England is a land of castles. From giant defensive fortresses to stunning Tudor mansions, historic ruins, and even citadel inns, there’s no scarcity of attention-grabbing castles in England. I’ve visited many English castles over time and can let you recognize about a number of the greatest ones to go to beneath.
Lots of the castles of England have been remarkably properly preserved and are situated inside acres of gorgeous land. Regardless of their ages, it’s nonetheless potential to go to many of those historic buildings and ruins, and visiting England’s castles makes for an awesome time out for the entire household. With over 4,000 castles in England, I’ve helped slender down the highest picks inside this information.
15 Greatest Castles in England
I’ve grown up visiting castles in England, from the medieval Colchester Fort in my hometown to the windswept ruins of Tintagel Fort in Cornwall, and the gorgeous Bodiam and Lewes Castles in East Sussex, plus many extra. One factor’s for certain, you don’t need to go far to discover a fairytale fortress in England.
In my checklist of the 15 greatest castles in England, you’ll uncover a variety of historic websites up and down the nation. As a lover of historical past, structure, and folklore, visiting any of England’s many castles continues to be one in every of my favourite weekend actions and there are nonetheless lots extra for me to find I’m certain.
1. Windsor Fort (Most Well-known Fort in England General)
Windsor is likely one of the most well-known castles in England and is the oldest and largest inhabited citadel on this planet. It’s been house to the English (and later British) Royal Household for almost 1,000 years, and is now house to round 150 residents together with King Charles III, and is usually used for state capabilities.
Building of the citadel began in 1070 on the orders of William the Conqueror and took 16 years to finish. It’s set inside 13 acres of land 23 miles west of London. Windsor Fort is open to the general public and with over 1,000,000 annual guests, it’s the most well-liked citadel in England.
Attending to Windsor citadel from London is simple with direct street and rail hyperlinks (although there isn’t any public automotive park so that you’ll must park in Windsor and stroll 10 minutes to the citadel). Trains depart London Waterloo hourly for Windsor and Eton Riverside from the place it’s a 10-minute stroll to the citadel grounds. There are additionally many excursions from London.
Windsor Fort Particulars and Data
Tackle: Windsor, SL4 1NJ
Cellphone: +44 (0)303 123 7334
Working Hours: 10:00 am-16:15 pm, Mon-Solar
Entrance Payment: £26.50 for adults, £17.50 for younger folks (18-24), and £14.50 for kids (5-17)
Web site: www.rct.uk/go to/windsor-castle
2. Leeds Fort (One of many Most Fashionable Castles in England)
To begin with, the stunningly picturesque Leeds Fort is nowhere close to town of Leeds in Yorkshire and is the truth is in Kent. It’s so named for a Saxon chief who selected the situation of the citadel on the River Len. That being mentioned, Leeds Fort is likely one of the most well-known castles in England to go to because of the numerous occasions and festivals it hosts all year long.
It’s additionally potential to remain at this 900-year-old citadel within the period-style Maiden’s Tower or the 14th Century Battel Corridor. The positioning is house to a sequence of museums, 500 acres of parkland together with a moat, rivers, streams and a enjoyable maze to get misplaced in. I’ve been to Leeds Fort many instances and it’s up there as one in every of my favorites – there’s a lot to do.
Leeds Fort is situated a number of miles from Maidstone in Kent and is definitely reachable from the capital by prepare, bus, and a day journey. Trains depart London Victoria hourly for close by Bearsted and take simply over one hour. From Bearsted, you’ll be able to soar on the shuttle bus or stroll 2.5 miles to the citadel.
Leeds Fort Particulars and Data
Tackle: Broomfield, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1PL
Cellphone: +44 (0)1622 765400
Working Hours: 10 am-3 pm, Mon-Solar
Entrance Payment: £32.00 for adults and £24.00 for kids. Tickets are legitimate for a complete 12 months.
Web site: leeds-castle.com
3. Bodiam Fort (Most Stunning Fort in England)
Bodiam Fort in East Sussex is likely one of the most stunning castles in England and is one in every of my favorites. This 14th Century fortress is surrounded by a big moat and has a big hold (tower) with portcullis (robust heavy gating). The citadel is about inside acres of gorgeous parkland, wetland, and forest.
Bodiam isn’t the best to succeed in by public transport, but when I can handle it, you’ll be able to too. Given its rural location, that is undoubtedly one of many best-hidden gems to discover and it doesn’t get as busy as a number of the better-known castles. There’s additionally an wonderful pub reverse which is ideal for lunch and a pint (the home made steak burger is a winner).
