There are hundreds of castles in England, a country that started constructing them as early as the 11th century up to the 1800s. Built primarily as fortresses and part of a defense system, these structures remain standing today either in various stages of restoration or in different states of decay.
Whatever their conditions are, these castles are still a sight to behold and among the places, you must visit in England.
Got time for castle-hopping? Here are some of the best castles in England, all brilliantly preserved and with a rich, fascinating history behind them.
10 Best Castles in England To Visit
1. Leeds Castle
The picture-perfect Leeds Castle is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Kent, England, and is also where you’ll find one of the best castle hotels in Europe. This is also considered as one of the most romantic castles, as it rises majestically from its own moat and surrounded by 500 acres of lush green parklands.
This former stronghold was a private property of six English medieval queens, a palace used by Henry VII, a Georgian mansion, and a retreat for the rich and famous during the early 20th century.
At present, Leeds Castle is known as ‘the loveliest castle in the world, and among the best castles to see in England.
Aside from the stunning castle, a must-visit is the surrounding parklands with its diverse wildlife and castle maze that leads to a grotto adorned with mythical beasts made from shells, minerals, and wood.
Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
|(4-15 yrs) Admission||£16.90 per ticket|
|Admission||£24.90 per ticket|
|Senior Citizens/students/visitors with disabilities||£21.90 per ticket|
Phone: +44 (0) 1622 767865
Address: Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL
2. Bodiam Castle
In the 14th century, a British soldier who worked hard to attain wealth ordered for the construction of the now-iconic quadrangular Bodiam Castle.
Regarded as one of the best castles in England, Bodiam is also among the most photographed. It is indeed quite a magnificent sight, with its many imposing stone towers and battlements which altogether looks magical as they emerge from a misty moat.
The almost perfect, stately facade is in stark contrast to its interior though, as some sections have fallen into ruin. However, it didn’t really do much to make Bodiam less appealing.
Visitors to the castle can still explore the battlements, as well as the grand courtyard and towers
The castle is open from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm throughout the year (Winter until 4:00 pm) – check the castle website for precise details. The car park opens at 9.45 AM
Phone: +44 1580 830196
Address: Robertsbridge | 13 miles from Rye on A268, Bodiam TN32 5UA, England
3. Bolsover Castle
Located in Bolsover in Derbyshire, this castle has scenic views over the area. Built in the 17th century, Bolsover Castle was designed to impress.
This beautifully preserved and brilliantly restored fairytale-like castle has medieval towers and turrets, a fountain garden and a botanical area that’s home to 5,000 plants, flowers, and fruit trees.
Inside, the castle rooms are decorated with colorful art, carved marble fireplaces, and stunning painted ceilings. Another must-visit in Bolsover Castle is the wall walk, which leads to the gardens and has stunning views of the countryside below.
Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|General Admission||£12.50 per adult|
|General Admission||£11.30 per concession|
|General Admission||£7.50 per child|
|General Admission||£32.50 per family|
Phone: 01246 822844
Address: Castle Street, Bolsover, Derbyshire, S44 6PR
4. Bamburgh Castle
Spanning over nine acres of kand, Bamburgh Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in England. It is situated on a rocky plateau, with unparalleled views of the Northumberland coastline. It was built by a famous industrialist during the Victorian era.
At present, the castle is still the ancestral home of the Armstrong family. It has 14 rooms accessible to visitors and has around 2,000 artifacts on exhibit which includes art pieces, furniture, porcelain, and weapons.
Other places you can visit within Bamburgh’s Castle grounds are the King’s Hall, a medieval kitchen, a museum, a constable’s tower, a 12th century keep and the 18th-century windmill.
Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
|TYPE||ENTRY FOR||GUIDE PRICE|
Phone: 01668 214515
Address: Bamburgh Castle Bamburgh Northumberland NE69 7DF
5. Windsor Castle
Without a doubt, the most popular castle in England is the iconic and historic Windsor Castle. It covers around five hectares of kand and is the biggest castle in England.
Originally built in the 11th century, this is also the oldest occupied castle in the world, having been home to the families of kings and queens for a thousand years. Steeped in royal history that spans centuries, the castle is home to many antique furnishings.
Windsor Castle remains a working castle up to this day, and the weekend home of the queen. This is also where she hosts state visits from leaders of other countries.
Parts of the castle and its surrounding grounds are open for visits, and some of the things you must see are the traditional military parade and Changing of the Guards; the 3-mile avenue of trees called the Long Walk and the Gothic masterpiece St George’s Chapel, which is the final resting place of 10 monarchs.
Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:15 PM
|Over 60 / Student||£20.30|
|Under 17 / Disabled||£13.00|
|Family (2 adults and 3 under 17s)||£58.00|
|Groups (15 people or more)||View group prices|
Phone: +44 020 7766 7304 (general) +44 030 3123 7321 (special tours)
Address: Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ
6. Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle is located in the country town of Warwickshire, and it sits on a sandstone bluff by the River Avon. It was originally constructed as a wooden fortress in the 12th century.
Warwick Castle was then refortified and rebuilt into a sturdier castle made of stone during the Hundred Years War and was a stronghold until the early 17th century.
