashamed to say that, despite having driven past this castle hundreds of times, I never stopped to take a look. What a lovely day you had for it. The scenery is so beautiful around there!

    1. Well Jo, at least you knew it was there, it is a lovely walk up to it and the views are wonderful. But the nicest thing is it was built by a Welsh Prince and the Welsh bit in me, loves that 🙂

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