Yesterday we went on a riverside adventure to Chepstow Castle. It is built into towering cliffs above the River Wye and has fantastic views over the surrounding countryside.
It’s quite a sprawling castle and you can see evidence of the various changes it would have gone through under various occupants over time. Children- including my own “I’m far too cool for this” 12 year old daughter, delighted in the adventure of narrow winding steps that led us up and down gloomy stairwells, out onto parapets or down into cellars and dungeons. There were enough bits and pieces of the original structure preserved that I could easily imagine just how beautiful the castle must have been before time, circumstances and exposure to the elements ravaged it…
All photos by Jen Doyle
But I have to be honest when I say that one of the highlights of our visit to Chepstow castle were the dragons. Last year Cadw, the Welsh governments historic environment service, introduced a fierce red dragon named Dewi, to one of its castles and he was such a hit with both Welsh and international visitors alike, that they have given him an equally fierce lady love named Dwynwen. Dewi and Dwynwen have since added two young hatchlings to their family and this summer, Cadw are bringing Dwynwen and the two bay dragons on a tour of different castles around Wales. We happened to catch them at Chepstow castle!
Aren’t they gorgeous?- I love them! Wales has such a rich cultural heritage and given that dragons are very much a part of Welsh cultural legend, I think it’s fantastic that Cadw have made these dragons a part of the visitor experience at their castles.