Whether you love visiting British castles or looking to organise a family day out, a castle visit is always a great idea. There were around 4,000 castles built in England alone since the Norman conquest of which each and every single one is unique its own way.
Of course, that’s a very large number to choose from, so to help you out, we’ve chosen the best castles near London, that are worthy of a visit.
The best thing about these castles is that they are all in a variety of styles and states. Many of these are now medieval ruins, whereas others were royal residences and some used to defend occupants from invasions.
Without further ado, here are the best castles near London.
Castles near London
Windsor Castle is one of the most famous castles in Britain and is still being used by the Queen as a residence in the English county of Berkshire. This particular castle is both a working home and a historic treasure.
The castle is notable due to its long association with the English, British royal family and because of its architecture. The original Windsor Castle was built back in the 11th century after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror.
With over 900 years of royal history, Windsor Castle is definitely worth a visit. Tickets are available to purchase via Royal Collection Trust.
Roughly five miles south of Newbury, Berkshire, you’ll come across the 5,000-acre estate in Hampshire. Highclere Castle is just as famous as Windsor Castle and is a Jacobethan style country house by architect Charles Barry.
Highclere Castle also known to many as Downton Abbey is a stunning place to visit in Britain. The castle is open to the public throughout the summer months for self-guided tours and opens at other times during the year such as Christmas and Easter.
Tickets can be purchased via visiting the Highclere Castle website.
Rochester Castle is situated on the east bank of the River Medway in Rochester, Kent. The castle’s most prominent feature is the 12th-century keep which is one of the best-preserved in England.
It stands as a proud reminder of the important history of Rochester, along with the cathedral and the surrounding cobbled streets.
The castle was rebuilt and remained as a viable fortress until the 16th-century. Rochester Castle is near London and is open to the public throughout the year. Tickets can be purchased via English Heritage.
Hever Castle situated in the village of Hever, Kent, near Edenbridge was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Mother of Elizabeth I. The castle was inherited by Thomas Boleyn in 1505 after the death of his father, Sir William Boleyn.
The castle near London has over 700 years of interesting history and award-winning gardens. Hever Castle offers a variety of fun attractions such as exploring the castle and gardens, Hever lake, archery and shield painting, jousting and much more.
For further information and to book tickets, visit Hever Castle’s website.
A visit to Leeds Castle is one you’ll definitely remember. 5 miles southeast of Maidstone, you’ll find Leeds Castle. It’s built on islands in a lake formed by the River Len and has existed since 1119.
Whether you’re visiting with friends or family, it’s a lovely castle near London with something for everyone to enjoy. All sorts of fun and interesting events take place throughout the year. Alongside the exciting attractions such as The Gatehouse Exhibition, Dog Collar Museum and the stunning 500 acres of gardens and parkland.
For further information about Leeds Castle and to book tickets, visit the Leeds Castle website.
Dover Castle is a medieval castle situated in Dover, Kent. The castle was founded back in the 11th century and was considered the ‘Key to England’. Dover Castle is also the largest castle in England.
The castle is open to the public where visitors can explore the Great Tower, Underground Hospital, Operation Dynamo, WWI Command Post, Medieval Tunnels and so much more. There are even activities available such as The Bunker Escape Room.
For further information and to book tickets, visit English Heritage.
Warwick Castle is a very popular castle for families and those that enjoy learning about history whilst having plenty of fun. Visitors can experience one thousand years of history at the medieval castle developed from a wooden fort.
The castle is situated on a bend of the River Avon in Warwick, a county town of Warwickshire, England. Open to the public, Warwick Castle regularly hosts exciting and entertaining shows, activities and attractions.
For further information about Warwick Castle and to book tickets, visit Warwick Castle’s website.
Arundel Castle near London is one of the largest inhabited and complete castles in England. The castle is situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex.
Almost 1,000 years of history, Arundel Castle offers a full day out with guided and free-flow tours of the finely preserved castle rooms including the Baron’s Hall, 14th Century Catholic Fitzalan Chapel, Regency Library and Victorian bedrooms.
Visitors can also ascend the Norman Motte and Keep and enjoy The Collector Earl’s Garden which was conceived by the Duchess of Norfolk and opened by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2008.
Arundel Castle will close on Sunday 3rd November 2019 and will reopen to visitors on Wednesday 1st April 2020. For further information and to book tickets, visit Arundel Castle.
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