It was purchased by the Tussauds Group in 1978 and at present, one of its major draws is the actors acting as guides around the castle. Exploring Warwick is extra fun and informative as you get as you are entertained by their stories and know more about the castle’s history.
Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Adult admission to Warwick Castle including the Dungeon is currently £34 at the gate. Adult admission to the castle without the dungeon is £29
Phone: 0870 4422000
Address: Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 4QU
7. Dover Castle
Dover Castle is home to about 2,000 years of fascinating history and was a former military headquarters during the first world war. This stunning fortress housed a hospital for injured soldiers during the war and has numerous towers used for escape and for keeping an element of surprise during battle.
A definite must when visiting Dover Castle is the Great Tower, with its medieval interiors and where you’ll get to see more of the underground hospital and tunnels via special effects and film footages.
You can also explore the eerie tunnels on your own, discover the oldest surviving lighthouse in the country, or visit the stunning Anglo-Saxon church St Mary in Castro.
Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Without Gift Aid:
Child (5-17 years) £12.50
Concession tool-tip £18.80
Family (2 adults plus (up to) 3 children) £54.30
With Gift Aid:
Child (5-17 years) £13.80
Concession tool-tip £20.70
Family (2 adults plus (up to) 3 children) £59.80
Phone: 01304 211067
Address: Dover Castle, Castle Hill Road, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU
8. Lindisfarne Castle
Built in the 16th century as a fort, Lindisfarne Castle stands proudly over Holy Island, perched on a high outcrop of basalt rock. This structure has gone through many renovations and restorations over the centuries and from a fort, it is now a holiday residence.
From 1902 to 1903, parts of Lindisfarne were transformed like the garrison quarters into a house and the old cellars into cozy living rooms. The interiors like the 16th century vaulted passages were retained, while other features of the castle such as the decorative brick floors and molded roof beams were made to imitate the 16th-century style.
To visit the castle, you’d have to wait until it’s low tide to access Holy island, as the only way to go there is through a causeway.
- Castle 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Garden – Open all-day
£5, child £2.50, family (2 adults & accompanying children under 18) 12.50. Garden only: £1, child Free. Guided group visits outside normal hours £6, NT members £4.
Phone:+44 01289 389244
Address: Lindisfarne Castle Holy Island Northumberland TD15 2SH
9. Tower of London
The iconic Tower of London is one of the most famous castles in England, as well as a recognizable landmark in the city. This structure is actually made up of a number of towers, with only twelve of it accessible to the public.
This famous tower has many layers of history, and those are reflected in the various tours offered when you visit.
If you’re fascinated with the history of the monarch, there’s the Crown Jewels Exhibition. There’s also a tour along with the Yeoman Warders or tower guards, where you’ll hear stories of the tower’s bloody past.
If you’re into the strange and macabre, there’s the Twilight Tours around the tower with gruesome sights and spooky tales. Hear about gossip and secrets about past residents as you tour the more famous parts of the Tower of London such as Traitors’ Gate, the Scaffold Site and the Bloody Tower.
Lastly, make sure you visit the White Tower, an 11th-century palace another symbol of London’s heritage.
Monday- 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Tuesday to Saturday – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Sunday- 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Children (ages less than 16): £10.75
Students and seniors (over 60): £17.70
Free entry with the London Pass.
Phone: +44 (0)33 3320 6000
Address: The Tower of London London, England EC3N 4AB
10. Raby Castle
The approach to Raby Castle is already a fascinating sight in itself, as its many towers and turrets appear and disappear among the many trees.
Situated in the midst of 200-acre parkland, Raby Castle’s stunning exterior is complemented by pretty lakes and herds of passing deer in its vast grounds.
Raby was built in the 14th century and since 1626, it’s been home to the Bernard family. The castle is famous for its towers, turrets, and walls, with some of it dating as far back as the 11th century.
When visiting the castle, make sure you check out the Entrance Hall’s elegant Gothic vaulted ceilings, the Octagon Drawing Room which remains untouched since the 1840s, the Small Drawing Room with its collection of sports paintings and the Blue Bedroom with its domed canopy bed.
Tuesday to Sunday – 11:00 AM 4:30 PM
Castle Ticket (includes Park & Gardens)
Adult – £12.00
Concession – £11.00
5–15 years – £6.00
Under 5s – Free
Family (2+3) – £35.00
Park & Walled Gardens Ticket
Adult – £7.00
Concession – £6.00
5–15 years – £3
Under 5s – Free
Family (2+3) – £18.00
Stables Cafe, Stables Shop & Woodland Play Area
Free of charge
An Annual Pass gives free admission to the Castle, Park and Gardens for a whole year (excluding special events) plus 10% off at the Stables Café and Shop. Pass holders also enjoy 10% off at the High Force Hotel and Kiosk.
Adult – £22.00
Concession – £20.00
5–15 years – £10.00
Under 5s – Free
Family (2+3) – £60.00
Phone: 01833 660202
Address: Raby Castle, Staindrop, Co. Durham, DL2 3AH
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