5 Best Castles in the UK to Explore: from Cardiff Castle to Windsor
One of the best ways to learn about the UK’s historical and cultural heritage is by visiting one of its thousands of castles and fortresses, significant to the people of the UK and highly impactful to the rest of the world. However, we do not use the word thousands lightly. There are over four thousand impressive establishments all around the region, and it can be highly stressful to pick out the ones that are essential to visit, but do not worry - we are here to help! Check out the top 5 best castles in the UK to explore!
Cardiff Castle, Wales
Let's start our history lesson with one of the most impressive mansions in Wales and definitely the rest of the UK! This Victorian Gothic revival-style castle was built in the late 11th century by the Norman invaders on top of a Roman fort. Safe to say - Cardiff Castle is multi-dimensional.
Cardiff Castle, Wales
Looking like it came to life straight out of a fantasy book, the mansion is perfect for exploration. Check out the intimidating gargoyles and gorgeous medieval architecture in the rooms and halls. Also, make your way through the tunnels and take guided tours to hear about its historical development. The further you go, the more you get to find out about its Roman origins, secrets lingering in the walls since the Second World War, and other exciting details!
Take the train from Cardiff to London and carry on with your historical adventure in the UK. This time, let’s see what is inside England’s most essential and prominent castle!
CastleCastle, Cardiff, UK
Windsor Castle, England
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, home to the Royal Family of Great Britain, primarily British Kings and Queens. And it has been that way for over 1000 years! The palace is still perfectly active, with the entire staff and royal residents occupying its historic halls. Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, Windsor will soon be home to King Charles III.
Windsor Castle tours are quite thorough and show a lot of areas that are used daily by the Family, like the State Apartments, the Moat Room, and, of course, the famous Queen Mary’s Doll House!
Windsor CastleWindsor SL4 1NJ, UK
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
An essential part of all Scotland tours, the mighty Edinburgh Castle is one of the most impressive yet grim mansions in all of the UK.
The historic fortress stands on Castle Rock, which has been occupied by humans since at least the Iron Age. The castle itself was built in the 11th century, with several renovations along the way.
The palace had many faces during its time in history - it was once a prison, a military garrison, and finally, a royal residence. There is plenty of evidence of all, but you have to take a tour to see it all for yourself. Explore the wealthy royal chambers and mysterious, abandoned halls, and make sure to go see the Honours of Scotland: the Scottish Crown Jewels. The most important indications of a country’s Royal Regalia are the Crown, the Sceptre, and the Sword of State!
The Edinburgh CastleBlack Bridge, Holyhead LL65 2BU, UK
Balmoral Castle, Scotland
After inspecting the Crown Jewels, get some help from the Scotland trains and travel to Aberdeenshire to explore yet another of the UK’s most essential and beautiful castles.
Balmoral also belongs to the British Royal Family and is just as impressive as Windsor Castle. The mansion is open to the public every year for months, from April to July, so make sure you check availability before immediately putting it on your itinerary. However, if you do make it on time, there is plenty of exciting stuff to see!
Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the grounds and the lavish Balmoral Ballroom tour, which is situated right next to many exhibitions that are all closely related to the British Royal Family and the long history of Britain’s monarchy!
Balmoral CastleBalmoral Castle, Balmoral, Ballater AB35 5TB, UK
Dover Castle, England
The iconic English mansion of the 11th century, Dover Castle, is known for its unique location, royal intrigue, and some of the most epic sieges!
The primary and most celebrated event Dover Castle overcame during its time in history was the crucial effort to evacuate thousands of Allied troops from the beach of Dunkirk. And, if you are not aware of these happenings, learn about the Dunkirk stories in an impressive exhibition in the Secret Wartime Tunnels. You should also explore the recreated, historically completely accurate medieval rooms of the Great Tower.
Obviously, Dover Castle is oozing history, and there is plenty to learn, so we suggest a thorough guided tour and your full attention while roaming these momentous halls.
Dover CastleDover CT16 1HW, UK
While it might be quite challenging, it is highly possible to visit all these castles in one go! So plan accordingly and have the most historically-heavy holiday yet. Listen to your tour guides and simply enjoy! Good luck!
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