As the famous saying goes, every Englishman knows ‘his home is his castle’, so it’s no surprise that England is home to some of the best castles in the world. It’s said the world’s first castle was built in the UK during the Norman period which began in the year 1066. We’ve rounded up the five best castles in England:
1. Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle has been occupied by the Royal family for 900 years making it the largest and oldest official royal residence in the world. It’s just outside of London and is a great place for a day trip (and you won’t be the only one as Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II regularly goes on weekend trips to the castle). The castle is still guarded by knights and over one million people visit it each year. Book a place to stay in nearby London.
2. Hampton Court
Live out your Tudor-era fantasies at Hampton Court, which is a grand castle that was once home to Henry VIII, who was famous for the beheading of two of his six wives. Katherine Howard, one of the two wives who were executed, was dragged through the castle after she tried to escape and it’s said one of the castle’s galleries is haunted by her spirit. Today, the castle sits peacefully on the River Thames and has enchanting gardens that you can explore, alongside well-preserved rooms. You can almost conjure up images of Henry VIII plotting how to get rid of his next wife.
3. Tower of London
The Tower of London has an equally bloody history as it was used for beheadings and executions, including one of Henry VIII’s wives, Anne Boleyn, who was accused of witchcraft and adultery. The tower, which classifies as a fortified castle, is over 1000 years old and still dominates London’s skyline today. It’s currently home to the British Crown Jewels, which are estimated to be worth a whopping £3-5 billion GBP.
4. Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle is best known for its connection with the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of Round Table, which is said to have been based on a real-life story of a man who fought-off a Saxon invasion in the 5th or 6th century. It’s a medieval castle that sits on the coast of Cornwall. Today, the castle is used for King Arthur battle reenactments, and thousands of fans descend on the castle each summer to take a step back in time and battle like it’s the middle ages. Explore places to stay in Penzance in Cornwall.
5. Warwick Castle
Warwick castle has one of the most beautiful interiors of all the castles in the UK, with ornate detailing and medieval woodwork. It’s most famous for its connection to jousting (the Earl of Warwick was once a jousting champion) and reenactments take place at the castle annually. It’s a medieval castle that was developed from an original castle built by William the Conqueror in 1068. The castle was initially built with wood, before being changed to stone in the 12th century. Find places to stay in Warwick.