This being the ‘Land of Castles' you won't be surprised to discover the odd prince or two. Expect to hear tales of battles lost and won, of land defended and castles captured – all featuring a quintessentially Welsh breed of hero. And no name conjures up our pride and spirit better than that of Owain Glwyndwr. He dubbed himself Prince of Wales, gathered support for a national uprising, and by the end of 1403 controlled most of Wales.
This kind of struggle was nothing new. More than two centuries before, the single most powerful figure in medieval Wales was Llywelyn ap Iorwerth or Llywelyn the Great. Born at Dolwyddelan in the 12th century, he'd inherited a large chunk of Gwynedd. And within about 40 years he was running most of Wales from his headquarters at Pen y Bryn, Abergwyngregyn. His dream of independence paved the way for his grandson, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd.
Of all our princes, it was Llywelyn ap Gruffudd who came closest to forging an independent Wales. He was the first ever Welshman to be recognised as Prince of Wales by an English King. But Llywelyn was eventually killed by Edward I's English army, which is why we know him as Llywelyn the Last, some say ‘the last true Prince of Wales'.
We've Welsh fortresses in strategic locations all over North Wales. Dolwyddelan Castle in Snowdonia, Caergwrle Castle near Wrexham, and Castell y Bere in South Gwynedd. Places where princes were born. Where they battled it out. Some are harder to get to than others. So best take a stout pair of walking shoes.