Any trip through the UK is like going on your own personal heritage tour. If you pay attention to the sights and sounds around you, you’re likely to stumble across remarkable pieces of history wherever you might choose to wander.
Some of our historical wonders, however, don’t need you to pay that much attention – they straddle the countryside and define the landscapes they call home. I’m talking, of course, about Britain’s stunning, significant and remarkable castles.
They’re pieces of Britain’s heritage wrought in stone; unique structures that inspire us to dwell on the great expanse of history of which we are a part. However, if you want to explore these magnificent structures, you’re going to need to pick your locations carefully.
This week, we’ve chosen to showcase 6 of the best British castles. Many of them you’ll be able to experience on one of our top-rated tours, but if not, don’t fear. Each of these castles is easily reached by public transport.
This is perhaps our personal favourite here in the Evan Evans office. Edinburgh Castle – hewn from the same hardy grey rock as much of the rest of the city – is a spectacular structure that has watched over Scotland’s capital for almost 400 years. It sits on top of an extinct volcano that has been home to native Scottish people for two centuries. It’s an immovable icon of Scottish heritage and a wonder to visit.
Perhaps one of the more unique castles on our list, this small fortress was partially destroyed during the English Civil War and has remained that way ever since. It’s a chance to explore a building frozen in time and learn about the impact the war had on Britain. If you pay it a visit, don’t forget to take a trip to the beautiful coastline nearby.
With jousting, falconry, and mazes, as well as stunning state rooms and gardens, Warwick Castle is the clear choice for those looking for a family castle experience. Encourage the little ones to enjoy a living, breathing slice of history whilst you take in the sheer gravity of this epic structure.
Leeds Castle is nicknamed ‘the loveliest castle in the world’ and it’s not difficult to see why. Perched in the center of a lake, its beautifully preserved gardens and architecture far outstrips many of the other castles on this list. It’s the place to go for those looking for a serene day out in a gorgeous location.
It’s the Queen’s royal residence and the largest, oldest inhabited castle in the world. Windsor Castle is not only a stunning architectural achievement but also one of the most significant buildings in our history, having been built by William the Conqueror after the Norman Invasion. If you’re looking for a blend of architectural beauty, cultural significance and more than a pinch of the ‘wow’ factor, go here.
Defining the skyline of one of Wales’ most beautiful towns, Conwy Castle is the one to visit if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten track. You won’t find busloads of tourists here, and the castle’s estuary-side location makes it very special indeed. It’s a little harder to get to than most castles on this list but, well, isn’t that the point?
Make sure you take a look at our tours from London page if you’re excited to visit Britain’s castles. You’ll find a great range of tours designed to give you the very best of the UK heritage experience.