Visitor numbers to Cadw’s staffed sites have made an impressive recovery in the 12 months, with visits to St Davids Bishop’s Palace topping pre-Covid levels by nearly 50 per cent.

Over 1.1 million visits were made to 23 staffed Cadw sites between April 2022 and March 2023. It is estimated that well over a million visits were also made to unstaffed Cadw sites.

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

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 £9.6m compared to the pre-Covid level of £8m.

This income helps to support Cadw’s vital work in conserving and protecting the heritage of Wales.

In March, the Senedd passed new legislation that will make the law that helps to conserve and protect historic sites of national importance become more accessible and better understood.

Welcoming the figures, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport Dawn Bowden said:

“I’m pleased to see such encouraging visitor numbers across our fantastic Cadw sites.

“The Welsh Government is committed to conserving and protecting Wales’ rich historic sites for the benefit of current and future generations.”