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Explore the estate at Penrhyn Castle

Visitors at Penrhyn Castle and Garden, Gwynedd, Wales
Visitors at Penrhyn Castle and Garden | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Explore the lesser-known parts of the castle grounds and see some wildlife along the way. For an even greater chance of spotting wildlife in its natural habitat look out for the hide in its secluded spot down by the river. Discover the estate with friends or enjoy natural play with the whole family. Penrhyn has something to offer everyone seeking to explore in nature.

Spring highlights on the estate

As you head up towards the castle, take a walk next to the castle keep to enjoy a glorious display of hundreds of spring flowers. The late winter’s snowdrops make way for a sea of bright daffodils, before they clear in favour of bluebells and primroses. As you reach the castle, be sure to make time to take in the views of Eryri (Snowdonia) on a clear day.

Discover a mixed native woodland

As you walk up from the Visitor Welcome Centre on your left you will see mature and semi-mature oak trees. In spring this area is a sea of flowers. This leads through to small mixed woodland known as the Lime Grove. Oak, lime and sweet chestnut of varying ages grow here with an under-layer of box, bay and holly. Ferns grow in abundance here. Look out for great views of the castle from this spot.

Heather slope

On reaching the Heather Slope into The Dell area you may find this area exposed to high winds. Explore several mature oak and beech trees that have been uprooted in storms.

The Old Drive

The Old Drive was the original entrance to the Castle. It provided a grander approach and entrance to the castle. Queen Victoria took this route when she visited in the Castle's heyday. You can still see some of the cobble stones in the drive.

A ruined chapel

Near to the brick stable you’ll find the remains of a building in the woodland. Every castle needs a romantic ruin, and this is Penrhyn's. Its setting amongst redwoods, firs and cedars adds to its gothic atmosphere.

Elysian fields

At the western edge of the parkland the Elysian Fields provide magnificent coastal and mountain views. When the sea mist lifts the expanse of the Menai strait can be seen. This area also provides a great vantage point to view the peak of Carnedd Llewelyn in the south.

A view of Penrhyn Castle with bluebells in the foreground in Gwynedd, Wales.
Exploring the estate at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd | © National Trust Images/Iwan Ellis-Roberts

Family things to see and do

It’s a good idea to be prepared and bring some wellies - it can be a bit muddy underfoot. Ask at the Visitor Welcome Centre for details of a circular walk around the grounds.

Natural woodland play area

During your exploration seek out the wooden arch which leads to the natural woodland play area created by the Ranger team. This has proved to be great fun for all the family to enjoy.

Wildlife to look out for


During your walk through the parkland look out for signs of the badger sett. Badgers are nocturnal mammals with distinctive black and white markings on their face. They can often be seen at night in the wooded areas surrounding the castle.

Badger setts are normally situated in a grassy bank, look out for a wide opening and displaced soil. Another indication of badgers are their claw marks around the base of trees. Badgers often use a tree close to their sett to scratch on. By doing this it keeps their claws in decent shape for digging.


Here at Penrhyn we also have two varieties of bat that live in the grounds and in parts of the castle itself. These are the pipistrelle bat and the brown long-eared bat. Look out for bat boxes during your visit.

Common pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in flight over silver birch branch
Common pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in flight over silver birch branch | © National Trust Images/Bat Conservation Trust/Hugh Clark


The pipistrelle bat is the smallest and more common of Britain's 18 species of bat. They are quite often seen earlier in the evening than other breeds of bat. The very jerky flight of this bat was the reason behind the ancient name for bats, 'flittermouse'. 

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Visitor looking at the mountains of Snowdonia from Penrhyn Castle's garden at sunset

Discover more at Penrhyn Castle and Garden

Find out when Penrhyn Castle and Garden is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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