So Caernarvon, Carnavon, Caernarfon, call it what you will.
I wanted to see the castle there and found a campsite which looked to be close by, but in the event the weather was not conducive to a long scooter drive to the castle and the was a bit further away from the castle than I anticipated. But it was a lovely quiet spot, with views out over the Menai Strait just at the end of the drive, so Phoebe and I enjoyed our stay.
On our way to the campsite we had actually driven through Caernafon, and I must admit to being surprised when the 'A' road we were on sort of petered out in the large town square which was pedestrianised but not quite. Strict Lady told me to turn right but I wasn’t quite sure where, in the end creeping forwards I realised that the road lead out to the right at the far side of the square. I could see the castle right there and as it was quite a nice afternoon it would have been great to stop, but the carparks were all full and I had to just carry on through the town.
The approach road to the site I was headed for seemed quite narrow in parts, especially as there were parked cars all the way along the edge of the Menai Strait as people took advantage of the late September sunshine. But we arrived safely, even if we initially missed the turning to the farm and had to stop and phone them for directions, and it was a bit tight on the access through the final gate and past the chalets which seem to spring up on every campsite, but once there the farming family who own it were really friendly and helpful.
Having realised how far we now were from town I half thought of taking a taxi in next morning, but as the rain had closed in by then there seemed little point, so instead we started out good and early the following day. Being so early there was clear parking all the way down and we got as near as we could to the castle before strolling down enjoying the early morning silence with the outline of the castle gradually taking shape against the light of the dawn.
I remember being taught in junior school about King Edward I, having ‘conquered’ Wales let it be known he would give them ‘a Prince born in Wales who did not speak a word of English’ then holding up his new first born son at the battlements of Carnavon Castle, saying ‘Here is your Prince of Wales’ Though as at the time the court would have all spoken Norman French, and his son was actually invested with the title in Lincoln, I think once again my teachers may have got it wrong.
Looking out over the mirrored water, with the soft calls of the marsh birds as they flew low against the early sun was memorable, and closer in to the castle was the chattering of the resident jackdaws and starlings sharp against the still silence. There is a swing bridge over the River Seiont giving direct access to the castle and town, but it wasn’t manned until seven o’clock, then suddenly added to the chattering of the birds was a chattering of a different type as a few groups of young teenagers walking in, from what I would guess was some sort of overnight party, as the girls were wrapped in blankets and talking animatedly to one another, and straggling along behind them a few somewhat disconsolate looking boys, who’s evenings possibly hadn't turned out quite as well as hoped.
I didn't want to wait until the bridge opened, and even if I had the castle wouldnt have opened until much later, so I left them all waiting and we moved on towards Conwy to view the castle there.