Visit the Best of British History: The Top 10 Castles to See in the UK
The United Kingdom is fortunate enough to be home to some of the most popular and stunning castles in the world, each with its unique history and charm. Here are the top 10 castles you must see: 1) Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, with its impressive fortress and panoramic city views. 2) Windsor Castle in England, the most visited, oldest and largest occupied Castle in the world and home to the Royal Family. 3) Stirling Castle in Scotland, with its grand halls and historical battles. 4) Leeds Castle in England, set on an island amidst beautiful gardens and a lake. 5) Caernarfon Castle in Wales, a World Heritage Site with impressive polygonal towers. 6) Warwick Castle in England, with its rich history and medieval architecture. 7) Dunnotar Castle in Scotland, a picturesque ruin perched on a cliff. 8) Tower of London in England, a historic castle and prison with a bloody past. 9) Hadrian’s Wall in England, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Roman artefact in the world. 10) Alnwick Castle in England, a stunning castle that was the filming location for Harry Potter. These castles are sure to transport you back in time and give you a glimpse into the rich history of the United Kingdom.
Edinburgh Castle is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Scotland. Perched high on a hilltop, this ancient fortress offers breathtaking views of the city below and the surrounding countryside. Inside the castle walls, you’ll find a wealth of history and culture to explore. From the Scottish National War Memorial to the Stone of Destiny, there’s something for everyone to discover.
One of the highlights of Edinburgh Castle is the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish crown jewels on display. You can also visit the famous One O’Clock Gun, which has been fired every day at 1 pm since 1861, except on Sundays!
But the Castle is not just a historical site; it also offers a variety of events throughout the year, from the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo during the summer to the spectacular fireworks during the Hogmanay celebrations, making it a perfect place for a fun-filled day out for the whole family.
Windsor Castle is a truly magical place that is not to be missed! As the oldest and largest occupied Castle in the world, it’s steeped in history and tradition. The Castle has been a residence of the British Royal family for over 900 years, and it’s easy to see why they’ve chosen to call it home for so long.
One of the most popular things to see at Windsor Castle is the State Apartments, which are filled with stunning works of art, tapestries and furniture. You can also visit St George’s Chapel, one of the most beautiful chapels in the world, where many famous historical figures are buried, including King Henry VIII and Charles I.
But Windsor Castle is not just for history buffs; it’s also a great place for a fun day out for the whole family. During the summer months, you can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which is a colourful and ceremonial spectacle. You can also explore the Castle’s beautiful gardens, including the famous Long Walk, which is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Stirling Castle is a true gem of Scottish history and culture and a must-see destination for anyone visiting Scotland. The Castle sits on a dramatic hilltop, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Inside the castle walls, you’ll find a wealth of history and culture to explore.
One of the highlights of Stirling Castle is the Great Hall, which is a grand medieval hall that was once the centre of royal power in Scotland. You can also visit the Palace, which is a beautifully restored royal residence that offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the Scottish royal court.
But Stirling Castle is not just for history buffs; it’s also a great place for a fun day out for the whole family. You can try on medieval armour, learn about medieval weaponry, and even watch reenactments of historical battles. The Castle also hosts events throughout the year, including the Stirling Medieval Fayre, where you can immerse yourself in medieval culture and even try your hand at archery.
Leeds Castle is a true fairytale destination that is not to be missed! Set on an island amidst 500 acres of beautiful gardens and a lake, it’s a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The Castle has a rich history dating back to the 12th century, and it has been a royal residence, a palace, and even a prison.
One of the highlights of Leeds Castle is the Castle’s interiors, which are beautifully decorated with medieval and renaissance art, tapestries, and furniture, giving you a glimpse of how the rich and powerful lived in the past. You can also explore the Castle’s beautiful gardens, including the famous Maze, which is perfect for a fun challenge with your family.
But Leeds Castle is not just for history buffs; it’s also a great place for a fun day out for the whole family. You can take a boat trip around the lake, try Falconry or even take a Segway tour around the Castle. The Castle also hosts events throughout the year, including the Leeds Castle Food and Drink Festival, where you can sample some of the best local food and drink.
