Explore the UK's Castles

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I love castles - so much history to learn! Here's my favourites. If you visit one, make sure you ask the guide if they know my interesting fact. Maybe they'll even have one of their own!

Arundel Castle in West Sussex

A restored 11th century medieval castle, Arundel dominates the town it overlooks. The oldest feature is the motte, an artificial mount, over 100 feet high from the dry moat and constructed in 1068.

Did you know? The castle was founded by Roger de Montgomery, one of William the Conqueror's key advisors.

http://www.arundelcastle.org/

Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland

Bamburgh Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country. It sits high above the Northumberland coastline and is known locally as whinstone because of the sound it makes when hit by a stonemason's hammer.

Did you know? The castle has featured in many films including Robin Hood and Elizabeth.

http://www.bamburghcastle.com/

Caernarfon Castle in North Wales

King Edward I built this rugged fortress on the North Wales coast to try and stamp his authority on the region. Unusually, instead of round towers, this castle has polygonal towers. The Eagle Tower is the most impressive of these.

Did you know? In 1969, Prince Charles' investiture took place at Caernarfon Castle.

http://www.caernarfon-castle.co.uk/

Castell Coch in South Wales

It may look medieval, but Castell Coch just outside Cardiff was built during Victorian times. The castle was built for John Crichton-Stuart, the third Marquis of Bute, who requested dazzling ceilings and over-the-top furnishings and furniture.

Did you know? The Marquis never lived in the castle. His descendants gave it to the Welsh government.

http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/daysout/castell-coch/

Conwy Castle in North Wales

If you've only ever visited ruined castles, you need to see Conwy Castle. Springing from the rock on which it is built, this is one of the best surviving medieval castles in the country. Also built by Edward I, it has eight massive towers.

Did you know? There are fantastic views from the battlements looking out across the mountains and sea.

http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/

Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

This is one of the most recognised and romantic castles in the world. The castle sits in the western Highlands on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet. It was largely destroyed during a 1719 Jacobite uprising but was restored in the early 1900s.

Did you know? At least four different versions of the castle have been built on the site.

http://www.eileandonancastle.com/

Leeds Castle in Kent

 

Leeds Castle has been a Norman stronghold, the private property of six of England's medieval queens, a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, a Georgian mansion and is today one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain.

Did you know? The rare black swans which swim in its moat are thought to have been given as a gift to Winston Churchill – who gave them to the castle.

http://www.leeds-castle.com/home

St Michael's Mount in Cornwall

You can only get to this spectacular medieval castle by foot at low tide. Look out for a giant's stone heart, the armour of a samurai warrier and a mummified cat. The castle used to have its very own herd of grazing cows, whose milk was churned in the island's dairy to make cheese and butter for the islanders.

Did you know? The castle is home to the St Aubyn family who have lived there since the 17th century.

http://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/

Warwick Castle in Warwickshire

Epic attractions, daily shows and activities and an amazing dungeon, Warwick Castle is one of the most action-packed castles and a great day out. New for 2015 is the Time Tower where visitors can witness the birth of Warwick Castle, which once controlled the middle of England for over a thousand years.

Did you know? William the Conqueror ordered the building of a castle at Warwick in 1068 but it bears little resemblance to what stands there today.

https://www.warwick-castle.com/

Windsor Castle in Berkshire

Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and the Queen's favourite weekend home. It has been the family home of British Kings and Queens for over 1,000 years.

Did you know? The Queen's standard flies from the Round Tower when she is in residence.

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/windsorcastle

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