There isn’t any public transport to Bodiam so hiring a automotive is the best choice if you wish to go to this beautiful citadel (and you actually ought to). Nevertheless, I’ve visited with out a automotive and though the journey wasn’t direct, it was undoubtedly well worth the problem. You’ll must take a prepare to both Robertsbridge or Battle and take a taxi the remaining distance (Uber is advisable).
Bodiam Fort Particulars and Data
Tackle: Bodiam, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5UA
Cellphone: +44 (0)1580 830196
Working Hours: 10 am-4 pm, Mon-Solar
Entrance Payment: £11.00 for adults and £5.50 for kids
Web site: nationaltrust.org.uk/go to/sussex/bodiam-castle
4. Lewes Fort
Lewes Fort, additionally in East Sussex, is one other of my favorites because the views throughout the picturesque city and Sussex countryside are phenomenal (and there’s a handy close by Brewery you’ll be able to go to too). The Norman citadel was constructed after the Battle of Hastings and likewise homes the Museum of Sussex Archaeology with exhibitions from prehistory to medieval Lewes and past.
The citadel grounds are an awesome place for a picnic (there are many grocery shops and supermarkets within the city to seize provides from) with panoramic views over the South Downs, among the best locations to go to in England for climbing and nature. Lewes is one in every of England’s most picturesque cities and is properly price a go to.
Lewes is definitely reachable from close by Brighton and London by street and rail, and the prepare station is only a five-minute stroll from the citadel. It takes only one hour to succeed in Lewes from London Bridge station and simply fifteen minutes from Brighton. Hiring a automotive can also be a very good choice for those who want to spend some extra time exploring the Downs.
Lewes Fort Particulars and Data
Tackle: 169 Excessive Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1YE
Cellphone: +44 (0)1273 486290
Working Hours: 10 am-4 pm, Mon-Solar
Entrance Payment: £10.00 for adults and £5.50 for kids
Web site: sussexpast.co.uk/sights/lewes-castle
5. Colchester Fort
I grew up in and round Colchester and have visited its historic Norman citadel many instances over time. The citadel is constructed on high of an historic Roman temple (Colchester was the Roman capital of Britain, referred to as Camulodunum) and proof of Colchester’s Roman previous is seen within the dungeon/basement.
The citadel because it stands in the present day dates again to the eleventh Century and has one of many best-preserved retains (towers) in the entire of Europe. The citadel is about inside a big park overlooking close by Highwoods Nation Park and the rolling Essex countryside. Inside, is a big museum with many interactive shows, medieval garments to attempt on, and far more.
Colchester is only one hour from London and 20 minutes from Ipswich by prepare. It’s a five-minute stroll to the underside of Fort Park from the principle Colchester North Station. The Fort is situated within the middle of city simply off the Excessive Road and will also be reached by automotive by way of the A12.
Colchester Fort Particulars and Data
Tackle: Excessive Road, Colchester, CO1 1TJ
Cellphone: +44 (0)1206 282393
Working Hours: 10 am-5 pm, Mon-Solar
Entrance Payment: £11.95 for adults and £6.75 for kids
Web site: colchester.cimuseums.org.uk/go to/colchester-castle/
6. Tintagel Fort
The atmospheric Tintagel Fort on the North Cornish coast is steeped within the myths and legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Spherical Desk. That is one in every of my favourite spots because the citadel overlooks a surprising stretch of shoreline, and has a big footbridge excessive above the cliffs.
The citadel dates again to the 13 Century however fell right into a state of disrepair in the course of the late Center Ages. That does nothing to decrease the spectacular web site and Tintagel is likely one of the must-see castles in Cornwall for its magnificent location and engaging historical past. The small village of Tintagel can also be properly price a go to.
Hiring a automotive is one of the simplest ways to go to Tintagel Fort and discover the north Cornish coast, although the 95 Bude to Newquay bus does cease on the village. You possibly can attain Bude and Newquay by prepare from London with an anticipated journey time of round six hours.
Tintagel Fort Particulars and Data
Tackle: Fort Highway, Tintagel, Cornwall, PL34 0HE
Cellphone: +44 (0)370 333 1181
Working Hours: 10 am-4 pm, Mon-Solar
Entrance Payment: £16.30 for adults and £9.80 for kids
Web site: www.english-heritage.org.uk
7. St Michael’s Mount
St Michael’s Mount is likely one of the most spectacular castles in England because it’s situated on a tidal island that turns into fully minimize off from the mainland at excessive tide. The island is house to a citadel, a backyard, a small harbor, and a seashore; making it a superb time out for the entire household with tons to see and do.
