YHA DANYWENALLT -COUNTRYSIDE AND CASTLES IN WALES

The Brecon Beacons have 2 YHA Youth Hostels. We stayed in YHA Danywenallt, a converted farmhouse reached by driving (or walking or cycling) on a road which crosses a huge reservoir. There, nestled amongst woodlands and fields, is the traditional white painted Welsh farmhouse of YHA Danywenallt. The house can accommodate a maximum of 36 people in a range of private rooms, dormitories and camping pitches. If you don’t fancy taking your own tent, they do have some bell tents for the glamping experience. The bonus of camping here is that you have the lounge and facilities of the hostel at your disposal – particularly helpful if it rains, Wales is green for a reason!

sheep on road

Sheep on the way to being sheared, YHA Danywenallt

 

View from our bedroom window, Danywenallt

We went with two other families and we all had private family rooms and even en suite bathrooms. We had dinner at the hostel as although it’s only a few miles from Brecon, it’s quite a rural drive so I’d recommend you take your own food or have the hostel menu. Fear not, there is a licensed bar and you can sit outside and admire the views of the valley whilst having a drink. If you’ve a large family or plenty of friends you can also hire the hostel on an exclusive use basis and have the place to yourselves.  What a place to have a party!

If the green rolling hills, walking, climbing and outdoor pursuits of the Brecon Beacons aren’t enough for you then Danywenallt is well placed for visiting some of Britain’s finest castles. Wales is home to over 600 castles, more than any other country in Europe, so you won’t get round all of them in a weekend but you can make a start!

10 CASTLES TO EXPLORE FROM DANYWENALLT

RAGLAN CASTLE

(40 mins by car from Danywenallt)

On a larger scale, Raglan is grander than some of its turreted neighbours. The scene of one of the last sieges of the civil war, this impressive Castle boasted mullioned windows and wooden panels in its heyday. More recently it has been the scene of filming for the Merlin TV series, making it popular with the kids!

GOODRICH CASTLE

(1 hour by car from Danywenallt – near Wye Valley YHA, another favourite of ours with a great riverside position, archery and camping.)

In England rather than Wales, Goodrich is managed by English Heritage and is one of the best preserved English castles you can find.

CHEPSTOW CASTLE

(1 hour by car from Danywenallt)

Chepstow Castle has the original castle doors from 1190 still on display, plenty of ruins and fortifications and slopes for kids to run around. Described as an impenetrable fortress following famous knight Sir William Marshall’s modifications, it’s a favourite with our family.

CAERPHILLY CASTLE

(1 hour by car from Danywenallt)

The biggest castle in Wales, and the second largest in Great Britain, the 13th Century builders of Caerphilly Castle certainly weren’t lacking in ambition. The castle is surrounded by a network of artificial lakes providing extensive water defences. A stunning piece of medieval architecture and design.

CYFARTHA CASTLE & MUSEUM

(35 mins by car from Danywenallt)

Cyfartha isn’t your traditional Welsh medieval castle. It was built in the 19th Century by a fabulously wealthy Welsh Ironmaster. The Castle, museum and art gallery chart not only the history of iron mining in Wales, but its artistic and cultural heritage as well as key political moments.

DINEFWR CASTLE 

(1 hour, 10 mins by car from Danywenallt)

This ruined castle in the Brecon Beacons National Park has stunning views. Run by the National Trust it also has guided walks to the nearby nature reserve, croquet, ponds and a medieval deer park.

WHITE CASTLE/SKENFRITH/GROSMONT

(44 mins by car from Danywenallt)

All three of these castles are free to visit, Skenfrith being perhaps more ruinous than the others, and you can combine them all for a whizz around castle architecture.

LAUGHARNE CASTLE 

(1 hour, 35 mins by car from Danywenallt)

Laugharne Castle, Wales

Photo: Les Haines

Made famous by the poetry of Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas who wrote here, it’s now a scenic riverbank ruin.

Whichever YHA Hostel you stay at in Wales, you’ll never be far from one of the huge number of Welsh castles with their legends, history and folklore.

WANT TO STAY IN A HAUNTED CASTLE?

You can read about my stay at St Briavels Castle YHA here.

PIN FOR LATER

 

Where Jo Goes YHA Youth Hostel Reviews

St Briavels Haunted Castle/Brighton/Wilderhope Manor

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22 Comments

  1. June 8, 2017 / 9:33 am

    So much beautiful countryside and history in Wales, I’m only half hour away from the border, really must go explore more!

  2. June 8, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    There are just so many castles in Wales! I grew up not far from here (very close to Dinefwr) but I haven’t visited all the places on your list. Carreg-Cennen’s my favourite. The youth hostel sounds like a good base for exploring. #FarawayFiles

    • June 8, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      In the morning, 6000 sheep were being taken to be sheared! #Noisy!

  3. June 9, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    I love the trail of sheep and the multiple castles.

  4. June 10, 2017 / 9:23 am

    I didn’t know Wales had so many impressive castles! I visited Conwy once which was amazing but I thought that was it. Didn’t expect there to be more castles like it!

  5. June 10, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    What fun to go with two other families. the children must have had a wonderful time playing at the hostel together and exploring the castles. This would have been my perfect holiday as a child. Freedom, space and friends, what more could you need? All those castles look worthy of a visit and quite stunning in appearance and history I’m sure.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  6. June 10, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    castles are right up my street, this would be amazing if I could see all of these! I love the history of old ruins and castles, especially if there is a spooky story. 🙂 #countrykids

  7. June 11, 2017 / 11:08 am

    This is what Australians think of when they picture the British countryside – castles and rolling green hills. How wonderful to explore with your friends and family. I am sure some great memories were made #FarawayFiles

  8. June 11, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    I love that these are available for families to explore – affordable and well-situated. And holy castles! So many options. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  9. June 12, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    We stayed in st briavels in December, it was really good. We love the YHA experience for a family it makes things easier because you have somewhere to chill out with the young kids! The views here look great!! #countrykids

    • June 12, 2017 / 5:07 pm

      It’s a great hostel but no pub next door unlike St Briavels!6

  10. June 12, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    We love Wales. This looks like a great YHA. I like the idea of staying in them when kids are a bit older.

  11. June 13, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    Looks like you had a fabulous time. I love the Welsh castles. I studied them during my degree and my masters #CountryKids

  12. June 13, 2017 / 4:55 pm

    There are certainly a number of castles in Wales. We were treated to the sight of a castle recently but I’m not sure it saw the action these most likely did. #CountryKids

  13. June 14, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    This looks like a stunning location for a hostel, I’d love to go and explore all of those nearby castles!

  14. June 14, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    We recently stayed at the YHA in Brighton…they’re just great! Not so many castles in Brighton though!! These are just magnificent! #CountryKids

    • June 15, 2017 / 9:22 am

      Yes we loved the one in Brighton – sea views and so near the beach!

  15. June 15, 2017 / 11:04 am

    There are a lot of castles. Love visiting Wales. Always so much to explore. #CountryKids

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