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Castles in England

Home to a famously green and pleasant land, England is a picturesque country that attracts travellers from all over the world. But it isn’t all verdant fields: England is also home to rugged areas of moorland, deep swathes of woodland and a heap of historic castles. The latter, in particular, are begging to be explored.

Castles in England are grand and sprawling, sitting everywhere from coastal clifftops to manicured grounds. Their halls are alive with history: the laughter of royal courts and the footsteps of kings leaving a palpable atmosphere. So much so that, in some castles, you could even spot a ghostly reminder of the past…

Not sure which castle to visit first? Take a look at the castle map, below, and click on a pin to find out more about each beautiful building.

Explore all the castles England has to offer

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Whether you are based in the picturesque Lake District or the wilds of Yorkshire, you will find castles in England that are ripe for exploration.

Perched on a rocky crag high above Cheshire you will find Beeston Castle, a former royal abode that still retains its imposing grandeur. Explore the plunging well thought to hide Richard II’s lost treasure, and take advantage of the dazzling photo opportunities from the top of the steps. Cheshire is also home to the enchanting grounds of Tatton Park, not to mention the famous Chester Zoo.

Further south you’ll find one of the most awe-inspiring castles in England: Tintagel Castle. These dramatic Cornish ruins offer a fascinating insight into the past (as well as a link to King Arthur!), and have inspired centuries of writers and artists. When you take in the view from the castle’s vantage point, it isn’t hard to see why: jagged cliffs and crashing waves-galore.

England’s southern counties are famous for their stunning sea views, making them perfect for castle holidays. From Cornwall to West Sussex, visitors can explore vast beaches and sample fresh seafood, all between visits to historic landmarks. That isn’t to say that castle holidays are lacking further north. In Merseyside, in fact, you can even stay in a castle!

Leasowe Castle is a grade II listed building set among luxurious grounds. Boasting tranquil gardens and inspiring sea views, it’s the perfect base for exploring this area of England. Take in a guided tour of Leasowe lighthouse, explore the bustling city of Liverpool or visit the eerie Antony Gormley sculptures at Crosby beach. Wildlife-lovers can also head to the National Trust’s Formby reserve – one of England’s last strongholds for the red squirrel.

One of the best things about castle breaks is their combination of luxury and history. Nowhere is this truer than in Bristol, where you’ll find one of the most impressive castle hotels in England.

16th century Thornbury Castle is, literally, a hotel fit for a king, as it was once the home of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Now, its stately beauty and proximity to the Cotswolds make it an idyllic retreat for those on castle breaks in England. Take a stroll through the manicured grounds, book a massage or pull on your boots to explore the surrounding countryside. Clifton Observatory and Slimbridge Wetland Centre are particular highlights.

With so many English castles to visit, and so many things to do right across the country, why not turn your break into a castle road trip? Take a look at the itineraries, below, to spark your imagination.

Explore castle road trips in England

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Our first road trip takes us to the wide-open expanses of Norfolk, to see some of the best-preserved castles in England. This strategically important part of the country has been fought over since Roman times. Norfolk’s castles have shaped the surrounding countryside and even the history of England itself. Thanks to the region’s wide-open landscape, the castles in and around Norfolk can be seen for miles. A three-day castle road trip gives you a chance to tour the world-famous Broads and discover luxurious castle

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Cornwall’s wild and unique landscape is a family favourite. Tucked away in its lush valleys, and standing proud on its rugged coastlines, are some of England’s best-kept castles. Accommodation in Cornwall is famous for its exceptional quality and warm welcome, so you are guaranteed to receive a five-star experience from start to finish. Make sure to pack sturdy walking boots, however, as some of the castle ascents are pretty steep!

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A week in Cumbria is the perfect opportunity to take in the natural and man-made wonders of this incredible region. While the Lakes have their obvious charms, head further north and you will find some of England’s finest border castles. Hundreds of years of conflict have resulted in some of the most imposing and blood-soaked castles in England. A seven-day trip to Cumbria allows you to tour fantastic fortresses and experience five-star castle accommodation.