The best castles in the UK

After France, the castles in the UK are probably the best known in Europe. As a legacy of a rich history, they are certainly very important, but these amazing buildings are also great eye-candy for tourists who want to see something truly stunning. The oldest castles in the country date back to the days of the Norman invasion, but no century has gone by without a castle being built, so there is quite a large selection of castles that people can visit. Some of them are private residences, but many of them have been converted in museums or monuments, and here’s a list of some of the best castles in the UK.

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

On a cliff overlooking a bend on the River Avon in Warwickshire, sits Warwick Castle, an awe inspiring medieval structure built by none other than William the Conqueror in 1068. Until the 17th century, it was used as a fort, until Sir Fulke Greville converted it into a country house. The grounds were turned into elegant gardens, and while the fortifications were reinforced, the castle became the beautiful building complex it is today.

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Storybook castles are usually built on the shores of a lake, and it this respect, Bodiam Castle fits the mold, except that the lake which seems to surround the castle is a vast moat. Bodiam is a perfect example of late-medieval castle architecture with defense purposes, although historians say that it was more for show than for use in battle.

Windsor Castle, Berkshire

As the largest inhabited castle in the world, and perhaps the most famous castle in the country, Windsor is definitely one of the best castles in the UK. Windsor is one of the official residences of the Royal family, along with Buckingham Palace and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. The castle is dating back to the times of William the Conqueror, but most of the British queens and kings have left their mark on the building in some way.

St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

The tidal island of St. Michael’s Mount is located a couple of hundred meters from the coast of Cornwall, in Mount’s Bay. The castle is linked to land through an artificial granite causeway which is accessible only during mid to low tide. Today the castle is an official residence of a British lord, and it is pretty much filled to the brim with  all manner of historical relics.

Arundel Castle, West Sussex

Arundel Castle was built during the reign of Edward the Confessor (early 11th century), and it was home to quite a few important figures in the history of Britain. Although the castle was damaged in the Civil War, it was restored in the 18th century. Today, it is the home of the Duke of Norfolk.

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