The 10 best UK castles to visit this summer

The summer’s here, so we thought it was a good time to start planning a few trips around the country!

Edinburgh Castle

edinburgh castle 2

Overlooking the historic Scottish capital, Edinburgh castle has dominated the city’s skyline for centuries. There has been a royal castle on the site since the 12th century, with the rock itself having been occupied for thousands of years. The castle is worth a visit just to experience it first hand, although any tourists travelling up there will also get to see the Scottish crown jewels and a number of national museums. Visit their website here to plan your trip.

Tintagel Castle

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Overlooking the Celtic Sea and not far from Merlin’s Cave, Tintagel Castle has more than a little magic to it. Exhibitions inside explore the castle’s link with the legend of King Arthur, but it’s the historic ruins and the rugged coastline that keep visitors coming back year after year. Have a look at their website for more information.

Caernarfon Castle

caenarfon castle

Dating back to the 13th century, Caernarfon castle stands imposingly over the small Welsh town of the same name, a climb up the Eagle Tower provides beautiful views across the Menai Strait, while the museum tells the castle’s fascinating history. Visit the website here to find out more about the castle and the local area.

Warwick Castle

warwick castle

Warwick Castle is one of the most well preserved in England, allowing you to step back in time to when it was newly built. What you can see today is developed from the original castle, built in 1068 by William the Conqueror, just two years after the Battle of Hastings had seen William rise to power. But it’s not just the history that makes this castle interesting – Warwick pride themselves on their activities and events. Find out about everything Warwick Castle has to offer by visiting their website here.

Cardiff Castle

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Dating back as far as the 11th century, Cardiff Castle is a mixture of medieval architecture and Victorian style, with the motte and bailey exterior giving way to an ornate and lavish interior filled with luxurious Victorian opulence. This contrast in style makes Cardiff Castle one of the most unique sites in the UK, while their regular events, from lectures to theatre production to jousting tournaments, means there’s always something to see. Visit their website to find out more about the castle and whats on this summer.

Leeds Castle

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Despite the name, Leeds Castle is actually located over 200 miles south of the city of Leeds, in rural Kent. The site claims to be the “loveliest castle in the world”, and it’s easy to see why. Sitting on a lake and surrounded by beautiful countryside, the castle also boasts a perfectly manicured hedge maze and a set of beautifully decorated rooms to explore. They also hold regular events, including live music and sports, while surrounding houses offer accommodation for people that want to spend the night there. Make sure you visit their website here to find out more.

Arundel castle

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Arundel Castle is another medieval castle built in the 11th century, boasting finely furnished rooms and beautiful views across the South Downs and River Arun. The castle also a collection of tranquil themed gardens than visitors can wander through at their own pace, and regular historical reenactments which kids and adults alike can enjoy. Visit their website to see what they have to offer.

Bodiam Castle

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Bodiam Castle sits in the rural south of England. Built in the 14th century, it’s surrounding moat and beautiful setting make it a fascinating place to visit. Unlike other castles that have been renovated during the 18th and 19th centuries, Bodiam Castle’s interior has never been updated, and visitors are free to explore the ruins in their own time. Walking along the wooden bridge towards the castle’s entrance is an exciting and intimidating experience, and although the castle itself is largely a shell, the surviving walls are exactly as they would have been 600 years ago. Explore their website here to find out more about a visit to the castle.

Dover Castle

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Dover Castle is the largest castle in England, and stands overlooking the Strait of Dover, the shortest sea crossing between England and continental Europe. The 900 year old castle covers every era of it’s history, from Roman and Saxon settlements to the medieval interior and even the Second World War.  Dover’s iconic white cliffs are also worth seeing, as visitors are able to explore wartime tunnels cut through the rock, including the underground hospital found below the castle. Visit their website to find out more.

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick castle

Located close to the Scottish border in Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is one of the most complete castles in the UK, with it’s manicured lawns and stately home interior complementing the medieval surroundings. Another attraction of the castle – and what some people may have already noticed – is that it featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films! Visitors can see where Harry learned to play Quidditch, explore the courtyards where the staff and students went about their days, and even visit the site where Ron and Harry crash-landed the Weasley family’s flying car. Not only that, but the castle also offers theatre, music and cinema nights, as well as extensive information about the history of the Percy family, who have lived in the castle for over 700 years. Visit their website here to plan your visit.

 

 

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