The UK is home to a plethora of fascinating sights. Its long history and interesting culture help add to a brilliant vacation. Found all around the country, many kids love exploring the amazing castles from times gone by. Conjuring up images of brave soldiers on horseback, booming cannon fire, jousting matches, court jesters, and medieval banquets, some castles are in a fantastic state of preservation, allowing a great look into the past. Others, on the other hand, are little more than a few piles of bricks and foundations … equally as interesting for imaginative minds.
Some top castles around the UK for a fun family day out include:
One of the UK’s premier tourist attractions, the original fortifications of Warwick Castle date back to the 11thcentury. Rebuilt, renovated, and extended over the years, the castle was an important defensive fortress for many years. Later becoming the private home of the Earls of Warwick, today’s visitors can enjoy exploring the extensive grounds and numerous rooms. There are seasonal exhibitions at key times throughout the year and kids often love the historical battle re-enactments.
A pride of the Scottish capital city, Edinburgh Castle sits high up on a rocky hill overlooking the city below. There has been a castle here since at least the 12th century and its role in many significant battles means that it was one of the most attacked fortresses across the globe. The fabulous Scottish Crown Jewels are housed within a castle museum and there are numerous interesting displays and exhibits to enjoy.
Tower of London
One of London’s most-visited attractions, the imposing and impressive Tower of London has served as a prison, a treasury, a mint, a zoo, a fortress, and more. Home to the Crown Jewels, your kids can have fun learning about the tales associated with the ravens, specifically what will happen if they ever leave the tower, and also posing for pictures with the special guards who are called Beefeaters.
Sitting on a Cornish island, Tintagel Castle is an excellent place for families who are interested in myths and legends. With strong links to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, it has been a major sight on the Cornish coast for hundreds of years. A large site, you can all have fun exploring the historic walls and the numerous nooks and crannies. When the tide goes out you can also explore sea caves and peer into rock pools.
Located in Kent, the splendid moat-surrounded Leeds Castle has a history stretching back for at least 900 years. A large site, there are several play areas, a cool maze with underground caverns, birds of prey demonstrations, a mini train, swan boats, a Go Ape tree top adventure course, a bizarre museum dedicated to dog collars … and more! Oh, and the views are pretty special too!
Windsor Castle is a great day trip from London; it is the oldest royal home still in use all around the world today. Cardiff’s Castell Coch is a great place to enjoy some Welsh history and heritage. Other great UK castles include the castles of Harlech, Conway, Beeston, Dover, Ludlow, Beaumaris, Skipton, Carlisle, Stirling, and Kenilworth.
Your kids can learn more about the UK’s history, culture, key attractions, and more in the Kids’ Travel Guide – UK. Don’t leave home without it!
Where are your favourite UK castles? Which have you visited already and which are high on your wish list?