Driving west of Cardiff you can’t miss a stunning fairy tale castle emerging quietly from the otherwise uninterrupted forest green of the Welsh hillside. A castle with cylindrical turrets and pointed rooftops worthy of Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty which fascinates children and parents driving by. This castle is the red castle, Castell Coch in Welsh, and is one of the most splendid places to visit in the region. Often used as a TV or movie set, visitors can enter the castle to explore its ornately decorated chambers.
Castell Coch is actually a Victorian folly, a Gothic revival built by the 3rd Marquess of Bute using his incredible fortune.
The Victorians had a love affair with design from the middle ages and Bute needed a country residence, not far from his main home and equally opulent building, Cardiff Castle.
The structure rests on remains of a Norman castle that stood on the same spot, the lower portions of the castle are original and date from the 1500s.
The Butes never truly lived here, the castle was an imaginative country retreat.
Castell Coch – Inside The Fairy Tale Castle
Park your car in the woods just below the castle and walk a short distance up the hill for the exterior view. We only planned on looking at the outside but my son was keen to go within.
We were all pleasantly surprised by how much fun this castle visit was.
There are winding stone staircases, secret passages and splendid chambers to explore, along with dark, dank dungeons and a stunning central courtyard.
Kitchen fittings at Castell Coch, including a splendid Welsh dresser.
Lady Bute’s chamber boasts a crystal ball decorated bed and ceiling art populated by birds.
The children’s activity room at Castell Coch is particularly good, Boo (below) enjoyed using stencils, such as those used for the original decoration.
Every castle needs a drawbridge and true-to-form, Castell Coch has one. Visitors can also enjoy a cafe and gift shop within the castle walls.
How to Get to Castell Coch
Castell Coch is near Tongynlais and Taffs Well, just west of Cardiff.
To reach Castell Coch, take Junction 32 of the M4 motorway, then the A470. You will see Castell Coch signposted.
Castell Coch Admission Price
Family Admission to Castell Coch was £16.20 at the time of writing
Children under 5 Admission free at that time.
Castell Coch is conserved by Cadw, Cadw membership is also available.
For you, for Pinterest
We hope you make it to this stunning Welsh castle, for more information on travelling in south Wales and beyond, back to our main Wales Travel page. If you’re touring Wales with kids we have a huge guide to things to do and places to see to please your family. But who doesn’t love a castle in Wales? This destination is one of our favourites.
If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!
We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of travel insurance.
Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!
Friday 7th of January 2022
am i allowed to go to bed here?
Saturday 30th of June 2018
Do you do wedding Venus please let me know Thank you x
Alyson Long for World Travel Family
Saturday 30th of June 2018
I got married at Castell Coch. So yes, they do weddings here. Or they did. It was a long time ago!