What are you doing next weekend? If you’re tired of the same - old plans, why not take a break from the ordinary and enjoy a day out at one of England’s many castles?

A symbol of the country’s heritage and often bloody history, there are many castles located everywhere from cities and towns to coastal an d remote locations. Unearth the past with a trip to an English castle to entertain and educate the whole family.

Around 4,000 castles have been built in England over the years, but which are the best castles in England for your next visit? Take a look at our run - down of the 10 best castles in England for some inspiration on where to go next.


If you’re looking for history, fun and a dash of magic, head to Alnwick Castle. For over 700 years, Alnwick Castle has stood tall as a medieval fortr ess built to guard the crossing of the River Aln and protect Northumberland.

A visit to the castle lets you explore the medieval building, including the lavish State Rooms and Artisans Courtyard. Take in the castle’s impressive stature or immerse yourself in medieval life with our regular events and workshops, such as have - a - go archery, jester shows, jousts and medieval crafts.

Harry Potter fans may also recognise Alnwick Castle from the silver screen, as the castle features in Harry Potter and the Chamb er of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. While you’re here, why not try your hand at broomstick flying on the very spot where Harry and his classmates l earnt to fly?


Image by Roman Grac from Pixabay.

Most recently known as the venue of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, Windsor Castle is the largest and o ldest occupied castle in the world. It was founded in the 11 th Century by William the Conquerer to establish a defensive ring around London, and since then has been called home by no less than 39 monarchs, including King Henry VIII, Queen Victoria and Quee n Elizabeth II.

Aside from the castle’s outstanding architecture, a highlight of any visit is exploring the State Apartments. Restored following a fire in 1992, these grand rooms are breathtakingly beautiful. Time your visit right, and you could even witn ess the castle’s Changing the Guard.


  Image by Kdsphotos from Pixabay.

Strategically placed on a bend of the River Avon, Warwick Castle was built to protect the Midlands against rebel attack. The castle was originally built by William the Conquerer in 1068, with it’s structure and design fortified over the years to better pro tect the castle.

From mazes to audio visual immersive experiences, there are plenty of attractions designed to transport guests back to medieval times. A highlight for all ages is a visit to The Castle Dungeon, where live actors tell the horrific and often bloody tales of 1,000 years of history.


Image by Alfred Dielmann from Pixabay.

Often seen as the gateway to England, Dover Castle has played a significant role in protecting England from attack. In a prime location overlooking th e shortest sea crossing between England and the Continent, the castle was often the first line of defence from foreign invaders.

As such, the castle defences were progressively strengthened in - line with advances in warfare. This included the addition of d efensive ring walls around the castle, as well as an intricate network of tunnels that were used as barracks in the 18 th Century.

Visitors to the castle can explore the great tower’s medieval palace, complete with its grand interiors and furnishings, or w ander the underground tunnels.


Image by Roman Grac from Pixabay.

Bodiam Castle is praised as being a picture - perfect archetypal medieval castle. Similar to an illustration you’d see in a child’s book of fairytales, the quadrangular moated castle is set within lush green grounds

The beginnings of the castle date back to when Sir Edward Dalyngrigge became owner of the manor of Bodiam. As England became mo re panicked about a French invasion, Sir Edward decided to replace the manor house with Bodiam Castle. Its current form was completed in 1385.

Visitors are invited to explore the castle, climbing the tower’s spiral staircase s and wandering the interior c ourtyards.


Image by Friedhelm Brandenburg from Pixabay.

Contrary to where you may assume it’s located, Leeds Castle is located in Maidstone, Kent, and dates back to 1119. The castle has been present in many iterations over its 900 years, from Norman stronghold to Henry VIII’s palatial home with wife Catherine of Aragon and a Georgian mansion. The castle’s colourful history makes for an inspiring and educ ational day out.

There’s plenty to keep visitors of all ages entertain ed. Explore the castle’s transformation over the years as you wander it s many rooms and discover original paintings and artefacts on display. To keep younger visitors entertained, try your hand at the challenging maze and underground grotto.


Image by Jonathan Cannon from Pixabay.

The imposing Bamburgh Castle defiantly looks over the Northumberland Coast. Believed to be built upon a Celtic Brittonic fort, this Norman castle has a long and interesting history and played its part in everything from royal politics to wars. During the War of the Roses in 1464, Bamburgh Caste was the first i n England to be defeated by artillery.

Visitors to the castle can explore 14 public areas, including the Kings Hall, Keep Hall and State Rooms. Look out from the castle and see if you can spot the nearby The Farne Islands and Lindisfarne.


Bolsover Castle exterior” by bvi4092 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Visually stunning, Bolsover Castle was designed to impress, acting as a venue to host and entertain royal and influential guests. It was built in the 11 th Century by William Peveril, with The Little Castle added in 1612 by Sir Charles Cavendish.

Built in a Norman style, The Little Castle — and the later added Terrace Range — hosted Charles I an d Queen Henrietta Maria, where then o ccupant Sir William Cavendish spent £15,000 on a lavish banquet and entertainment in their honour.

Castle visitors can explo re The Little Castle and remains of the Terrace Range, walk the castle walls or wander the magnificent grounds.


Image by Roman Grac from Pixabay.

Set in a commanding location overlooking the South Downs and River Arun, Arundel Castle was built in 1067 and still retains some of its original features today, despite being damaged during the English Civil War. Restoration works under taken in the 18 th and 19 th century have added Gothic details to the castle’s architecture.

With almost 1,000 years of history to uncover, there’s pl enty for visitors to see and do at Arundel Castle. Discover fine art and furniture as you view the castle’s rooms.


Image by Tom Woodgate from Pixabay.

Lincoln Castle was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror as part of his plans to control N orthern rebels, with i ts central lo cation command ing excellent views of the surrounding area. The castle has been embroiled in many bloody battles, including the final time it was besieged in 1644 during the English Civil War.

In 1215, the Magna Carta was read at Lincoln Castle. Today, the castle is the only place in the world to hold both the 1215 Magna Carter and 1217 Charter of the Forest. These influential documents helped shape history and viewing them is sure to be a highlight of any visit.

With many thousands of years of combined h istory, castles in England have a host of important tales to tell — and make for great family - friendly days out. Plan your visit today book your tickets for Alnwick Castle online before you go and make a saving on the on - the - gate ticket price.