Explore the estate at Penrhyn Castle
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.
Winter highlights on the estate
It may be chilly but you'll be surprised just how much nature you can see when you wander around the estate. Look out for an abundance of winter birdlife in the trees - they're much easier to spot when there are no leaves to hide them.
Take a moment to pause and look out over the beautiful frost-covered landscape – you might even see snow on the mountains in the distance.
Enjoy a fresh winter walk at Penrhyn on our woodland trail as you discover more about the woodland and wildlife around you. With the snowdrops appearing all over the place, there’s no better time to slow down and immerse yourself in nature.
The woodland trail runs from the 11 February.
You can also enjoy a circular walk around the lesser-known parts of the castle grounds on the Discover nature walk at Penrhyn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
The castle exterior hides an opulent and lavishly decorated interior. A much-loved home to the Pennant family, learn about some of the glorious rooms you can see on your visit.
Penrhyn’s grounds and gardens are extensive and a feast for the senses. Find peace in the formal Walled Garden or explore the jungle-like Bog Garden.
Penrhyn Castle's Railway Museum is dedicated to industrial locomotives. Find out how these engines helped to build the Pennant family wealth at Penrhyn.
Visit the Castle Café for delicious lunches and tempting cakes whilst the shop offers a range of locally sourced gifts. Browse the second-hand books for a bargain.