Castles feature in many of our favourite children’s stories and in the dreams of every little girl and boy. But they’re not all make believe. Castles also play a major part in this little island’s rich history.
It’s no wonder that people from all over the world flock to the UK to see a slice of fairytale folklore, but did you realise just how many castles were on (pretty much) your very doorstep?
Here are five of the UK’s best castles perfect for princes, princesses, kings, queens and knights of all ages!
If you’re looking for a castle that looks like it could have just leapt off the page of your favourite fairytale then look no further than Belfast Castle. If you look hard enough you can imagine Rapunzel’s hair creeping down one of the picturesque towers, a knight surveying the land from atop one of the ramparts or a princess dreaming of her Prince Charming as she wanders the grounds.
This is one of the newer castles in the UK as the two castles that sat on the same site beforehand were burnt down, but the fact that it was built in the 1860s certainly doesn’t take away from its beauty and charm.
There’s a restaurant in the cellar, a play area for the kids and fantastic views of the city on a clear day. Stay in one of our Belfast hotels and you can enjoy everything the castle has to offer at your leisure.
This castle is famous for being the place where scientists found evidence of human existence dating back to the Bronze Age, so if you’re looking for history – then Edinburgh is the castle for you. It’s built on a volcanic rock from 340 million B.C., has an exciting but often bloody past and is the perfect highlight of a trip to this fantastic Scottish city.
If you’re looking for hotels in Edinburgh then Travelodge offer a number of options, all within close proximity to the castle itself. It’s a good idea to buy tickets online before visiting as it can get pretty busy, but whatever your plans, make sure you get there before 1pm when the One O’Clock Gun is fired – a tradition every visitor to the castle can’t miss.
Warwick Castle isn’t just a remnant from the past – it’s a living, breathing re-enactment of some of the most important moments in British history. Medieval combat, traditional ceremonies and plenty of expert guides trussed up in traditional dress will transport you back to a time when the castle was buzzing with activity.
The dungeon in particular is a fantastic example of bringing history to life, taking you back to 1345 when the plague was rampant and medieval Britain was a rather unpleasant place to live.
Luckily, the castle is anything but unpleasant. In fact, the beauty is quite astounding when you begin to walk around the impressive structure. Many people will make a weekend of it and stay in a Lemington Spa hotel which is a mere three miles from the castle itself and offers plenty of other things to do if you’re on a family, or indeed romantic trip.
So as you can see, you don’t have to watch Robin Hood for the hundredth time or read that same old book about the princess and the pea to get your castle fix – you can head out and experience the magic for yourself.