View of Conwy Tower from the Tower

Walking the steep and narrow Medieval Town Walls of Conwy in Wales

 east side of the walls next to ConwyCastle
Starting on the east side of the walls next to ConwyCastle
 east side of the walls next to ConwyCastle
Yvonne standing on the east side of the walls next to ConwyCastle

For my last medieval adventure in Wales we walked one of the finest and most complete sets of town walls in Europe. Conwy’s 1.2 km of town walls are a medieval defensive structure around the town of Conwy in North Wales. The walls were constructed between 1283 and 1287 after the foundation of Conwy by Edward I, and were designed to form an integrated system of defence alongside Conwy Castle.

For mid autumn and beginning November we were quite lucky that it turned out to be a mild and sunny day, perfect conditions for such a scenic hike.

The coiuntryside surrounding Conwy
The countryside surrounding Conwy
Conway town Walls
Conway town Walls

The combination of castle and town wall make Conwy one of Europe’s finest surviving medieval towns, period. Although most of Edward’s great castles in north Wales were accompanied by a defensive town wall, protection for his newly-planted English colonies, only at Conwy and Denbigh is it possible to still get a sense of what these fortifications were actually like.

We ascended onto the walls at the east side of the walls next to Conwy Castle and walked clockwise around. This ended up being uphill as the walls sloped upwards but offered such beautiful views.

View of what lies beyond Conwy's town walls
View of what lies beyond Conwy’s town walls
The staircase we climbed town to leave the wall
The staircase we climbed town to leave the wall

We were forced to leave the walls behind for a short period whilst walking around Conwy’s train station rejoined the walls towards the west and the highest point of Conwy’s walls.

I think the Welsh people were quite short!!
I think the Welsh people were quite short!!

The walls are mostly built from the same local sand- and limestone used at the castle, but with additional rhyolite stone used along the upper parts of the eastern walls. The town walls include 21 towers and three gatehouses that are beautifully preserved. 

The beautiful Green Welsh countryside
The beautiful Green Welsh countryside
The very steep ascent to the tower
The very steep ascent to the tower
At the top of the tower!!
At the top of the tower!!

The ascent to the highest point of the walls is quite steep but offers spectacular views across the whole town towards ConwyCastle.

After slowly making our way up this steep slope we reached the first of the 21 surviving towers that are”gap-backed”, lacking walls on the inside. These towers originally included removable wooden bridges to allow sections of the walls to be sealed off from attackers. 

 

The talles tower at 15 meters
The talles tower at 15 meters

While standing at the top of one of these 15m high towers I had a quick look around and then with wobbly knees, while clinging to the guardrail made my way back to the wall surface.

View of Conwy Tower from the Tower
View of Conwy Castle from the Tower
View of Conwy Tower from the Tower
View of Conwy Tower from the Tower
Wooden walkways cross the towers
Wooden walkways cross the towers

The good news was that on this route it was pretty much downhill from this point onwards so I could appreciate the scenery more..

The tops of the walls feature an unusual design that uses a sequence of corbels to provide a flat, relatively wide wall-walk. But definitely not wide enough to my liking as I was clinging to the side of the walkway and trying not to look down.

As we descend towards Conwy’s quayside we found some of the best preserved sections of the walls.

The wall we just walked up
The eastern part of the wall we just walked up
I lve the chimney covered roof tops of Conwy
I love the chimney covered roof tops of Conwy

On this last section of the wall I had plenty of opportunities to look across Conwy’s chimney covered rooftops along the way.

The walls of Conwy are not only completely intact, but largely unencumbered by later building, and still give the impression of enclosing and protecting the town.

Beautiful view towards Conwy Castle
Beautiful view towards Conwy Castle
Beautiful view towards Conwy Castle
Beautiful view towards Conwy Castle

The final section of the wall took us down towards Conwy Quay. There were some great views to be had at this point of Conwy Estuary towards Deganwy and Llandudno and also in the opposite direction towards Conwy Castle.

Conwy Quay
The view of Conwy Quay

We were definitely not in the mood  to walk back around the walls the opposite way, which would have been mostly uphill, so we walked along the quayside and back through the town.

Conwy Wall gateways
A panoramic view of Conwy Quays
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21 comments

  1. Conwy is a lovely town and has a wonderful castle, and happens to be just up the road from where Rich was born. (Although Caernarfon Castle, a little further along the coast, will always be my favourite.) In any case, I hope you obeyed ‘Castle Rules’ during your visit, Janaline. They’re quite simple… when visiting a castle, fort, or similar building, you have to enter every single room, no matter how small. At Conwy, this involves an awful lot of running up and down stairs in the turrets!

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    • I was not informed that there are “castle rules”! Luckily I am ver nosy and inquisitive so always try and see everything and de enter every room I come upon, just so that I don’t miss anything! These castles of Wales are so beautiful and such a joy to explore!

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  2. Many years ago we stayed in a small B&B which was right next to one of the Gates through the wall. It was a great old terraced property but during the night lorries squeezed slowly through the arch right past our window.

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