Caernarfon and the Castle
Caernarfon (pronounced Carnarvon) is a royal town, community and port with a population of just over 9,600 in the far north of Wales. The peaceful little town is host to a constant stream of tour groups. Our hotel, the Celtic Royal, had three or four groups there some nights during our stay. The hotel dates from the late 1700s and has been updated several times managing to keep its charm and character. The hotel staff was primarily young people from a variety of countries on work visas. They were well trained, very responsive to everyone’s requests, and we never saw any of them not working. The food at lunch and dinner in the Bistro was excellent. Everything we ordered was delicious and inexpensive.
One evening we decided to try the restaurant being touted as the “best in town”. In America it would be picketed. The Black Boy Inn dates from 1522 and is a quaint inn with a small very booked restaurant. We secured a reservation our second night in town, and we had to agree it was fantastic. I had the best grilled lamb chops ever and the sticky toffee pudding was wonderful! The prices were inexpensive for the quality and amount of food served.
We toured the 13th century Caernarfon castle built by Edward I early one morning before the crowds were out. They’ve done a remarkable job restoring and maintaining the huge castle, one of the largest built by the English in Wales. Every castle needs a resident dragon and this one is no exception. Also, worth viewing was the Royal Fusiliers Museum and the Game of Crowns room. In the Game of Crowns room, a video of Prince Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969 at the castle showed constantly.
Caernarfon wasn’t an easy town to get to. The train took us to Bangor, and then a taxi took us the last six miles. It was well worth the time and effort to get there. We enjoyed our stay in this lovely little place despite the weather from the remnants of hurricane Orphelia the first two days.