Castles in England

Indelibly marked by the bulwarks of bygone kingdoms, England's green and pleasant land plays host to a smattering of regal bastions and Roman strongholds. From the 11th Century architectural marvel of Warwick Castle commissioned  by William the Conqueror in 1068, to the hauntingly macabre Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, where Edward Longshanks imprisoned Scottish rebels, England's ubiquitous medieval castles yield untold number of historic tales and even a few dark secrets -  if you know where to look. Travel back through the ages and immerse yourself in a land of clashing swords, warring clans and treacherous Royals; our pick of the best castles in England will help you discover the thrill and realism of true medieval life!


Bolsover Castle, little castle - flckr - Bruno PostleBolsover Castle, Derbyshire
Baked by the scorching sun for over 500 years, pink-tinged Bolsover Castle exudes a romanticism commonly associated with Royal palaces and stately homes. It's hardly surprising given that Derbyshire's premier wedding venue was never actually intended as a defensive structure; built by Sir Charles Cavendish in 1612 as a luxury family retreat. Later expanded to include a state-of-the-art riding school and equestrian centre by his fashion-conscious son, William, the castle has maintained its position as Derbyshire's epicentre for equestrian events. From medieval jousting competitions during the summer months to a popular 'Knight's School' where kids learn the basic preparations for riding into battle, Bolsover Castle has a plethora of activities sure to fire imaginations. Be sure not to miss the exquisite painted ceilings of the aptly named 'Little Castle' too!  Derbyshire cottages for all holiday requirements.


Alnwick Castle - flckr - Andrea_44Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland
Beset within a beatific corner of the North East overlooking the River Aln, Grade I listed Alnwick is perhaps best known as the fictional Hogwarts School, featured in the movie adaptation of J. K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'. The carved figures adorning the battlements of Alnwick Castle are immediately recognisable, as is the Abbot's Tower - now housing the impressive Regimental Museum of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. Conceived by the acclaimed Belgian landscape artist Jacques Wirtz in 2001, Alnwick Garden encompasses more than 42 acres of parkland, herb gardens and vast promenades planned around giant water features - an area which doubles as an efflorescent outdoor theatre during summer months. Those seeking to explore Alnwick's dark side will find the newly opened 'Lost Cellars' exhibit a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the castle prison, where it is said William the Lion of Scotland continues to wander; his spirit unable to rest since his capture in 1174.  Looking for holiday homes Northumberland.


Muncaster Castle - flckr - whitelance100Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass, Cumbria
Touted as one of the most haunted castles in Britain, Muncaster Castle is, to all intents and purposes, a lavish family home merely designed to impress. According to the Pennington family, who have been resident here for over 800 years, Muncaster Castle was originally built upon the foundations of an old Roman fort, known locally as Glannoventa. Despite a plethora of beautiful rooms open to the public, including the neo-Gothic Great Hall, the primary allure of this sprawling stately home is its ghosts. Visitors are invited to experience the ghostly goings on at the castle for themselves with an overnight vigil in the Tapestry Room, where it is said the lurking spirits of Henry VI and 17th Century Royal Jester 'Tom Fool' have been spotted. Muncaster offers a plenitude of contemporary attractions for those less interested in history, including the award-winning World Owl Centre, Ruskin's 'Gateway to Paradise' and the Meadowvole Maze Experience - narrated by Harry Enfield!  Find Holiday cottages in Cumbria.



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