Having looked at hundreds of Medieval Castles in England, Scotland and Wales we believe these could be the Top 10 Castles worth visiting in the whole of the United Kingdom.
If you disagree, we would love to hear from you, let us know if there are any castles that you think should be on the list!
Home to thousands of castles once inhabited by lords, knights and nobles, the United Kingdom has a lot of secret tales to tell.
Most of these castles have survived the test of time, exuding the brilliant fragrance of history from bloody battles, political conspiracies to tales of ghosts and secret family heirlooms.
Best Castles in England
This English castle traces its roots back to the Medieval era. Standing within an old Roman fort and located in the town of Porchester, Hampshire,
The monarchy took control of this baronial castle in the mid 12th century.
King John frequently used it as his hunting lodge.
In 1216, the French sieged and captured Portchester but later returned it to the English.
The monarchy lost control of Porchester Castle in the early 17th century.
It was later converted into a prison by the Thistlethwaite family, successors to the person who bought Porchester from Charles I.
Currently, the castle is open to visitors who wish to witness its centuries-old interior.
Early medieval Castles such as Portchester Castle in England
Built in the late 13th century by King Edward of England, Caernarfon Castle in Wales was the most expensive castle of its time.
A great chunk of the nation’s yearly earnings were spent constructing Caernarfon.
The castle was erected around the same time as Edward’s other expensive pet projects, Harlech and Conway.
The king made sure that Caernarfon reflected his reputation – a great ruler with vast wealth and a refined taste.
The castle’s impressive and daunting structure successfully kept rebels and lurking enemies at bay.
A large drawbridge at the King’s Gate, portcullisses, arrow loops and spy and murder holes where scalding water and other deadly substances can be poured onto intruders were among the castle’s deadly defenses.
Caenarfon Castle was another castle in Wales commissioned by King Edward I during his military campaigning into Wales.
Having withstood the test of time for almost a millennium, the castle encompasses several homes along with a palace and a church and is tagged as the royal family’s largest weekend residence.
Windsor Castle is also a popular venue for honoring the Knights of the Garter, an order that traces its roots back to the Medieval era.
The Prince of Wales is a default member of the Knights of the Garter and he is joined by 24 other knights.
Every year, the castle receives a million visitors.
Many American presidents and diplomats have visited Windsor to pay their respects to the Queen.
Scotland is best represented by Stirling Castle – a monumental edifice specially constructed in honor of William Wallace, the Scottish national hero who led a troop of Scots against the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in the late 13th century.
Wallace’ act bravery continues to inspire generations of Scots and the castle serves as a memento of their victory at Stirling.
This UK castle has a history of bloodshed that spanned eight centuries. Though tainted by grisly murders and violent wars.
A scientist named John Damian attempted to fly from the castle to France by constructing a makeshift plane made from wooden strips, feathers and glue.
He managed to fly as far as the nearest stone wall but no farther than that.
Stirling Castle in Scotland – a monumental edifice specially constructed in honor of William Wallace
Just as old as its fellow UK Castle, Windsor, Leeds is a good 30 miles from the English capital.
Famous for being the residence of Henry VIII, the castle was once owned by families who also had huge real estate properties in the state of Virginia in the United States.
Leeds Castle continues to have deep ties with American companies to this day.
Another American bought the castle in the early 1900s and it was later refurbished to attract more visitors.
Often called one of the world’s most beautiful castles, Henry VIII had the castle built on a lake sandwiched by two islands, dedicating its construction to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Situated along the River Thames, Hampton Court is a UK castle well-known for its 1000 rooms and be-headings.
The castle used to be a famous executioner’s den and torture chamber. Three queens, including Henry the VIII second wife, was beheaded here.
Castles in England do not only exemplify great architecture and impressive engineering. They have also contributed to British culture, encouraging today’s generation to explore the past and learn from it.
Not all castles in England are fortunate enough to survive this era and those that have remained will always remind us of how much has changed over the centuries.