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My Top 5 UK Castles

February 7, 2013

I love visiting castles, so I thought I would share my top 5 castles to visit in the UK.

5. Tower of London

There is one simple reason that this castle is at number 5 and not number 1, the experience of being there is just not the same as being at a remote castle in the middle of nowhere. The Tower of London is a historic castle in London, there is so much to do at the tower that it would be impossible for me to even begin to describe it. The atmosphere is good and it is easy to get to, and of course, the prison is one of the main attractions here I think, that as well as the crown jewels. The prison has held many famous faces, Catherine Howard, one of Henry VIII’s wives was held there before her execution, the two young princes also disappeared there during the reign of their Uncle King Richard III. Then, you can head over to the crown jewels and see crowns and sceptres among other items. So, for the activities and the history, this castle, The Tower of London, comes in at number two.

4. St Michaels Mount

I have yet to visit St Michael’s Mount, I have cycled past it, but never had time to go in, but cycling past it was amazing in itself, which is why it has placed at number 4. To get to the castle, you can park in Marazion, Cornwall and walk across at low tide to the little island on which the castle is situated. Or of course, you could also get a boat. From the shore of the mainland, when looking at the castle, you can imagine yourself in times gone by, when the castle would have been fully functioning. In the castle itself, there are various different rooms to walk round and learn something and then, if the weather is good, you can head outside to have a look around the beautiful gardens.

3. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh is another fantastic castle that should place higher up on my list of castles, but doesn’t simply because it is in the middle of a city. And yes, I know, it would have been fairly busy when it was functioning, but, I like my castles remote and a little ruined. Now, there are some famous faces who have lived in this castle including Mary Queen of Scots, it was also a military base, which would be handy judging by the history between Scotland and England. The castle has quite a few things to go around and see, including the royal palace and of course the Scottish crown jewels. There is also some things to learn about the Scottish military which are quite fascinating. The best thing about this castle has to be the view, from the castle you can almost see the whole of Edinburgh and beyond, you can see the sea and the far off mountains and it is truly spectacular.

2. Urquhart Castle

I have recently written a post on Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness in Scotland. This is the second Scottish Castle that I have visited and loved. I won’t go into too much detail, if you want some more find it here,, the castle is right on the water and so provides some amazing views of the loch. It is in ruins now, but has a rich history, which you can learn about in a movie at the castle itself. You can wander around the ruins of this once magnificent castle and learn about its history and how a castle was laid out. Because the walls are so short now, the layout of the castle can be grasped far easier than when inside. So, for the scenery and the ruins, I place Urquhart Castle at number two.

Urquhart Castle

1. Warwick Castle

I visited Warwick Castle as a child and a desperate to go back as an adult. The site is fairly big, and there is so much to do that I doubt you could get it all done in one day. There is a Trebuchet Show and Medieval Jousting and some incredibly impressive interiors to see, so you can see how people would have lived and how they would have been entertained all at the same time. There is also a dungeon and playground, so children will be entertained the entire time. The best thing about Warwick is it’s space and how this space is used. There is so much to do and yet there is still space to run around and have fun. This castle has it all, entertainment for children, entertainment for adults, a nice rural area and a good old castle to wander around. I can remember having such an amazing day when I was younger, and I am sure it has improved since then so this is why it is number one on my list of Castles!


From → Museums, Travel

One Comment
  1. It’s hard to fault your list, but I’ll throw a few in for your consideration, although they might betray my bias for the North.

    Hermitage castle in the Scottish borders is just stunning. There is nothing there but a semi-ruin, no attractions just a few sign boards. But, as with much of the borders it is so stunningly bleak. There is an atmosphere there like no other caste I’ve been to. Irrational, I know but unmistakable.

    Bamburgh Castle, although arguably ruined by renovation, has its fantastic coastal site and is, in its location at least very ancient.

    On Carlisle castle, I’ll refer you to a bit of a rant on my blog

    I also have to add Bolsover Castle, despite the fact it really isn’t a castle at all and is a testament to nothing but one man’s vanity- but I got married there so it has to make it on my personal list.

    I haven’t even started on Wales and the Marches, or my childhood favourite of Castle Rising, but I have stop somewhere.

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