Home of the famous crumbly white cheese, Caerphilly has several other claims to fame. Birthplace of the late Tommy Cooper, the town has also appeared in the documentary The Filth and the Fury based on the story of the Sex Pistols, while the castle was the main location for the BBC drama Merlin, and was used in two 2011 Dr Who episodes.
With easy access by rail, and not far from the Welsh capital of Cardiff, Caerphilly has plenty to offer as a holiday destination, whether you’re taking a family break or looking for a weekend away.
1. Explore Caerphilly Castle
Vast and imposing, Caerphilly Castle stands on the site of a Roman settlement, complete with an important fortress and barracks. Constructed in the 1200s, it’s considered to have "the most elaborate water defences in all Britain", and the site covers more than 30 acres, making it the second-largest castle in the UK, after Windsor.
Huge grey walls dominate the castle, while gatehouses and formidable towers bring a sense of silent awe to the scene - even if one tower is leaning further than the Tower of Pisa thanks to the Civil War. Surrounding the castle are vast areas of man-made lakes, arguably a more effective defence than the traditional moat.
The castle allows its thousands of visitors to experience living history, with opportunities to explore four types of siege engines, restored and ready to fire, and learn all about jousting and running a tournament.
- Experience the rich history
- Prices from £7.10
- Caerphilly Castle Website
2. Experience Living History at Llancaiach Fawr
Llancaiach Fawr Manor House is just outside Caerphilly and is a fantastic chance to experience what life was like in mediaeval Wales. There have been people on the site for more than 4000 years, and the house dates back to at least the 16th century if not earlier.
Within the 4 ft (1.2 metres) thick walls, the building has many clues to the turbulent times it's been witness to. Llancaiach Fawr is a gorgeous old manor house, with costumed tour guides bringing 1600s history to life, crackling fires, and candlelit rooms, while outside a beautiful period garden is carefully tended.
- Explore this stunning old manor house
- Prices from £6.95
- Llancaiach Fawr Website
3. Relax at Coffi Vista
With jaw-dropping views of the castle, Coffi Vista is the best place in Caerphilly to relax and let the world carry on turning. The ideal mix of artisanal coffee and deliciously comforting home baking, take a table on the balcony and choose from the extensive menu of sweet and savoury treats.
There’s also the opportunity to purchase a truckle of traditional mouth-watering Caerphilly cheese. Ideal for Welsh Rarebit, the rich, crumbly cow’s milk cheese was originally made for hard-working coal miners, but it’s now found on the best cordon bleu menus the world over.
- Take in the glorious views of Caerphilly Castle
- Choose from a delicious menu that uses local produce
- Visit Coffi Vista Website
4. Cwmcarn Forest
Cwmcarn Forest offers something for all the family. You can gear up with adrenaline-fuelled mountain bike trails or wind down with a relaxed walk and refreshments in Ravens café. There is a range of activities and events for all the family, children’s explorer trail, fishing, mountain biking and many walking routes for all abilities.
- For the whole family
- Events for children and adults
- Beautiful scenery
Did you know?Travel saferYou can plan ahead and decide when to travel using our Capacity Checker.Check capacity
Top ten attractions in Swansea Explore Top ten attractions in Swansea
Fun things to do in Newport this weekend Explore Fun things to do in Newport this weekend
Things to do in Cardiff City Centre Explore Things to do in Cardiff City Centre
Discover more destinationsExplore