UK Castles: A Guide to the Best Castles to Visit

With such a long and colourful history, it’s hardly surprising that Britain is home to some of the most beautiful and best preserved castles in the world. It’s not only the places that have captured the imagination of history lovers, but the people who lived in them and the stories we tell about them. Whether you’re camping near the rocky coves of Cornwall or the craggy hills of the Highlands, there is a nearby castle that is worth visiting.


Castles in England

England is hard to beat when it comes to magnificent castles – pay a visit and discover horrible histories, legendary monarchs, spooky towers and medieval dungeons. With such a long royal  history, England has fascinating castles, forts and noble manors dotted around the country.

Wander through the grounds of a lavish castle and envisage the lives of the lords and ladies that lived here. With so many castles across the country, it can be hard to know where to start. We have compiled a list of the best castles to visit near to our Club Sites.


Northern England Castles

Northern England

From castles that overlook sandy beaches to forts that have seen some of the UK’s most brutal battles, Northern England is home to some of the best castles in the country.

Second only to Windsor Castle in size, Alnwick Castle was built following the Norman Castle and has received renewed attention due to featuring heavily in the Harry Potter film series and the Downtown Abbey television series.

Overlooking the golden Northumberland coastline that stretches out before it, Bamburgh Castle is an imposing medieval structure and has 14 rooms to discover, exhibiting over 3000 fascinating artefacts.

Take a look at some more unique castles to visit in Northern England.


Central England Castles

Central England

With an important historical and political location in the country’s heartland, Central England boasts some of the UK’s most lavish castles and best days out.

Famed as the burial place of Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr, Sudeley Castle is a 15th century fort and is one of the few castles in England that remains a private residence.

Since it was built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle has seen battles, sieges and fires and today is one of the UK’s most visited family attractions.

Read more about the fascinating castles that are situated in Central England.


South East and East Anglia Castles

South East

Situated so closely to Western Europe, it’s no surprise that some of the UK’s most impenetrable fortress can be found in the South East and East Anglia.

First fortified by the Romans in the 4th century, Pevensey Castle later became the landing place for William the Conqueror during the Norman invasion of 1066 and its dark dungeons is still haunted by the Pale Lady of Pevensey.

Built over 900 years ago, Leeds Castle is often described as Britain’s most beautiful castle and the site where King Henry VIII imprisoned his daughter, Elizabeth I, before her coronation in 1559.

Discover more picturesque castles in the South East and East Anglia.


South West Castles

South West

With castles set high upon rocky sea cliffs, the South West is home to some of the country’s most dramatic castles.

Looming above the charming village below, Corfe Castle is an atmospheric ruin and is famous for inspiring Kirrin Castle in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series.

Perched on the edge of a sea cliff on the northern coast of Cornwall, Tintagel Castle is widely thought to be King Arthur’s elusive castle, Camelot.

Take a look at some more dramatic castles to visit on your next camping trip in South West England.


Castles in Wales

Wales

With over 600 castles, Wales has more castles per square mile than anywhere in the world. These fortresses display Wales’ celebrated character and unique culture.

With polygonal towers and an intimidating exterior, Caernaforn Castle was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 as part of Edward I’s “Iron Ring” of castles.

Built in the 1230s by Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great, Criccieth Castle sits atop a rocky peninsula and exhibits spectacular views across to Tremadog Bay.

Learn more about the abundant number of wonderful Welsh castles.


Castles in Scotland

Scotland

It’s thought that up to 3,000 castles have been built in Scotland, with a large number of them still standing proudly today.

Nestled in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Balmoral Castle is a magnificent estate house and the summer Scottish retreat of the Royal Family.

Set upon a cliff overlooking the South Ayrshire coastline, Culzean Castle is an 18th century fortress and home to our clifftop Culzean Castle Club Site.

Find out more about the magnificent castles dotted around Scotland.


Feeling inspired to book your next camping trip? Explore our campsites by region to help you decide where to stay. Still need more inspiration? Take a look at some other holiday ideas to help you decide your next trip.