Home of the famous crumbly white cheese, Caerphilly has several other claims to fame. It’s the birthplace of the late, great Tommy Cooper, the much loved Welsh magician and comedian. Its imposing castle was the main filming location for the BBC drama Merlin and featured in two Dr Who episodes.
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 of 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. One tower is leaning further than the Tower of Pisa, thanks to the English Civil War. Surrounding the castle are vast areas of man-made lakes, arguably a more effective defence than the traditional moat.
If you’re visiting the castle, experience living history and take the opportunity to explore four types of siege engines, restored and ready to fire. Or why not learn 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 near the town of Nelson, a short bus ride from Caerphilly. It gives you a fascinating insight into what life was like in medieval Wales. There’ve been people on the site for more than 4,000 years, and the house itself dates back to at least the 16th century.
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 charming old manor house, with costumed tour guides bringing 1600s history to life, complete with crackling fires and candlelit rooms. Outside, a beautiful period garden is carefully tended to.
- 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 watch the world go by. 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 an opportunity to purchase a truckle of traditional mouth-watering Caerphilly cheese. Ideal for Welsh Rarebit, this rich crumbly cheese was originally made for hard-working coal miners, but it’s now found on the best cordon bleu menus the world over.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 Drive
Cwmcarn Forest Drive offers something for all the family and is just a short journey from Caerphilly. Gear up and try out the adrenaline-fuelled mountain bike trails or wind down with a relaxed walk and refreshments in Ravens café. There’re a range of activities and events for all the family, including the children’s explorer trail, fishing, mountain biking and walking routes for all abilities.
- For the whole family
- Events for children and adults
- Beautiful scenery
Once you’ve seen everything Caerphilly has to offer, take a twenty-minute train journey to Cardiff, capital of Wales. Running every 15 minutes most days, our Caerphilly to Cardiff Central trains are the ideal way to round off your weekend break.