7 Enchanting Castles in England You Should Explore That Will Leave You Breathless

Updated On: September 15, 2023


Historical landmarks always have their own beguiling appeal, but nothing can beat the intimidation of an ancient castle beautifully standing strong. England always reigns supreme when it comes to the abundance of ancient castles with rich layers of history. It embraces hundreds upon hundreds of these old as time stone fortresses scattered across the English lands.

Castles are structures from ancient times, most dating to as old as the 11th century. While they are found in every ancient civilisation, England remains on top of the world when it comes to owning archaic fortresses. The chances of never laying eyes on one of these enchanting castles in England are pretty slim, for they’re often featured in the most popular movies

These splendid castles in England usually serve as breathtaking filming locations, being home to some scenes of big franchises like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Most of the castles in England have that whimsical feel that makes them seem to be out of a magical fairytale. They even serve as wondrous backdrops in classic movies.

You don’t have to be a history buff to be compelled to venture into one of these classic castles in England. Being an enthusiastic traveller is sufficient, especially if you would like to learn what it feels like to step into the realm of the Regency era and medieval times. We have curated for you some of the most breathtaking castles in England to put on your next English itinerary.

1. Dover Castle

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You can never go wrong with Dover Castle, one of the most prominent castles in England that looks enchanting and holds many historical layers. It’s also an unparalleled destination when it comes to exploring English history. It lies on the coastlines of stunning white cliffs, proudly sitting in a strategic location. 

The castle overlooks the crossing point between mainland Europe and the English Island, known for being the first line of defence invasion, earning the title of the “Key to England.” Despite being hailed as the foremost guard, it was once burned to the grounds after William and his troops successfully seized the fortress. 

While being erected again is enough to call for astonishment, the fascinating part is that it took only a week to be resurrected from the ashes. This means that what we see today is not the original structure of the castle, but that doesn’t affect its charm a bit. King Henry II took it upon himself to rebuild the castle from its ruins, using his own wealth. 

2. Arundel Castle

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All the prevailing castles in England are worth exploring, and Arundel Castle is no exception. This striking fortress proudly lies in West Sussex, being among the structures that witnessed fierce occurrences in British history. Enduring two sieges during the English Civil War is among the violent historical events that took place within the striking fortress. 

The location of Arundel Castle is deemed quite strategic. Not only does it add to its appeal, but it also places it among the unmissable castles in England. This architectural masterpiece is nestled in the middle of scenic plains that beautifully frame it. Guided tours are offered for you to discover the secrets hidden within the walls of the majestic castle.

It may have been a prominent part of history, but it’s also important to note that it played a significant role in the entertainment industry, serving as an enchanting filming location. One of the exciting facts about Arundel Castle is doubling as Windsor Castle in The Madness of King George movie. We promise that this marvellous castle will mesmerise your senses while you explore its pristine beauty.

3. Windsor Castle

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Windsor Castle is one of the most, if not the most, famous castles in England that you don’t want to miss exploring. This majestic fortress is situated in Berkshire County, being a prime royal residence for centuries, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe. You can be among those fortunate adventurers that embark on a journey of exploring this charming residence.

Its dazzling beauty is one thing, but boasting a remarkable history that dates thousands of years is another. Windsor Castle is known to be one of the top destinations in England. It is also the world’s largest and oldest occupied castle. The castle happens to be home to a wide array of art collections that you won’t help but fall in love with. 

Upon observing these masterpieces from esteemed artists like Michelangelo, Rubens, Van Dyck, and more, you’ll be grateful they were saved from the destructive fire. This actually brings us to one of the most damaging events that these stone walls witnessed. Surviving that raging fire is noteworthy, and we’re pretty thankful that the castle was restored before it turned into ashes. Fun fact, this castle was featured in the second season of Netflix’s Bridgerton

4. Bodiam Castle

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Bodiam Castle is a captivating sight that seems to be straight out of a fairytale, leaving its beholders breathless and in awe. Its location is yet another factor contributing to its magic, being nestled in the countryside of East Sussex. Vast, stunning landscapes frame the castle, making it quite picturesque and dazzling.

The National Trust has worked towards preserving its splendour, given that it’s one of the outstanding castles in England. The castle is known to go back to the 14th century, undertaken by only Sir Edward Dalyngrigge. It’s one of the rare castles in England that a single owner built

which explains the consistent style of architecture.

This exquisite landmark is a fascinating place to embark on your journey of exploring the beauty of the English lands while unearthing its rich history. Bodiam castle stands as a live testament to the enduring spirit of the past, effortlessly capturing the attention of those who are fortunate enough to behold its beauty.

5. Bamburg Castle

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Bamburg Castle is one of the most mesmerising castles in England and the most popular fortress in Northumberland. This splendid structure was once the royal seat of Northumbria’s kings until 1894 when the Armstrong family started calling that haven their own. Once you have your entrance ticket in hand, you will sense the excitement that comes upon beholding this architectural masterpiece. 

There is so much to explore within these magnificent walls, including the old-age charm of the Great Kitchen and the King’s Hall. Most of the ancient castles in England are associated with paranormal tales, and Bamburg Castle is no exception. It’s been reported to hear unsettling whispers, mysterious piano melodies, sounds of footsteps, and hair-raising babies’ cries. You never know if you’ll be among those who encounter such surreal and unexplained occurrences.

Another interesting fact about this striking castle is being home to remarkable discoveries that tie it to the Anglo-Saxon era. This brings us to the captivating fact that it also served as an iconic backdrop for the acclaimed Netflix hit series, The Last Kingdom, being one of its prominent filming locations.  

6. Tower of London, England

You may be wondering what the Tower of London is doing amidst the list of enchanting castles in England. We’ll tell you what; this famous landmark happens to be known initially as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. Needless to say, it’s situated in the heart of the capital English city, attracting people from all over the world. 

This majestic castle has all sorts of tales and myths associated with it, which adds even more appeal to it. It’s home to the precious Crown Jewels, along with thousands of gemstones tucked away. However, there is little to no chance of robbing this valuable apparel since the castle has always been reputed for being haunted by all sorts of spirits. 

What makes matters more interesting is that many people have reported the existence of a terrifying bear that manifests to those who dare to venture into the castle. Another fascinating fact about this charming castle in England is the resident ravens that never seem to fly away, calling the fortress their own home. They have earned the name of the tower’s guardians, who are ready to strike when danger arises. 

7. Alnwick Castle

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Alnwick is a town with scenic views, lying within Northumberland, and it embraces one of the most beguiling castles in England, Alnwick Castle. The castle stands proudly near River Aln, which is another alluring feature that captivates the attention of enthusiastic travellers from all corners of the globe. 

This remarkable fortress was initially built in the 11th century, serving as the royal seat of Northumberland’s 12th Duke. The purpose behind raising this majestic castle from the grounds was to guard the borders of the English lands from Northumberland, which borders Scotland. This grandeur that we see today doesn’t bear a resemblance to the original form, given that it has undergone numerous renovations throughout the centuries.

The Grade I listed building served as a remarkable filming location for the first two movies of the renowned Harry Potter franchise. We believe this is a compelling enough reason for Potter-heads to pack their luggage and fly to England. You can explore the insides of this splendid castle. While it houses 150 rooms, only six of them are open to visitors, including the dining hall, drawing room, library, and staterooms.

Visiting any of these fascinating castles in England is like being in an embellished painting featuring mystical plains, enchanting green hills, and glistening lakes. These splendid structures are more than just beautiful landscapes to behold; they reflect England’s rich history and heritage. There is much to explore within the stone walls of these architectural prowesses. 

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