Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
The town of Pembroke stands on a limestone peninsula by the estuary of the River Cleddau, 8 miles south of Haverfordwest, flanked on all sides by woodland and farmland. Pembroke Castle, founded by the Normans in 1093, stands at the western tip of a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides.
The castle dominates the town and it is one of the largest castles that we have visited. Once inside it seems to be a maze of passages and stairways.
In the Bailey there is a very large map of Wales showing the locations of every important castle and it's large enough to walk around on. There is also a cafeteria nearby.
Beneath the castle is a large cavern called The Wogan which has been used for the past 12,000 years. The cave was a shelter for cave dwellers during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic Periods shown by Paleolithic stone tools discovered there.
Easy access from the river by boat to the mouth of the cave also made it the perfect storeroom during the Middle Ages. During the 13th century the Wogan was incorporated into the castle's defences, with a large watergate being built across the mouth of the cavern. The Wogan is now home to Pipistrelle bats.
Access is now via a spiral staircase of about 55 steps from the of the castle's halls.