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Caerphilly Castle, Wales, opens new attractions

gilberts maze cadw

Two new family attractions have opened today at Caerphilly Castle, Wales. The attractions are called Gilbert’s Maze and the Dragons’ Lair.

Approval was granted for an interactive maze and an eerie Dragons’ Lair at Caerphilly Castle in June as part of plans to turn the historic Welsh attraction into a major UK tourist destination.

Specialists behind interpretation at The London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds designed Gilbert’s Maze. Guests will navigate hidden passageways and challenging obstacles. They have to avoid getting caught by its 13th century owner, Gilbert de Clare.

The Dragons’ Lair will be a permanent home for the Cadw Dragon family. There is a full audio-visual display, with smoke, snores and a magical reading of the Dragons’ epic tale.

The castle designed, built and installed the attractions over a period of eight months.

dragons lair cadw

Castle re-brand

The entire 750-year-old site has undergone a complete re-brand. New events for visitors include digital dragon spotting with the Little Dragons app and the Castle’s treasure trail, Castle Quest.

The castle will also soon introduce regular live shows with Siege Engines which catapult ammunition. The shows will be the result of months of restoration and training a team in medieval warfare.

The new attractions are part of a wider £9.5m Welsh Government investment over the next three years. The investment will enhance the visitor experience at historic sites across Wales.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “The unveiling of Gilberts’ Maze and the Dragons’ Lair at Caerphilly Castle marks a brilliant new chapter in our efforts to bring new experiences and interpretation to Wales’s historic monuments — and where better to start than at Wales’s biggest castle, Caerphilly?

“I’m confident that, with the help of the £9.5m investment, we can continue to capture the imagination of visitors from Wales and beyond by improving their experience at sites across the country.

“Paying visitors to Cadw sites have risen dramatically in recent years, with an increase of almost 20% between 2016 and 2017 alone — largely thanks to crowds who flocked to meet the famous Cadw Dragon family.

“We hope that the new attractions launched at Caerphilly Castle today will go a long way towards improving the tourism offer of The Valleys and we’re delighted that families will have the chance to enjoy our new attractions during the last couple of weeks of the school holidays – and for years to come.”

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Michael Mander

Michael Mander

I am a journalist from Essex, England. I enjoy travelling, and love exploring attractions around the world. I graduated from Lancaster University in 2018. Twitter @michael_mander.

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