Visitors are returning to medieval Welsh sites, Cadw reports

During the last year, over two million people visited the castles, abbeys and historical sites managed by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service. This represents 92% of the number of people who were coming in the pre-Covid period.

Cadw released the figures covering their latest financial year – between April 2022 and March 2023. They found that over 1.1 million visits were made to 23 staffed Cadw sites, while at least one million more people came to unstaffed sites.


Conwy Castle remains the most popular site welcoming 227,000 visits in the last year, an increase of 5% on pre-Covid levels. The largest increase was however at St. David’s Bishop’s Palace which saw visits increase by 49% on pre-Covid levels.

“I’m pleased to see such encouraging visitor numbers across our fantastic Cadw sites,” says Dawn Bowden, the Welsh Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport. “After an extremely difficult few years, we are well on track to make a full and record-breaking recovery.”


Following major works and improved visitor facilities at Caernarfon Castle and on-going work at Caerphilly Castle, Cadw expects a bumper year in 2023. In fact, early indications are that visitor numbers over the recent Easter holiday exceeded the equivalent period prior to the pandemic. The successful recovery has led to a significant increase in commercial income for Cadw, now at a record level of £9.6 million compared to the pre-Covid level of £8 million.

This income helps to support Cadw’s vital work in conserving and protecting our outstanding heritage for the benefit of present and future generations. For example, Cadw has just completed major conservation work at Coety Castle, Bridgend and Neath Abbey.

In March, the Senedd passed ground-breaking new legislation that will make the law that helps to conserve and protect our historic sites of national importance become more accessible and better understood. “The Welsh Government is committed to conserving and protecting Wales’ rich historic sites for the benefit of current and future generations,” Bowden adds.

Click here to visit the Cadw website

Top Image: Photo by Ruben Holthuijsen / Flickr