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1) Bodiam, East Sussex

The appearance of Bodiam Castle is exactly how most people imagine a medieval castle should look like, with its square of walls, a round tower at each corner, and a square tower midway along each wall, entirely surrounded by a moat. That it looks so perfect and picturesque may not be by accident for many people have debated whether the castle was really built as a defensive fortress or as an elaborate stately home.

bodiam

2) Leeds Castle, Kent

Leeds Castle is perhaps the loveliest, most romantic castle in England. The history of Leeds Castle can be traced to the 9th century, when a Saxon lord built a manor on one of the islands on the River Len. The most famous resident in the history of Leeds Castle was King Henry VIII, who made further additions to the structure, converting it from a fortress to a royal palace for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

leeds castle

3) Bamburgh Castle

This is clearly the most amazing castle in the UK, it looks like something out of Lord of the Rings! Plus it is set on a beautiful sandy beach next to the gorgeous village of Bamburgh, with its quaint little boutique shops and pubs.

bamburgh castle

4) Dover Castle

Known as 'The key to England', the great fortress of Dover Castle has played a crucial role in the defence of the realm for over nine centuries. After his victory at Hastings in 1066,William the Conqueror raised the first Dover Castle in earth and timber. From then on the castle was garrisoned uninterruptedly until 1958.

dover_castle

5) Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle, overlooking the River Seiont and Menai Strait, looks today, much as it would have done when building was finished in 1330. With its massive curtain wall with different coloured bands, and its hexagonal towers, the design is reminiscent of the great Roman city of Constantinople.

caernarfon

6) Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world, is one of the official residences of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Since William the Conqueror built the first castle in 1080, its proximity to both London and the old royal hunting forest (now Windsor Great Park) made it popular as a royal residence.

windsor

7) Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is built high upon the basalt remains of a long extinct volcano, providing visitors with impressive views of the city and landscape beyond. The oldest part of the castle dates back to the Normans, and there are buildings and fortifications covering every period since.

edinburgh

8) Warwick Castle

William the Conqueror built the first castle at Warwick, in 1068. Over the years the castle was gradually rebuilt in stone, and by the late 14th century Thomas de Beauchamp had finished an extensive building programme that transformed the defences of the castle, adding the huge gatehouse and barbican and two massive towers that still dominate the castle today. Later as the military importance of the castle declined, the main living quarters were converted into a palatial residence.

warwick

9) Tower of London

Situated in the heart of London next to the River Thames, the Tower of London is one of the greatest medieval castles in England. Famous for its Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters), ravens, the Crown Jewels and its long and bloody history of imprisonment and executions. The castle has also been used as a royal residence, the Mint, the Royal Zoo, a public records office and the Royal Observatory as well as containing barracks for its own garrison and storage for munitions.

toweroflondon

10) Arundel, West Sussex

The palatial castle at Arundel has grown from its modest origins as a motte and bailey castle built by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, around 1068. A shell keep was added to the top of the motte in about 1140, and curtain walls, a chapel and a garden, possibly the first Royal garden in England, were added by King Henry II.

arundel
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