I’ve visited each St Michael’s Mount and its French counterpart in Normandy; Mont Saint-Michel. Though the English model is barely smaller in dimension, it’s undoubtedly the extra spectacular of the 2, (I could also be biased), because of its picturesque location inside Mounts Bay.
The closest giant city to St Michael’s Mount is Penzance, which is reachable by prepare from London Paddington with a journey time of round 5 hours. Nevertheless, to get one of the best out of a visit to Cornwall, hiring a automotive is greatest so as to simply discover each Tintagel Fort and St Michael’s Mount at your personal tempo.
St Michael’s Mount Particulars and Data
Tackle: Marazion, Cornwall, TR17 0HS
Working Hours: 10 am-4 pm, Mon-Solar
Entrance Payment: £14.00 for adults and £7.00 for kids. The village and harbor are free to go to.
Web site: stmichaelsmount.co.uk
8. Durham Fort
Durham Fort, within the north of England, is one other citadel with an extended historical past relationship again nearly 1,000 years. Like Windsor Fort, it’s been repeatedly inhabited for the reason that eleventh Century, although now it’s house to college students at Durham College slightly than royalty.
The citadel kinds a part of Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Website together with the cathedral. The citadel is open to the general public for guided excursions within the afternoons throughout time period time and mornings and afternoons in the course of the holidays. Durham can also be a citadel in England that gives lodging as there’s a mattress and breakfast on campus.
Durham is within the northeast of England 20 miles south of Newcastle upon Tyne. It has direct street and rail hyperlinks to the remainder of the UK, with direct trains from London King’s Cross taking simply three hours. The citadel is situated within the metropolis middle and is definitely walkable from the principle prepare station.
Durham Fort Particulars and Data
9. Berkhamsted Fort (Oldest Fort in England)
Berkhamsted is the oldest citadel in England that dates again to 1067 simply after the Norman Conquest. Though all that continues to be are ruins, it’s nonetheless a powerful web site and is worthy of a go to. It’s additionally free to enter and stroll across the ruins, and it’s an awesome place for a picnic too.
Berkhamsted railway station is only a two-minute stroll from the citadel and trains from London Euston take simply over half-hour; making it very simple to succeed in with public transport.
Berkhamsted Fort Particulars and Data
10. Dover Fort (Largest Fort in England)
Dover Fort is the largest citadel in England and is likely one of the most spectacular because of its fabulous location atop the White Cliffs of Dover. The Fort has been used as a backdrop for a lot of movie and tv applications together with the Crown, the Different Boleyn Lady, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The views throughout the English Chanel from Dover Fort are incredible and on a very good day, you’ll be able to even see throughout to France. The Norman citadel dates to 1066 and the time of William the Conqueror and has a captivating historical past from medieval sieges to the D-Day Landings. That is undoubtedly one in every of my favourite English castles and I all the time sit up for returning.
Attending to Dover is simple from London and the continent. There are day by day ferries from Calais in France and the crossing takes round 90 minutes. Trains from London’s St Pancras take simply over one hour to succeed in Dover. This is likely one of the greatest castles to go to in England by far.
Dover Fort Particulars and Data
Tackle: Fort Hill Highway, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU
Cellphone: +44 (0)370 333 1181
Working Hours: 10 am-4 pm, Mon-Solar
Entrance Payment: £21.80 for adults and £13.00 for kids
Web site: english-heritage.org.uk
11. Warwick Fort
Warwick Fort has a historical past relationship again over 1,000 years and is a good household choice with tons to see and do from sleepovers to an journey playground, reside reveals, and over 200 completely different occasions yearly. It’s additionally potential to guide a keep at Warwick Fort at one of many lodges or glamping websites.
The massive medieval citadel is situated within the middle of Warwick within the Midlands and is definitely reachable from the remainder of the UK with trains from London Paddington taking round two and a half hours.
Warwick Fort Particulars and Data
12. Alnwick Fort
The Norman period Alnwick Fort was constructed after the Norman conquest of Britain and is the seat of the twelfth Duke of Northumberland. When you acknowledge this spectacular constructing it could be as a result of it’s been used as a movie location for blockbusters reminiscent of Harry Potter and the favored TV sequence Downton Abbey.
Make sure to take a look at the close by Alnwick Backyard, created by the Duchess of Northumberland, which encompasses a secret “poison backyard” with a number of the most lethal crops identified to man inside. That is someplace that has been excessive on my checklist for a very long time as a fan of so-called “darkish tourism” and I hope to go to in 2023.
Alnwick is within the far northeast of England simply north of Newcastle upon Tyne (so you’ll be able to tie it in with a go to to close by Durham Fort you probably have time). Trains from London Victoria take round 5 hours.
