Right now, with many of us stuck indoors and chomping at the bit to get outside and get some exploring done, it’s the perfect time to start planning all of that amazing travelling you’re going to be doing to make up for lost time over the coming months.
I’m a bit of a history buff I must admit, and if there’s one thing I love it’s a nice day out in the countryside and a visit to a good castle.
Castles have been romanticised greatly over the years, what with fairy tales, nursery rhymes, historical dramas, and fantasy epics. The simple fact of the matter is that the world, like me, is castle mad, whether it wants to admit it or not.
I’m quite happy to admit my fondness of castles, and for those of you who like a good castle too, this article will be especially helpful.
Below, I’ll be looking at se7en of the most awesome castles in the United Kingdom.
St Michael’s Mount
As if you needed an excuse to visit the stunning county of Cornwall, but just in case, here I present to you St Michael’s Mount.
Now, Cornwall is a beautiful part of the UK, with many saying that it feels like its very own country instead of a country.
With stunning coastline, turquoise waters, lush green farmland and pastures, and pasties to die for, Cornwall really is a beautiful place to visit. Today, though, I’m here to talk to you about castles, so let’s get to it.
Just off of the Cornish coast is St Michael’s Mount. Located close to Marazion, this tidal island is only accessible by foot when the tide is out.
The rocky island features a medieval church and castle as well as a granite causeway which, legend has it, was once walked upon by a giant.
The castle and the location itself, is absolutely stunning, especially in the summer. Just be sure to finish your trip with fish and chips, washed down with a crisp and refreshing pint of Rattler.
Heading further inland and away from the coast we now have Windsor Castle.
Located in Berkshire, Windsor Castle is synonymous with the British monarchy.
Built in 1070 by William the Conqueror, it is now the official residence of the Queen of England herself.
As it is a day’s march from London, it was chosen due to its close proximity to London and could be used as a safe haven for the monarchy during attacks from the West.
One of the oldest castles in the world, it is well worth a visit.
Potter Heads, rejoice, for here, I present you with Alnwick Castle, AKA Hogwarts Academy!
Nestled snugly in the stunning county of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is ideal for anybody looking to experience a piece of British history in a rural and aesthetic setting.
The castle was built over 1000 years ago and was initially constructed to help fortify the Northern border of the UK. Now, however, it is the seat of the Duke of Northumberland.
Because of its dramatic setting and the fact that it features so heavily in the Harry Potter movies, tourists flock here in their droves every single year.
We’re not going to be leaving Northumberland just yet, because up next I’ll be looking at Lindisfarne Castle.
Lindisfarne, AKA the Holy Island, is one of England’s most historic spots. Famous for its mead, its monks, and for being the first part of the country invaded by Vikings, Lindisfarne is a hugely popular tourist destination.
If you plan on visiting, you simply must visit Lindisfarne Castle, as take it from me, you won’t be disappointed.
Having once served as a defensive fort between England and Scotland, the castle has been standing for hundreds of years.
Now, the surroundings aren’t exactly awe-inspiring, in fact, the castle stands out in the barren landscape like a sore thumb, but it is this ruggedness that helps paint a picture of Viking invaders and fierce battles.
If you are visiting the Holy Island, check the tide times as it can only be accessed when the tide is out.
Oh, and don’t forget to take back a bottle of honey mead or two.
Heading even further north, we now have Edinburgh Castle.
Nestled snuggled in Scotland’s capital, and sitting atop a long extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland’s most historic landmarks, and most popular tourist destinations.
Sitting high and proudly amongst the city of Edinburgh, the castle dominates the skyline of the city. It was constructed in 1130 and has served many purposes. Not only did it house royalty, it was also used as a Scottish stronghold, and an Army Headquarters.
Now a World Heritage Site, tourists can’t get enough of this fab castle, and I personally saw why.
Located in Warwick, Warwick Castle is another castle constructed by William the Conqueror.
Built in 1068, just two years after the Battle of Hastings, the castle was once an ancient Norman fortification.
The castle we see today is very different to the one from back then, however, as it has undergone numerous renovations and was transformed into a stunning country house.
Last, but certainly not least, I’m taking you back to Cornwall. This time, we’re going to the beautiful village of Tintagel, or Trevena, as it is also known.
Tintagel Castle, or what is left of it, sits precariously atop the clifftops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and offers spectacular views, not only of the ancient ruins, but also out to sea and of the surrounding countryside.
Looking more like something out of Game of Thrones, Tintagel Castle’s ruins have inspired writers, poets, and filmmakers alike over the years.
Built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall in the 1230s, the castle gained literary acclaim when it was named as the birthplace of King Arthur by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Make your way to the top of the ruins and you will not only be met with an amazing view out to sea, but you’ll also find a stunning sculpture of King Arthur himself.
Again, before you head home, don’t forget to pick up a bottle or two of Rattler and a Cornish Pasty to enjoy once you’re home.
So far, I’ve manged to see three amazing castles from this list (that’s me at the top of this post, admiring Warwick castle) and a bunch of others that I didn’t even have the space to mention here.
Would you like to see more castels from the UK? Let me know in a comment.
Take good care of yourself and don’t stop wandering (in your imagination for now)!