This castle can easily be seen emerging from the trees on a hillside beside the M4 (junction 32). It has a fairytale appearance even when passing at speed, but entering the castle takes this feeling of enchantment further. Unlike most castles this one is relatively modern (although built on ancient foundations) and is the result of money and Victorian imagination taken to the extreme. It was built as an elaborate holiday retreat for the 3rd marquess of Bute at the end of the 19th century. Its walls are beautifully decorated with intricate paintings of many things, including Aesop's Fables in one room. The furniture and decor is wonderfully over the top and bizarre. There is also Caerphilly Castle 5 minuites drive away, with all the splendor of a decayed ancient castle but Castell Coch brings history to life in a fantastically refreshing way to adults and children alike. It is reasonably priced and also has a lovely, if small, tea room.
A romantic, fairytale castle just outside Cardiff. Rebuilt from a medieval ruin, its gothic interior is crammed with ornate murals, lavish gilding and elaborate wood carvings.
If you like this over-the-top style, you might also want to visit Cardiff Castle in the centre of the city. Both were designed by William Burges.
On the A470 at Tongwynlais, about five miles north-west of Cardiff.
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