There are hundreds of castles in England, each with its own special charm and appeal. The following are a few we think should be on everyone’s must-see list.
England – Arundel CastleArundel Castle is impressive in size and is more modern in appearance than most other castles in England. The 1,000 year-old castle was originally a Norman construction, but has been added to over the years, most recently by Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901). Today the grand castle is home to extravagant furniture, artwork, tapestries, stained glass, china, clocks, sculptures, armor, and beautiful well-kept gardens.
Tel: 0190 388-2173
Fax: 0190 388-4581
Open: Apr 1 through Oct 31 noon – 5pm Sun – Fri, closed Saturdays and Good Friday.
Entrance Fee: Adults £7.50, Children £5.00, Seniors £6.50
England – Tintagel CastleThe legend of King Aurthur and the Knights of the Round Table surrounds the ruins of this castle. Built around 1240 by Earl Richard of Cornwall, Tintagel Castle’s ruins sit atop a high slate cliff overlooking the ocean. The castle’s history dates back before medieval times, to the fifth century according to findings of Saxon and Norman pottery.
A beach lies at the foot of the castle, which gives entrance to Merlin’s Cave lying underneath the rock wall.
Open: daily, closed Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1
Tower of London
England – Tower of LondonIn the 11th century, William the Conqueror built a wooden fortress on this site to protect the entrance to London. Over the last 900 years other monarchies have added to and rebuilt it to give us the magnificent structure seen today. It has been a treasury, armory, and royal residence and has also been a prison for enemies of the crown. The Tower of London is filled with stories, legends, beautiful paintings and décor that are truly British. A full day is recommended to see the entire castle, the Crown Jewels, the spoken tours, Chapel of St. John, Queen’s House, the towers, Traitor’s Gate as well as the nearby Tower Bridge which is often confused with London Bridge.
Tower Hill, London
Tel: 0171-709 0765
Open: Mar through Oct 9am – 6pm Mon – Sat, 10am – 6pm Sun; Nov through Feb 9am – 5pm Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun
Seasonal Closure: Dec 25 – Jan 1
England – Warwick CastleWarwick Castle (pronounced “warik”) is a beautifully preserved monument of British history. The castle has changed ownership many times throughout history and has been added to and fortified by many different owners. Throughout history Warwick’s structure gradually changed from wood to stone to result in the beautiful building we see today. The castle offers displays of armor, towers and ramparts, dungeons, Great Hall, State Rooms, Caesar’s Tower, gatehouse and more. This castle is definitely worth adding to your list of places to see.
Open: Apr 1 through Oct 31 10am – 6pm daily; Nov 1 through Mar 31 10am – 6pm daily, closed Christmas Day.
Entrance Fee: Adults £11.50, Children £6.50, Seniors £8.20, Students £8.60; group rates are also available.
England – Windsor CastleBuilt by William the Conqueror in 1070 to protect the western side of London, Windsor Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited house of royalty in England. It still is used as an occasional residence to royalty including Queen Elizabeth II. The construction of the castle took place over many centuries. It was originally built of wood, but over the years has been added to and made stronger under several monarchies.
Castle Hill, Berkshire
Open: Apr through Oct 10am – 5:30pm daily; Nov through Mar 10am – 4:30pm
Seasonal Closure: Dec 25 – Jan 1
England – York CastleYork Castle, also known as Clifford’s Tower, is one of the main attractions in York and dates back to the Roman times. The tower that still stands high on the hill is the keep of the castle, which used to surround it. Most of the rooms in the castle are ruins, but there are some interesting areas that are still standing. Clifford’s Tower is part of the York Castle Museum, which is at the foot of the hill, and is housed in what used to be two prisons. When visiting the Castle it is impossible to avoid the charm of the rest of the town, which has retained many of its medieval features. The protective wall that surrounds the town, the pubs, streets, markets and churches are reflective of the history of the city of York. It is important to also enjoy the city of York when visiting the castle, in order to get the full experience.
York, North Yorkshire
Open: Apr through Oct 9:30am – 5:30pm Mon – Sat, 10am – 5:30pm Sunday; Nov through Mar 9:30am – 4pm Mon – Sat, 10am – 4pm Sunday