Beautiful castles in the UK are an integral part of the country and its history. Here you will get to know about the 10 most beautiful castles, which are some of the best places to visit in UK. Many tourists visit the UK every year. It has long been one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
A UK visa and a UK tourist visa are a must to visit this beautiful country. Among the many landmarks like Big Ben, Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace, visiting the many museums and castles in England is an integral part of exploring this fascinating and diverse country. Castles are fortified structures initially built for military and defense purposes and later used as fortified residences of the feudal lords. They are a testimony of the engineering prowess and a reminder of the island’s turbulent past. The castles in England allow you to delve into Britain’s history and heritage. Many castles were ruined through cannon fire during the Civil War, while some were left abandoned. These fortresses have stood the test of time and proudly stand today strong as iconic symbols of culture and history. Here is the list of 10 beautiful castles in the UK that you must pay a visit to.
1) Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England
is the oldest and the largest inhabited castle in the world. It is one of the royal residences occupied by Queen Elizabeth II, used as a weekend retreat and for hosting royal weddings and state visits from foreign heads of state. Built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, the castle was designed to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London. Visitors can take a tour around the castle and see the opulent staterooms, stroll the grounds, or see the ”Changing of Guards” ceremony every Thursday and Saturday. Visit the St. George’s Chapel, a Gothic masterpiece, or head to Queen Mary’s Doll’s House.
2) Tower of London, London, England
The Tower of London is a World Heritage Site, built as a fortified castle and a royal residence and used as a prison from 1100 to 1952. Many famous figures of British history imprisoned within its walls include royals like Richard II, Edward V, Henry VI, and Elizabeth I. The castle has been a popular tourist destination as it attracts visitors who come to see the castle’s menagerie and the amazing display of the nation’s Crown Jewels with a stunning collection of around 23,000 gemstones and armory. Seven ravens still live at the Tower of London and are taken care of by Yeoman Warder or Beefeaters.
3) Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England
Going back to the Norman Era, Alnwick Castle in Northumberland has undergone a lot of things, from a family home to a refugee for evacuees. Alnwick Castle played a crucial role in the wars between England and Scotland. For over 70 years, Alnwick Castle, owned by the Percy Family, remains their home to date. Many rooms of the castle, beautifully preserved, such as the Artisan courtyard and the Lavish State Rooms, are open to the public. It is also famous as a film set for Harry Potter films and featured in Downtown Abbey, Elizabeth, and Prince of Thieves. The Alnwick Castle also offers activities such as Dragon Quests and Broomstick Training.
4) Leeds Castle, Broomfield, Kent
Leeds Castle in Kent is another example of a moated castle, sitting on the river Len in a picturesque setting with well-preserved gardens. It was the royal residence of Henry VIII. Visitors to the Castle can see the staterooms and a yew maze shaped like a queen’s crown. Head to the Birds of Prey Center to see a variety of birds, learn about them, and watch the falconry display of birds in flight. Considered the ‘loveliest castle in the world’, Leeds Castle is a perfect getaway for a day out and one of the best castle hotels in England.
5) Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, England
The Warwick Castle was built in 1068 by William the Conqueror on the River Avon. After its construction in the 11th century, the castle has undergone several structural changes with the addition of redesigned residential buildings and towers. Wander along the castle’s impressive portcullis, and explore the 64 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens as you discover 1100 years of history. Book a visit to the Castle Dungeon to unravel Warwick’s darkest secrets with spine-chilling special effects or venture back in time into the Horrible Histories Maze.
6) Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland
Situated in the heart of the Scottish Capital, atop Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle offers beautiful views of the city, and visiting this castle is one of the unique things to do in Edinburgh. This castle holds an important place in Scottish history as it is one of the most attacked castles in the world, from the historical conflicts during the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. It is home to the Royal Palace, Scottish National War Memorial, and the National War Museum. Guided tours of the castle are provided by the castle stewards and audio guides in eight languages. It is better to prebook in advance.
7) Dover Castle, Dover, England
A medieval castle, Dover Castle is often described as the ‘Key to England’ because of its significance throughout history. It is the largest and most well-preserved castle in England, founded in the 11th century and now owned by English Heritage. From Romans to William the Conqueror to World War II, Dover Castle is the best example of the existence of Britain in the ages. You can wander the grounds of this incredible castle and head into the tunnels for an immersive experience. An underground hospital housed in this English fortress, once used for injured soldiers, brings a rescue operation to life using film footage with special effects.
8) Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, Wales
Learn about Welsh history on a visit to Caernafon Castle, one of the greatest Middle Age buildings standing as a symbol of English dominance over the subdued Welsh. It is a Norman motte and bailey castle, built by King Edward I of England, situated on the banks of River Seiont, which runs into Menai Strait. The impressive structure of the castle includes a massive King’s Gate, Queen’s Gate, eagle statues, polygonal towers, and different colored bands of sandstone and limestone. Do not miss seeing the Eagle Tower for an interactive display about the history of this castle and the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum housed here.
9) Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England
Arundel Castle is a wonderful example of remodeled British Castle, built as a motte and bailey. Home to the Earls of Arundel and Dukes of Norfolk for over 400 years, the castle has forty acres of sprawling, landscaped garden with colorful displays of fragrant and colorful flowers providing beautiful scenery. This castle also houses an extensive art collection of priceless paintings by Canaletto and Van Dyck, rare antiques, and armor. TV and film buffs may recognize parts of the castle from The Young Victoria and Doctor Who. This castle remains closed during the winter months. Therefore, it is better to check the website before visiting.
10) Bodiam Castle, East Sussex, England
Bodiam Castle, a perfect example of a medieval moated and quadrangle castle, was built in 1385 by Edward III to defend the surrounding area from a French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. It lay as a picturesque ruin till 1829 before being passed on to the national trust. A quaint bridge across the moat leads to the entrance, marked by looming towers. The Bodiam Castle has all the attributes of a Medieval castle, from soaring battlements and four circulars’ ‘drum’ towers to a forbidding moat and wooden portcullis. Bodiam Castle is the most picturesque and regarded as the perfect English castle, with its pictures embellished in chocolate boxes, books, wallpapers, etc.
11. Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle is a stunning castle situated in Northumberland, England. This grand castle sits on a massive basalt outcropping overlooking the North Sea. Previously Bamburgh was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Bernicia and has been home to several notable figures throughout history, including Saint Oswald, King Ida of Bernicia, and King Oswiu of Northumbria. The castle has been used as a fortress, royal residence, hunting lodge, and private home. Today, Bamburgh Castle is open to the public and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in England.
12. Warkworth Castle
Warkworth Castle is a fascinating medieval castle located in the picturesque village of Warkworth, Northumberland. This castle was first built in the early 12th century by Henry I but was later enlarged and renovated by his son, King John. The castle initially served as a royal residence for many years and was even used as a prison during the Wars of the Roses. Today, Warkworth Castle is open to the public and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northumberland. Tourists are allowed to explore the several rooms and chambers, including the Great Hall, chapel, and towers.
13. Hever Castle
Hever Castle is a spectacular castle in the UK which was built in the late 13th century. It is situated in the village of Hever, Kent, England. The castle has a beautiful moat and is surrounded by a green and colorful garden. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK.
14. Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle is a medieval castle located in Cornwall, England. The castle is situated on the coast of the English Channel and is surrounded by steep cliffs. Tintagel Castle was built in the 13th century by King Henry III, and it used to serve as his royal residence. The castle was later abandoned and fell into ruins. Today, the Tintagel Castle is one of the most popular tourist destinations which is maintained by English Heritage.
15. Lancaster Castle
Lancaster Castle is a must-visit for castle enthusiasts. This Norman fortification has seen its fair share of history, from being the famous site of the trial and execution of King Charles I to being used as a prison for more than 600 years. Today, tourists can explore the castle grounds, learn about its fascinating past. You can even stay overnight in one of its gigantic towers.
16. Carlisle Castle
Carlisle Castle is a medieval castle in Carlisle, Cumbria, England. The castle is over 900 years old and has witnessed many historical events. It was once the site of a Roman fort, and later it was used as a border between England and Scotland.
17. Framlingham Castle
Framlingham Castle is a spectacular castle located in the town of Framlingham in Suffolk, England. The castle was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror and has served as the royal residence to several royalties over the centuries. Today, the castle is open to the public and is a popular tourist destination. Framlingham Castle is also known for its beautiful architecture and stunning views. The castle sits on a hill overlooking the town of Framlingham and has several towers and turrets.
18. Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle is a stunning 11th-century castle located in the village of Corfe Castle in Dorset, England. The castle, situated on a hilltop overlooking the picturesque village, was once the home to the powerful Earls of Cornwall. Today, Corfe Castle is owned by the National Trust and is open to the public.
UK’s castles are a staple of the nation’s history, and with so many places to explore, there is something for everyone. From medieval fortresses to modern-day palaces, each castle offers visitors an opportunity to experience a unique British culture. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head off on an adventure through some of the world’s most spectacular castles!
From secret tunnels, hideaways, winding staircases, ramparts, ornate rooms, and stories of Kings and Queens, the castles of the country will give you the chance to go on
an adventure holiday in UK as you explore the castles and learn about the stories behind them while taking in remarkable views of the stunning castles in the UK.