5 must see castles in England

If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway with a scenic backdrop, then a trip to one of England’s many castles could be just what you’re looking for. 

The country contains many majestic castles that make for excellent destinations, some as spots for sightseeing, some as historic sites and others as fully-fledged hotels and lodgings. 

If a castle trip sounds like your ideal holiday, then here are 6 of what we think are must-see locations that you should consider visiting. 

Highclere Castle, Hampshire 

One for the film and television buffs, Highclere Castle is the iconic country manor transformed into ‘Downton Abbey’ for the hit show of the same name – which has seen its first feature film released in cinemas this month. Truly one of the defining examples of Jacobethan architecture, visiting this magnificent house and its 5,000-acre grounds will give you the chance to look behind the scenes of ‘Downton Abbey’ and see some of the filming locations used in the show, as well as discovering the true story of the house, which is often described as the finest occupied mansion in England. 

Carr Hall Castle, North Yorkshire 

Set within a scenic pine forest in Yorkshire, the secluded getaway of Carr Hall Castle can provide the perfect place for you to relax in a luxurious and homely setting. Carr Hall was built in the early 19th century in the Norman castle style and features a mix of original exterior details such as battlements and towers with modern, refurbished interiors (including a heated swimming pool!). Available to book as private accommodation – with stunning interiors, 12 acres of land and plenty of local activities – the castle makes for a beautiful and intimate getaway destination. 

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland 

This stately Norman castle and country house will be familiar to any fans of the Harry Potter films – the grounds were used as a filming location for many scenes throughout the series! With an exciting history and hosting many Harry Potter-inspired events, Alnwick Castle makes for an excellent day out for the whole family.  

Windsor Castle, Berkshire

As home to British kings and queens for over 1,000 years, Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world. With 13 acres of land, the Castle in the English county of Berkshire is truly breathtaking. Despite being Her Majesty the Queen’s weekend abode, Windsor Castle welcomes in more than one million visitors per year, allowing them to explore the grounds for up to three hours. It’s really no wonder why the Castle is such sought-after location by many film and TV producers. It’s featured in the latest adaptation of Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, Cinderella, staring Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden and Helena Bonham Carter, and the TV series VictoriaIf you plan on visiting the royal residence, be sure to look out for the Royal Standard flag flying from the Castle’s Round Tower, that means the queen is there too! 

Dover Castle, Kent 

Also known as the ‘Key to England’, Dover Castle is one of the largest and most historical castles in England. The medieval building that proudly stands on top of the White Cliffs of Dover was founded in the 11th century and is considered the most iconic of all English fortresses, as it once guarded Britain from invaders crossing from Europe. Dover Castle especially makes a great family day out as visitors can climb the Great Tower, built by Henry II, and venture deep within the White Cliffs to explore the Secret Wartime Tunnels. 

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