Top 10 Most Beautiful Castles In The UK You Must Visit
Britain is dotted with hundreds of castles, which stand as a testament to the mastery of engineering in earlier ages. These monuments, which range from enormous fortresses overlooking the coast to former strategic strongholds and some that are still inhabited today, serve as a constant reminder of the island’s stormy past. You can delve deeply into Britain’s history and legacy while exploring the country’s gorgeous outdoor areas and lush autumnal scenery thanks to these magnificent castles.
There are so many castles to pick from that it could be difficult to focus your search. Every castle on this list is as fascinating as the next because each one has a distinct and interesting history. Choose your favorite and arrange your upcoming enchanted trip to one of these stunning castles.
Craigievar, a prime example of Scottish Baronial architecture, blends in perfectly with Aberdeenshire’s undulating landscape. Children and adults alike will be enchanted by Craigievar Castle’s stunning pink and elegant tower.
This famous tower house, which was started in 1576 and finished in 1626, is one of Scotland’s best-preserved and most beloved buildings. Up until the 1960s, Craigievar was a family home, resulting in a peculiar fusion of rare antiques and contemporary comforts inside the historic walls.
The upper floors do not have artificial lighting because that was the former owner’s request. As a result, the vast collection of historical objects and artwork is only visible in the fluctuating light of the sun, just as it was when they were created.
The Raeburns and Jamesones, as well as the Great Hall’s unique example of Jacobean woodwork, will captivate art historians.
The grounds include a Victorian kitchen garden, two waymarked woodland trails, and an unusual Scottish glen garden, all of which are equally charming. Bluebells illuminate the forest floor in the early summer. Look for red squirrels and even pine martens that are hiding in the undergrowth.
Penrhyn Castle, also known as Castell Penrhyn in Welsh, is a Norman-style country house located in Llandygai, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales. Ednyfed Fychan built it as a fortified manor house during the Middle Ages. Ioan ap Gruffudd established the stone castle and added a tower house in 1438 after receiving permission to crenellate. The property was rebuilt by Samuel Wyatt in the 1780s.
The current structure was constructed between roughly 1822 and 1837 using Thomas Hopper’s designs on behalf of the building’s owner, who significantly altered and expanded the structure. The owner of the castle owned numerous slaves, and he received compensation for their loss upon the abolition of slavery, which was roughly equal to the amount spent on building the castle.
Among the many imitation castles constructed in the UK during the 1800s, Penrhyn is among the most well-liked; Christopher Hussey referred to it as “the outstanding instance of Norman revival.” Stretching over 600 feet, the castle is a picturesque composition that begins with a tall donjon housing family rooms and continues through the main block, which was constructed around the earlier house, to the service wing and stables.
Leeds Castle in Kent, England, has been called the “loveliest castle in the world”. Listed in the
Penrhyn Castle, situated in Llandygai, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales, is a Norman-style country house, also referred to as Castell Penrhyn in Welsh. It was constructed in the Middle Ages as a fortified manor house by Ednyfed Fychan. With permission to crenellate, Ioan ap Gruffudd built the stone castle and added a tower house in 1438. Samuel Wyatt rebuilt the property in the 1780s.
Thomas Hopper’s designs were used to build the current structure between approximately 1822 and 1837 on behalf of the building’s owner, who made significant structural modifications and additions. Many slaves belonged to the castle’s owner, who was compensated for their loss when slavery was abolished. The compensation was approximately equal to the cost of building the castle.
Penrhyn is one of the most popular of the many mock castles built in the UK in the 1800s; Christopher Hussey called it “the outstanding instance of Norman revival.” The castle, which is more than 600 feet long, is a beautiful structure that starts with a tall donjon that houses family rooms and goes through the main block, which was built around the previous house, to the service wing and stables.
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Experience Northumberland on a whole new level at Bamburgh Castle, England’s finest coastal fortress.
Step through centuries of history at Northumberland’s best visitor attraction and national treasure, which has stood guard 150 feet above the spectacular Northumberland coastline for over 1,400 years.
Discover a fortress like no other at Bamburgh Castle, whether it’s the thrill of seeing the coast open out beneath you, with sweeping views towards the Farne Islands, Holy Island, and Bamburgh village from this extraordinary viewpoint, or its treasure-filled staterooms, including the castle’s centrepiece – The King’s Hall.
Follow Uhtred into the true Last Kingdom of Bebbanburg, an Anglo-Saxon citadel where saint kings ruled the Kingdom of Northumbria. Discover a Norman stronghold, the Royal Seat, and the world’s first gunpowder castle.
Experience for yourself the enchantment of magnificent Bamburgh Castle, which captured the heart and mind of one of the Victorian era’s greatest inventors, William George Armstrong.
Alnwick Castle’s origins can be traced back to the Norman period. Its history has been intertwined with the Percy family’s since 1309, a family with a history as illustrious as the Castle’s.
The exterior medieval castle is one of the best in the country, having been restored in the mid-nineteenth century by Anthony Salvin. The interior features opulent state rooms filled with an outstanding collection of Italian old masters and sculpture. The castle is situated in a beautiful park designed by Capability Brown.
Alnwick Castle, the UK’s second largest inhabited castle, has served as a military outpost, a teaching college, a refuge for evacuees, a film set, and, most importantly, a family home. Explore the extraordinary history of this living, evolving castle and journey through the centuries.
