Great Britain is home to so many beautiful castles across the country. There are some, however, that stand out for their beauty, history and architecture.
That’s why we here at National Venues have selected our 10 most beautiful British castles that we think are definitely worth a visit.
Alnwick Castle – Alnwick, England
Alnwick Castle has been home to the Percy family for 700 years, with the Duke and Duchess currently living in a section of the castle. The public can, however, visit the castle seven months of the year, viewing the wide collection of English paintings from artists such as Gainsborough, Reynolds and Titian.
The castle was also featured in the hit movies Harry Potter and Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In celebrations, visitors can also enjoy broomstick lessons within the grounds of the castle. Downtown Abbey fans may also recognise the castle, as it was used as Brancaster Castle.
Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh, Scotland
One of the most popular castles in Great Britain has to be Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city’s skyline. The historic fortress is located on Castle Rock, with human occupation of the rock believed to date back to at least the Iron Age.
Edinburgh Castle served as a royal residence until 1603, and now plays an essential role in Scotland’s national heritage. The castle now serves as an amazing tourist attraction for the public to enjoy, and also plays host to the Military Tattoo. A One O’Clock gun is also fired every single day at precisely 13.00, except on Sunday, Good Friday and Christmas Day.
Bodiam Castle – East Sussex, England
Bodiam Castle looks like a building straight out Cinderella – so it’s probably not surprising to learn that it was built more for status than power back in the 14 century. However, following the 100 Years’ War, Richard II granted a license to the land’s owner, Sir Edward Dalynigge, to fortify his home, which protected him against a French invasion.
Despite its stunning exterior, Bodiam Castle’s interior lies in ruin, as it was dismantled during the English Civil War in the 1600s to prevent the castle from being occupied by the enemy. To save the castle from demolition, John Fuller, an art philanthropist, purchased the property and land for 3,000 guineas.
Leeds Castle – Leeds, England
Leeds Castle has served as a royal residence during its 900 year history, with the construction taking place during the reign of Henry I. It was also once the home to six queens and was therefore coined “The Ladies Castle”.
Lady Baillie inherited the castle in the early 1900s, and established a foundation that opened up the castle as a tourist destination following her death in 1974. You can therefore visit the 500-acre Leeds Castle, which is surrounded by the River Len.
Corfe Castle – Dorset, England
Corfe Castle’s story is told in its ruins, as arrow slits and murder holes are still visible. The ruins of the castle, which is located in the southern county of Dorset, now serves as a historical monument to the village.
Corfe Castle was originally designed to intimidate attackers with its limestone keep that’s approximately 70 feet tall. One of the most notable tales is that Lady Banks defended Corfe Castle in the English Civil War by raining hot coals down at Parliamentary soldiers from her private chamber.
So, if you are looking for a fun day out exploring beautiful British architecture and an intriguing history, the above castles are a good place to start.