The 10 must see castles in England


In the south east of the country, close to the historical town of Maidstone in the county of Kent is Leeds Castle, once the residence of Henry VIII's first wife, Catherine Of Aragon. Though a fort has stood in this location since the 10th century, this beautiful lakeside castle has undergone many restorations, with most of the structure that stands today dating from the 19th century.

10. Leeds Castle


Built in the late 14th century and restored heavily in the centuries to follow, is the wonderfully preserved medieval Grade 1 listed building of Raby Castle. Set among 200 acres of deer park in County Durham, to the north of the city of Leeds, the castle is famed for its sheer size and its art. Privately owned by the Barons Barnard, the extensive renovations and restorations have meant much of its rare interior architectural features remain preserved.

9. Raby Castle


In the extreme south west of the country, just off the coast of Cornwall is the tidal island of St. Michael's Mount, England's answer to France's Mont St. Michel, though much smaller. Linked to the mainland by a man made causeway only accessible at low tide, the earliest buildings within the fortified stronghold have stood on this spot since the 12th century.

8. St. Michael's Mount


Built in 1096 AD in the northern county of Northumberland is the Grade 1 listed building of Alnwick Castle. Still home to the Duke Of Northumberland and his family, it is the second largest castle still occupied in England and receives nearly a million visitors each year.

7. Alnwick Castle


Built around 1070 AD on the Northumberland coast, just north of the nearby Alnwick Castle is the Grade 1 listed building and ancient fortress of Bamburgh Castle. Overlooking the sea in the north west of the country it cuts an impressive figure with its classic medieval tower shape.

6. Bamburgh Castle


In the far north west of England, directly north of nearby Bamburgh Castle, close to the border with Scotland in the country of Northumberland is the 16th century Lindisfarne Castle. Situated off the coast on Holy Island, a tidal causeway only accessible at low tide, the castles location meant it saw many conflicts from the Scots and invading Vikings from across the North Sea. Standing strong to this day high upon Beblowe Hill, Lindisfarne Castle is one of the countries most picturesque fortifications.

5. Lindisfarne Castle


Built in 1385 AD in the southern county of Sussex, southeast of the capital, London, is the medieval Bodiam Castle. Surrounded on all sides by an artificial moat, accessible only by a narrow wooden footbridge, the heavily restored historical Grade 1 listed Bodiam Castle is one of the prettiest castles in England, and the United Kingdom.

4. Bodiam Castle


In the centre of the country in the town of Warwick, just south of the city of Birmingham is the huge tourist attraction of Warwick Castle. First built in the 11th century, the buildings that stand there today are mostly from the 14th century, being what is now considered to be one of the most recognisable examples of military architecture from the period. An English national monument and historical archaeological site, the castle long with the 17th century landscaped gardens on the banks of the river Avon draws visitors from around the world.

3. Warwick Castle

Built in the 11th century, to the west of London in the English county of Berkshire is the longest occupied palace in Europe, Windsor Castle. Having been upgraded and updated throughout the centuries, this long serving home of the British Royal Family has elements of Georgian expression with extravagant Baroque interiors and Rococo and Gothic furnishings still admired by visitors from around the world. This hugely popular tourist attraction is the home and workplace to more than 500 people, making Windsor Castle the largest inhabited castle on the planet.

2. Windsor Castle


Constructed at the end of 1066 AD as part of the Norman Conquest of England, the White Tower was built by William The Conqueror and was at the time resented as a symbol of oppression. Situated next to Tower Bridge on the banks of the River Thames in the capital, London, the castle has played an important role in the countries history, having been besieged several times. Expanded, restored and updated throughout the following centuries, the castle has operated as a grand palace, it has been used as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, a prison, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office and home to the Crown Jewels. One of the countries most important historical buildings, one of London's most recognisable landmarks, the Tower Of London has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1. Tower Of London

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