Britain’s most spectacular castles
Full of secrets and scandals, Britain’s castles are full of stories. Marking where battles were won and dynasties were upheld, these royal residences come battle forts mark history’s most famous moments.
Beyond tours and exhibitions, there are lots of new ways to get hands-on with history. Witness a sword-clashing skirmish between medieval knights, sleep in the childhood home of a former queen, or party in the real-life Downton Abbey? Here are just some of our most treasured castles, along with the one-of-a-kind experiences you can find…
For some juicy stories and insights, take a themed tour of your favourite movie-loving castle. Britain’s castles love the camera and have starred in countless films from Highclere Castle doubling as Downton Abbey to Alnwick Castle’s role of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. Maybe you’ll recognise Eilean Donan Castle from Highlander? Or Belvoir Castle from The Da Vinci Code?
Castles aren’t just about a delve into history, many double-up as impressive festival and live music locations. It’s not unusual to see A-list gigs at the likes of Warwick Castle or Arundel Castle to a fromage fancier’s fantasy at Caerphilly Castle’s Big Cheese Festival. Many offer outdoor theatre and film screenings throughout the summer.
With swords clashing and shields smashing battle reenactments bring a castle’s epic history to life. From Viking and Saxon skirmishes at Corfe Castle to medieval jousting at Kenilworth Castle, watch the battles that shaped Britain today.
Behind the scenes
A behind-the-scenes castle tour reveals the secrets of these imposing structures. Discover the inner workings of Castle Howard, Windsor Castle and Durham Castle which run curated talks and events for that extra special insight.
Snooze in chambers fit for royalty. Many of Britain’s castles offer accommodation whether that’s a luxurious B&B at Hever Castle – Anne Boleyn’s childhood home – or self-catering boltholes in Bamburgh Castle’s towers. Leeds Castle has medieval-themed glamping tents in its grounds, while Warwick offers stays in its Knight’s Village.