Gwydir Castle in the Conwy Valley, North Wales. It was rescued and restored privately in the 1980s, and even on the rainiest of days (as above) has a magical atmosphere. Peacocks rustle and rush around trees planted for Charles I and Henrietta Maria, in a way that will send a gentle shiver down the spine of anyone familiar with The Children of Green Knowe.
Inside, log fires crackle and reflect on time-polished oak, and you can wander the 1600s without being tripped up or banged on the head with interpretation at every turn. I can’t imagine opportunities to experience this type of historic building undisturbed will be around for much longer.
William Morgan, who translated the bible into Welsh in the sixteenth century, was educated at Gwydir when a child. At Ty Mawr, the tiny farmhouse where he was born, there’s interpretation which is just right… the National Trust guide is one of the best I’ve ever come across, needing only his words to vividly recreate the world into which Morgan was born, and as much a part of the land as the farmhouse itself.