Among the Roman ruins of Caerleon

Following our fabulous morning in Caerleon, we met up with Glyn and Claire and we started walking back along the main road looking for a place to eat, until we reached the East Gate. The East Gate was the original point of entry of the Roman Fortress; on the other side, behind the wall (picture below), there are the remains of what used to be Caerleon’s Castle.

Going through the gate we entered the ever so original Ffwrwm (believe it or not, I wrote it without checking the spelling :))

Behind that wall, the Mynde (or what's left of Caerleon's castle)

Behind that wall, the Mynde (or what's left of Caerleon's castle)

The Ffwrwm

The Ffwrwm (approximately pronounced f3:’ r3:m – from the Latin word forum) is a very characteristic, cobbled narrow road that leads to a walled garden.

The Ffwrwm - Caerleon

The Ffwrwm - Caerleon

On our left of the road there are some shops and a café (for more information on the shops, check out this website).

The Snug Café

The Snug Café

On our right, a patio that belongs to the café with some beautiful, modern statues that blend in perfectly with the surrounding walls. There’s also a statue of a bull, which is believed to have magical powers…I touched it, just in case.

Patio with statues, tables, chairs and the wall...

Patio with statues, tables, chairs and the wall...

The Ffwrwm - detail

The Ffwrwm - detail

Statue - the Ffwrwm

The statues are unusual yet beautiful

The road leads to the garden, which contains more unusual statues depicting some of the Arthurian stories.I have never seen anything so original.

Statue of the dragon - the Ffwrwm

Love this dragon!

King Arthur and Modred's final battle

King Arthur and Mordred's final battle

Then we decided to have a light lunch at The Snug.



The Snug

There aren’t many places where to eat in Caerleon, it’s not a big village after all, but there is some choice. In the end we decided to stop at the Snug. But why?

Well…we couldn’t really miss the AWESOME cakes and cupcakes on display inside near the door.

The Snug - Caerleon

I'll take that one, that one and the other one please!

From inside the café I get this young “vibe” despite the wood, the simple bichromatic walls and a massive antique fireplace. There’s also a gallery of paintings from local artists which are indeed on sale.

The Snug - Caerleon

The Snug - Caerleon


The menu and food were simple yet delicious, and the “chef specials” on the board. The 2 members of staff were very nice and friendly (one of them is half Italian :))

A happy bunch

A happy bunch

We all had cake and ate it too. Were they nice? Here’s your answer…

Gra and the cupcake

And then there was none....

Moving out of The Snug & back to sightseeing after a very long break, we traced our steps back to the Museum and turned left at the end of the road, to see what we really came for: The Roman Barracks and the Amphitheatre.

The Roman Barracks

Remember the room -turned-barrack in the Museum of the Legion? Squared rooms, with bunk beds, fireplaces, little kitchens with rats in them..? :)

This was the real deal..

The Roman Barracks - Caerleon

The Roman Barracks

It’s a real pity that, like for the roman Baths, there’s so little left. But the ruins still give a pretty good idea of how the barracks were laid out, with the waterholes, the kitchen, and the bedroom walls. I cannot stop thinking that there is still a lot to dig underneath those green mounds…

The Service Area at the barracks - Caerleon

The Service Area at the barracks

Just across the road from the Barracks we found the Amphitheatre.

The Amphitheatre - Caerleon

The Amphitheatre

The Amphitheatre was a smaller version of the Colosseum in Rome. It is also thought that the round shape of the ruins fuelled the “Round Table” legend linked to King Arthur.
I am not too convinced of this to be honest, but it does not take away the beauty of this place.

We could still see some of the corridors, the archways partially showing from the mud and the grass, and we could climb up and down the stairs. I wonder, in 2000 years, is this what San Siro Stadium is going to look like?

The Amphitheatre - Caerleon

Caerleon - Amphitheatre

Is arch?

The effect is amazing nonetheless.

Our day is finally over; we have along drive back. I came to Caerleon to find King Arthur and instead I have found out more about the Romans (I am not complaining, it’s a GOOD thing!).

I loved Caerleon, it’s a very pretty fortress-turned-village, simple in many ways but effective, and very welcoming. I highly recommend it.

A little thought before I go… What happened to Caerleon’s Castle? I am saving this for another post….

King Arthur statue- Caerleon

Looks like I have found King Arthur after all...

PS: I have taken over 400 pictures; I cannot post them all here but if you follow the link to my Flickr page you can see the best of them.


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