10 Most Beautiful Castles in England

Updated On October 5, 2023
Alnwick Castle

England is a nation that is well known for having some of the most beautiful castles in the world today.

That’s why tourists flock from far and wide to take in these amazing sights.

With the currently ongoing royal history that is present in England, it is no surprise that there is no shortage of beautiful castles to visit.

Thanks to this guide, you will be able to zero in on the very best that England has to offer.

The 10 Most Beautiful Castles in England

Alnwick Castle

This is one of the first castles that was constructed in England without the usage of a square keep.

It was built after the Norman Conquest and there is a deep ravine on one side that separates the castle from the town.

The structure consists of two parts: the principal rooms are in the inner ring, while the second part was constructed at a later date to assist with further accommodations.

These aspects may be interesting to the history buffs out there, but there is another piece of history that took place at Alnwick Castle.

Most famously, this castle was featured in the first two films of the Harry Potter series.

Truly astute viewers will remember this location as the specific area where Harry and his fellow students first learned to fly.

Framlingham Castle

Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk was responsible for building this castle in the late 12th century.

Dukes of Norfolk were housed in the castle for 400 years.

This location serves as a classic example of medieval castle design.

The Inner Court, the Lower Cour, and the Bailey make up the castle, which overlooks the River Ore.

At the time, this castle was believed to be an advanced form of military defense, making it a must-see for war history buffs.

There are a number of carved chimneys inside but fear not, only three of them are functional.

The rest are merely ornamental

This castle is a popular spot for tourists because it is situated among beautiful parkland and various estates.

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle, located in West Sussex, may date back to the 11th century, but additions have been made repeatedly over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries.

This gives Arundel something in common with a number of other castles in England.

William the Conqueror is responsible for the construction of this castle, like many others in the country.

Arundel Castle took on significant damage during the British Civil War as well, leading to the construction of a new folly during the 18th century.

This location is also well known for being one of the first of its kind from an amenities standpoint.

It was one of the first castles in the country to have a central heating system, elevators, and electricity.

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle is a location that is beloved by British residents and tourists alike.

It is easy to see why. Located in Warwickshire, it is a picturesque castle that looks like something out of a fairy tale.

Originally constructed as a motte and bailey castle, Warwick has evolved over the years.

It was reconstructed in stone during the 12th century.

Various additions were also made to the castle for defense-related purposes during the 14th century.

A barbican was added, as well as Guy’s Tower and Caesar’s Tower.

A gatehouse was also constructed.

The castle is perched at the River Avon bend, providing the sort of view that is essentially impossible to come by anywhere else.

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle is the sort of attraction that is sure to inspire strong feelings from all who visit.

It is a breathtaking location that rests atop a volcanic dolerite hill.

In order to check out this castle, visitors will need to venture to the northeast coast of England.

Northumberland residents have often marveled at how this castle occupies over nine acres of real estate.

It is not every day that we get the chance to see a castle perched atop this sort of rocky plateau.

Of course, this castle has been featured in a wide range of television shows and movies because of its unique appearance.

Chances are high that visitors will recognize this location from one of their favorite films or programs.

Leeds Castle

The name of this castle may be misleading to many.

Believe it or not, the castle is not located in Leeds, it is actually situated in Kent.

The original castle was built in the 11th century before it eventually succumbed and required rebuilding.

It was one of King Edward’s preferred residences in the 13th century and Catherine of Aragon resided here during the 16th century.

The castle has since been rebuilt and Leeds Castle as we know it today dates back to the start of the 20th century.

The new construction was done in the Tudor style and was completed in 1823.

Heiress Olive, Lady Baillie, purchased the castle in 1926 and she completed the necessary Leeds Castle renovations from there.

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle is sure to ring some bells for those who find themselves watching Downton Abbey on a regular basis.

This Victorian castle is located in Hampshire and was constructed during the second half of the 17th century.

It has long been considered one of the most beautiful castles in the entire country and it is surrounded by 1,000 acres of gorgeous parklands.