Hever Castle is in the village of Hever, Kent, near Edenbridge, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of London, England. It started out as a country house in the 13th century. It was the seat of the Boleyn (originally ‘Bullen’) family from 1462 to 1539.
After her father, Thomas Boleyn, inherited it in 1505, Anne Boleyn, the second queen consort of King Henry VIII of England, spent her early childhood there. When his father, Sir William Boleyn, died, the castle passed to him. It was later acquired by Anne of Cleves, King Henry VIII’s fourth wife. As a tourist attraction, the castle is now open to the public.
Hever Castle is now a popular tourist destination, thanks to its connections to Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, as well as its mazes, gardens, and lake. An annual events calendar includes jousting tournaments and archery displays in the summer, as well as an annual patchwork and quilting exhibition in September. A triathlon has also been held at the castle.
The castle has three floors with antique furniture, Anne Boleyn’s prayer books, torture devices, and a large collection of Tudor paintings. There is also a Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry museum.
The original country house timbers can still be seen within the fortification’s stone walls, while the gatehouse is the only original part of the castle. It has England’s oldest working original portcullis.
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The estate’s first written records date back to 749, when an Anglo-Saxon King granted it to the Bishops of Winchester. In the park, Bishop William of Wykeham built a beautiful medieval palace and gardens. The palace was later rebuilt as Highclere Place House in 1679 after being purchased by Sir Robert Sawyer, the current Earl of Carnarvon’s direct ancestor. Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament, transformed Highclere House into Highclere Castle in 1842.
During World War I, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon turned Highclere Castle into a hospital for wounded soldiers. During WWII, Highclere Castle housed children who had been evacuated from London.
The Castle has between 250 and 300 rooms, and during your tour, you will see the main state rooms from “Downton Abbey.” You’ll see some of the bedrooms before heading down to the cellars and old staff quarters to see the Egyptian Exhibition, which commemorates the 5th Earl of Carnarvon’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.
The Tower of London is a 900-year-old castle and fortress in central London known for housing the crown jewels as well as housing many famous and infamous prisoners.
Throughout its history, the tower has housed the royal mint (until the early nineteenth century), a menagerie (which left in 1835), a records office, an armory, and troops’ barracks. It was also used as a royal residence until the 17th century.
The tower has been used as an attraction since at least the 17th century, when the “Line of Kings” exhibition first opened. Other attractions attracted non-military visitors to the tower. For example, until it was closed in 1835, the royal menagerie, essentially an early zoo, housed a diverse range of animals, including lions, an ostrich, and even a polar bear.
The tower’s history as a prison for some of England’s most famous people drew visitors, giving the Yeoman Warders the opportunity to show tourists around (and, for a time, make some extra money). The tower’s medieval history so captivated England in the nineteenth century that it was “restored” in such a way that its medieval aspects were magnified.
The Tower of London is now one of the most famous castles in the world and a World Heritage Site, attracting over 2 million visitors each year.
Warwick Castle is a medieval castle that grew out of a wooden fort built by William the Conqueror in 1068. Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England, located on the Avon River’s meander. During the 12th century, the original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone. The facade opposite the town was refortified during the Hundred Years War, resulting in one of the most recognizable examples of 14th-century military architecture. It served as a stronghold until the early 17th century, when James I granted it to Sir Fulke Greville in 1604. Greville converted it into a country house, and the Greville family (who became Earls of Warwick in 1759) owned it until 1978, when it was purchased by the Tussauds Group.
In 2007, the Blackstone Group purchased the Tussauds Group and merged it with Merlin Entertainments. Under a sale and leaseback agreement, Warwick Castle was then sold to Nick Leslau’s investment firm, Prestbury Group. Merlin is still operating the site under a 35-year lease.
Windsor Castle is a royal residence in Windsor, Berkshire, England. It is closely associated with the English and subsequent British royal families, and it represents nearly a millennium of architectural history.
The original castle was built in the 11th century, following William the Conqueror’s Norman invasion of England. It has been used by the reigning monarch since the reign of Henry I and is Europe’s longest-occupied palace. Hugh Roberts, an early 20th century art historian, described the castle’s lavish early 19th-century State Apartments as “a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste.” The 15th-century St George’s Chapel is located within the castle walls and is considered by historian John Martin Robinson to be “one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic” design.
Windsor Castle survived the English Civil War, when it served as a military headquarters for Parliamentary forces as well as a prison for Charles I. During the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Charles II rebuilt much of Windsor Castle with the assistance of architect Hugh May, creating a set of lavish Baroque interiors. Following a period of neglect in the 18th century, George III and George IV renovated and rebuilt Charles II’s palace at enormous expense, resulting in the current design of the State Apartments, which is filled with Rococo, Gothic, and Baroque furnishings. For much of Queen Victoria’s reign, she made a few minor changes to the castle, which became the center of royal entertainment. The royal family used Windsor Castle as a refuge during the Luftwaffe bombing campaigns of WWII, and it survived a fire in 1992. It is a popular tourist destination, a venue for state visits, and Queen Elizabeth II’s preferred weekend residence.
Europe is the home to many beautiful places and architecture, with a long rich history. Here is top 10 most beautiful castles in the world.
To know more about top 10 oldest castles in the world that you should visit once in your life, keep reading the article below.
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