Hide And Seek At Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire

A rainy late holiday Sunday and we are back on the trail of Wales’ historic treasures, protected for future generations to enjoy by Cadw (the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment Service). This time we are off to William Herbert’s (the first Earl of Pembroke 1423 – 1469) Raglan Castle.

Entrance to Raglan Castle

Exterior of Raglan Castle

It is much more showily built than Caerphilly Castle, have a more genteel kind of grandeur.

Nevertheless, Raglan Castle still held off Oliver Cromwell’s forces for thirteen weeks in one of the last sieges of the Civil War.

Entering Raglan Castle

With fantastic views of the rolling Monmouthshire countryside and in a very peaceful setting, part of Raglan’s charm for me is its almost seclusion from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

You really do take time out to enjoy Herbert’s statement of wealth and power which, despite the ruins, still shines through.

This was a man determined to make his mark.

Raglan Castle ruins

Construction of the castle didn’t begin until the 1430s which is considered unfashionably late by about 150 years but there were some amazing ‘modern’ features.

Large mullioned windows brought light to bathing rooms and there was the Oriel window, a huge bay window which is one of Raglan’s defining features.

Raglan also had a long gallery, considered very fashionable in the Tudor period with intricately carved wooden panels.

You can see one of these Tudor panels on show in the Visitor Centre.

The Buttery, located behind the Great Hall has reopened to the public and was recently used to film an episode of BBC’s Merlin.

Our trip to Raglan had a dual purpose – to enjoy the castle and to meet up with my sister, Sarah and friend Anil.

Cousin Georgia, who had been staying with us for a few days and thus subject to endless crafting, role play and general din from Caitlin and Ieuan, was very glad indeed to be reunited with her mother.

Ieuan dressed as Harry Potter at Raglan Castle
Ieuan / Harry / Usain Bolt’s Son


Mat Hobbis at Raglan Castle
The Husband

I was hoping for a quiet meander through the corridors of power and some limpid gazing across the meadows, swiftly followed by a trek to the lovely farmhouse behind the castle which serves hot lunches and afternoon teas.

Sarah Brooks-Nayar, Georgia Jasper and Caitlin Hobbis at Raglan Castle
Sister Sarah, Caitlin and Cousin Georgia

No such luck.

Caitlin had swiftly split the group into two groups for a game of hide and seek.

I’m not sure if you have experienced the force field that is a 7-year-old girl but we split into teams and set off.

The towers and corridors are just made for hiding and getting lost in.

Linda Hobbis at Raglan Castle

Did I mention it was raining?

Caitlin with rain falling on her face at Raglan Castle

Still raining.

Caitlin peeping through a gap in the walls at Raglan Castle

Ieuan pretending to be chained to the wall in the dungeon at Raglan Castle

Ieuan was not thrilled to be left in the dungeon.

Anil Nayar and Ieuan Hobbis descending steps at Raglan Castle

Anil, having palpitations trying to keep up with Ieuan / Harry Potter.  Ieuan has also recently been claiming to be “Usain Bolt’s Son”.

looking out at the countryside surrounding Raglan Castle

light flooding through a turret window at Raglan Castle

Ieuan against a wall in Raglan Castle

After a good hour or so of running up and down towers, we got to know Raglan rather well.

Anil John Nayar, Sarah Brooks-Nayar and Ieuan Hobbis on the ramparts at Raglan Castle

The facilities are excellent at Raglan.  There is free car parking just outside the castle gates.  There are toilets and a well laid out visitor centre/gift shop.


Entry to Raglan Castle is free if you are a member of Cadw, otherwise, a family ticket is £13.50.

As at Caerphilly Castle, there is a £10 reduction in the membership fee if you join Cadw on one of their sites.  Incidentally, it is worth noting that membership of Cadw includes half-price entry to English Heritage and Historic Scotland sites in your first year and free entry on renewal.

In the gift shop, I was able to stock up on my favourite Welsh Cakes before we went down to the farmhouse for lunch.

The Husband and I had curries and the kids had chicken sandwiches followed by ice cream and cake with coffees for us.  The bill was in the region of £35.

We had a lovely time at Raglan, despite the weather.

It is an easy drive of approximately an hour from Cardiff and the kids just love running around in the open spaces and exploring the winding turret stairs.

We’ll be back.  As long as we can catch ‘Usain Bolt’s Son” first of course.

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Jasper

Further information can be found at: www.cadw.gov.wales.

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  1. Agata Pokutycka
    5 September, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    It looks like a wonderful place for a family day out. I love castles… the older, the better 🙂

  2. Helen Dickinson
    4 September, 2015 / 10:24 pm

    This looks like a fantastic day out for all the family. I would love to visit one day – my son adores castles.

  3. Daniella Keating
    4 September, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    Ooh this castle looks amazing! You captured some lovely photos.

  4. Leesha Starr
    4 September, 2015 / 9:37 am

    Looks like you had such an amazing time, great pictures. It's good to see you didn't let the rain ruin your day. I've never been to Raglan Castle before, I'm planning a trip back to Wales next year I'll have to add this to the list of places to visit.

  5. Jo Smith
    4 September, 2015 / 8:06 am

    Ruins are my fave! Imagine what happened there many years ago. Looks like you all had such fun!

  6. Don't Cramp My Style
    4 September, 2015 / 8:01 am

    That looks amazing! I love how your son is so much like Harry Potter! He looks awesome! Lovely place!

  7. Emma-Jane Page
    3 September, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    Gorgeous photos even if the weather was typically british x

  8. 3 September, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    What an absolutely amazing looking place, I have to admit I love old buildings like this I wish I could see what they looked like in there full glory. x

  9. Odd Socks and Lollipops
    3 September, 2015 / 12:53 pm

    This place looks amazing. – we have a local castle which is a great place to explore too. Lovely photos

  10. 3 September, 2015 / 8:53 am

    Looks like you all had a great time. I adore old castles and exploring them, can't wait until my toddler is a little older to appreciate them.

  11. 3 September, 2015 / 8:16 am

    Such a beautiful castle and I am loving Harry Potter 😉 x

  12. Kacie Morgan
    2 September, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    I love exploring castles! My favourite is Castell Coch (South Wales) x

  13. The London Mum
    2 September, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    I'm quite jealous of what would have been one epic game of hide and seek!! x

  14. Jessica McDonnell
    2 September, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    I love castles! This looks great x

  15. Claire Ridewood
    2 September, 2015 / 5:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I'll add this to my list of things to do next week when we are visiting wales

  16. Lorraine
    2 September, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    That looks like a great place to visit! Great photos 🙂

  17. Michelle Ordever
    2 September, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    What a fabulous castle to explore. They are such great places for a day out, I love all the history that seems to whisper from the walls!

  18. Lio O
    2 September, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    Such a beautiful place to visit and explore. Looks like your whole family had a great day.
    Lydia xx

  19. Bekaah Rose
    2 September, 2015 / 12:54 pm

    The castle looks so pretty and looks pretty good to go exploring. Thank you for the post 🙂 x

  20. Cathy Glynn
    2 September, 2015 / 11:31 am

    It certainly looks a fabulous place to explore, I love old castles x

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