Caernarfon Castle is a true masterpiece of medieval architecture and a must-see destination for anyone visiting Wales. The Castle is a World Heritage Site and is considered one of the finest examples of 13th-century military architecture in Europe. The Castle is built in the form of a polygonal fortress, with impressive towers and walls, making it an impressive sight to behold.
One of the highlights of Caernarfon Castle is the King’s Gate, which is the main entrance to the Castle and is decorated with the heraldic beasts of the princes of Wales. You can also visit the Great Hall, which is a grand medieval hall that was once the centre of royal power in Wales.
But Caernarfon Castle is not just for history buffs; it’s also an excellent place for a fun day out for the whole family. You can take a guided tour of the Castle and learn about its history and legends, try on medieval armour, or even participate in reenactments of historical battles. The Castle also offers an audio guide in Welsh and English, making it a great way to learn more about the history and culture of Wales.
Warwick Castle is a must-see destination for history buffs and adventure seekers alike. Built-in the 11th century, the Castle offers a glimpse into medieval life with its impressive fortifications, grand halls, and stunningly preserved interiors. Visitors can explore the Castle’s many towers and ramparts and even participate in a medieval-style banquet in the Great Hall. The Castle also features an array of exciting live shows and reenactments, including the thrilling “Warwick Warriors” jousting tournament and the “Trebuchet” medieval siege machine demonstration. With its rich history and exciting activities, Warwick Castle is the perfect place to step back in time and have a blast!
Dunnottar Castle is a must-see destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Nestled on a dramatic clifftop overlooking the North Sea, this medieval fortress offers breathtaking views and a rich history. The Castle is steeped in legends and stories, including the famous story of the Honours of Scotland, which were hidden in the Castle to protect them from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army. The Castle is also surrounded by beautiful gardens and nature trails, making it the perfect place for a leisurely stroll. Visitors can explore the Castle’s many rooms and corridors, including the grand hall and the prison. The Castle is also home to an array of artefacts, including weapons and armour from the past. With its beautiful setting, rich history, and exciting stories, Dunnottar Castle is an unforgettable experience.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is a must-see destination for history buffs and thrill-seekers. This 900-year-old Castle is steeped in history and legends, from the notorious prisoners locked up in the White Tower’s dungeons to the Crown Jewels, which are still housed today. Visitors can explore the many towers and ramparts, including the iconic White Tower, and learn about the Castle’s rich history through interactive exhibits and guided tours led by the Yeoman Warders, also known as “Beefeaters.” The Tower of London is also home to the famous ravens, which are said to protect the Castle and the kingdom; you can also see them while visiting the Castle.
Hadrian’s Wall is a must-see destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts. This ancient Roman fortification runs across the northern border of England, stretching over 80 miles from the Solway Firth to the River Tyne. The Wall was built in AD 122 by Emperor Hadrian to protect the Roman Empire from barbarian invasions. Today, visitors can hike along the Wall and explore the remains of forts, towers, and milecastles, which offer a glimpse into Roman life and military strategy. The Wall also offers a unique opportunity for visitors to explore the beautiful British countryside, passing through rolling hills, green pastures, and charming villages. With its rich history and beautiful setting, Hadrian’s Wall is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the past and enjoy the great outdoors.
Alnwick Castle is a must-see destination for history buffs and Harry Potter fans. This grand Castle, dating back to the 11th century, has been the home of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, for over 700 years. Visitors can explore the Castle’s many rooms and halls, including the grand staterooms and the medieval kitchen, and learn about the Castle’s rich history through interactive exhibits and guided tours. The Castle also features beautiful gardens, including the famous Poison Garden, filled with deadly plants, and the Grand Cascade, a spectacular water feature. Alnwick Castle is also renowned for being the filming location of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies; visitors can take a tour of the areas used in the films and even learn how to fly a broomstick or brew potions. With its rich history, beautiful setting, and connection to Harry Potter, Alnwick Castle is perfect for a magical day out!
Staying in London and want to see Castles and more? Check out these London to Windsor Castle and Stonehenge Tours on offer…
Adults: £135 Child: £126
An inner circle tour of Stonehenge and the UK…
Stonehenge Inner Circle Tour, Bath and Lacock Day Trip with Dinner
Adults: £102 Child: £99