The Bishops of Winchester once owned the location and had an earlier home that stood on these grounds before the castle was built.

The Carnavon family once lived here as well.

There are a number of lovely staterooms located here, in addition to the state dining room and saloon.

The smoking rooms are well worth checking out, too, with their intricate interiors and unique artwork.

Bodiam Castle

For those who are in search of the top medieval castles that England has to offer, Bodiam Castle is one of the top locations to visit for residents and visitors alike.

It looks like something out of a mythical photo book, with its circular towers and wide moat.

The twin towers at the gatehouse entrance are a great touch and the exterior is essentially perfect.

The interior has not been able to withstand the rigors of time passage, though.

Fortunately, enough of the interior has survived, allowing the castle to maintain its inner layout.

Sir Edward Dalyngrigge constructed the East Sussex castle in 1385.

It was deliberately constructed to serve as a fortress during this far more war-torn period.

Tower of London

This castle is particularly noteworthy, as it is not common to find a structure like this nestled in a busy metropolitan region.

London visitors and residents marvel at this castle and it is not hard to understand why.

The Tower of London attracts up to 3 million unique visitors each year, in fact.

While it is best known for its usage as a prison, there is nothing stopping visitors from filing in year after year.

William the Conqueror had the center of the complex constructed during his reign in the 11th century.

It is known as the White Tower and serves as the primary attraction for visitors who wish to check out the Tower of London.

In a city full of popular tourist attractions, the Tower of London is able to stand alone.

Windsor Castle

As the oldest castle in the world that remains inhabited by royals, Windsor Castle is a must-see.

In addition to being the oldest castle in the world, it occupies 13 acres, making it the largest as well.

The royal residence was constructed in Berkshire and was built during the 11th century.

The castle was originally designed to protect London from attacks taking place from the western side.

From there, it became a royal residence and it was very close to the grounds used for royal hunting expeditions.

The two four-sided building complexes are divided by the Round Tower and the castle is now used by the royals as a weekend home.

It also serves as an official residence for royal duties.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who built the first castles in England?

While different types of castles were eventually constructed that became easier to defend, the Normans are responsible for the construction of the first castles in England.

In addition to the increased levels of protection that these castles had to offer, weapons production also advanced.

This made it much easier for the castles to be overtaken.

What is the most expensive castle in England?

It should come as a surprise to no one that the most expensive castle in the country is actually Buckingham Palace.

It is not considered to be in the same category as the castles listed because of its status as a fully functional royal residence.

The costs of this castle have skyrocketed through the years and are pegged at a whopping $7 billion, believe it or not.

After all, decorating a royal residence of this size and magnitude is never going to be a very cheap pursuit.

Where did the concept of concentric castles in England come from?

The construction of concentric castles was not commonplace but this construction idea was brought to the forefront in England first.

Edward I first came up with the idea as a means of strengthening his castles and keeping them safe from enemy attacks.

He would add an additional curtain wall around each castle that he had constructed for this specific purpose.

While the enemy would have a much harder time breaking through his castles, they were also far more expensive to construct.

Who is responsible for the construction of England’s most famous castles?

The construction of the most famous castles that England has to offer can be traced back to William the Conqueror.

Windsor Castle and the Tower of London are arguably the two most famous castles in the country and they are both the product of William the Conqueror’s construction initiatives.

Whether visitors are aware of his involvement or not, they remain among the most visited tourist attractions in the world, let alone England.

2 Comments on 10 Most Beautiful Castles in England

  1. I have always been fascinated by the rich history of England and its beautiful castles. This blog post has provided a comprehensive guide to the top 10 most beautiful castles in the country, each with its own unique story and features. I cannot wait to visit these stunning locations and immerse myself in their grandeur and royal history.

  2. Wow, these castles are absolutely stunning! Each one has its own unique history and design, making them all must-see locations in England. I can’t wait to visit and see the beautiful architecture and learn about the royal history that took place in each castle. This guide will definitely help me narrow down my top choices to visit.

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