Caerphilly Castle

Castle Street Caerphilly CF83 1JD

An easy 15-minute train or bus ride from Cardiff, Caerphilly has three claims to fame: its castle, its cheese, and, er,Tommy Cooper. The town is utterly dominated by its gargantuan moated complex, originally dating from some time in the mid-13th century, but which has undergone many incarnations over the centuries. For all its glory, the castle’s most iconic structure is the southeastern leaning tower, said to have been partially blown up by Cromwell’s men, though in all likelihood, its dramatic tilt and cleave is probably due to nothing more than good old fashioned subsidence. At the end of July, the castle grounds play host to the all-singing, all-dancing Big Cheese Festival, featuring among other things a funfair, falconry and, naturally, a cheese race. Fans of Cooper, meanwhile, can pay homage to the great man at the large bronze statue by the castle entrance.

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