Alnwick Fort Particulars and Data
13. Lindisfarne Fort
Lindisfarne (also called Holy Island) is a small island within the northeast of England very near the border with Scotland. It’s an immensely historic place because it was the place the Vikings first landed in England in 793. It’s additionally house to a sixteenth Century citadel that may be reached at low tide by way of a causeway.
The closest city to the citadel is Berwick-upon-Tweed which is simply 60 miles south of Edinburgh. Trains from London Kings Cross take between 4 and 5 hours.
Lindisfarne is unquestionably probably the most stunning castles in England and is one I hope to go to quickly (together with close by Alnwick).
Lindisfarne Fort Particulars and Data
14. Arundel Fort
The beautiful Arundel Fort in West Sussex is likely one of the oldest in England relationship to simply after the Norman Conquest. The citadel has been restored and transformed since struggling injury in the course of the English civil battle, although fortunately, lots of the unique options nonetheless stay.
Arundel is likely one of the most stunning castles in England and contains English and tropical gardens, actions reminiscent of archery, outlets, cafe, and eating places, making it an awesome time out.
The citadel is a ten-minute stroll from Arundel station with direct trains to and from London Bridge taking round 90 minutes.
Arundel Fort Particulars and Data
15. Thornbury Fort (Greatest Fort to Keep in England)
The gorgeous Tudor Thornbury Fort close to Bristol is one other citadel you’ll be able to keep at in England providing beautiful, interval rooms full with 4 poster beds. You’ll be sleeping in the identical place that King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn slept so this actually is a spot match for royalty.
The resort has 4 onsite eating places that serve all the things from luxurious breakfasts to Sunday lunches, night meals, afternoon teas, and personal eating experiences.
Thornbury Fort is a 30-minute drive from Bristol which lies 15 miles to the south. There are hourly trains from London to Bristol with a journey time of below two hours. Reserve your keep.
Thornbury Fort Particulars and Data
Greatest Castles Excursions in England
Beneath is a choice of incredible citadel excursions. I’ve taken various citadel excursions myself as day journeys from London and suggest my favorites together with Leeds Fort, Dover Fort, and naturally England’s high vacationer attraction and residence of the King; Windsor Fort.
Durham Strolling Tour
This two-hour strolling tour is an effective way to discover Durham and its historic citadel and cathedral. Your skilled information may also fill you in on tales of crime and punishment via the ages giving a captivating perception into the native historical past.
Leeds Fort, Canterbury Cathedral, and Greenwich Tour
This incredible day journey from London takes within the majestic Leeds Fort and likewise features a journey to Canterbury Cathedral, Dover (the place you’ll be able to see the citadel there too), in addition to Greenwich.
Windsor Fort Tour
This half-day journey from London to Windsor Fort contains resort pick-up and entrance to Windsor Fort and Gardens. You’ll get to journey by luxurious coach and the tour additionally contains a captivating historical past of the citadel and British monarchy.
White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Day Journey
I took this Dover and Canterbury Day Journey a number of years in the past and it was a incredible time out. Not solely will you get to discover the gorgeous metropolis of Canterbury and its well-known cathedral, however the tour additionally makes a cease on the beautiful Dover Fort with unbelievable views of the White Cliffs.
Alnwick and Bamburgh Fort Tour from Edinburgh
This full-day tour from Edinburgh may have you visiting historic Alnwick Fort, which has been used as a backdrop for the Harry Potter motion pictures. This expertise additionally features a cease at Bamburgh Fort so it’s an excellent choice for historical past buffs like myself.
Castles in England: FAQs
Beneath are some continuously requested questions concerning the castles in England.
There are such a lot of stunning castles in England, however Bodiam, Leeds, and Lindisfarne are three of essentially the most picturesque castles in England.
Berkhamsted is the oldest citadel in England relationship again nearly 1,000 years to 1067 and the time of William the Conqueror.
There are over 4,000 castles throughout England, although not all of them are in a very good state of restore.
Windsor Fort is the most well-liked citadel in England with over a million guests yearly (together with luminaries reminiscent of Ronald Reagan and Invoice Clinton).
You possibly can sleep in a number of the castles in England together with Durham in Northumberland and Thornbury close to Bristol.
Now you recognize about one of the best castles in England, which one would you want to go to first? From the beautiful clifftop castles at Dover and Tintagel to the island castles of St Michael’s Mount and Lindisfarne, these historic buildings are simply ready to be explored.
Or how about your very personal keep within the citadel that’s seen residents from King Henry VIII to Laurance Olivier at Thornbury? England has such a wealthy historical past and discovering its many castles relationship again over 1,000 years must be on everybody’s bucket checklist.