Top 10 castles

Royal visits, wars and ghosts - the castles we look after have seen them all. Head up to the battlements to survey the kingdom, or go down into the dungeons. Hunt for bats in the battlements and meet the resident ravens with psychic powers in the gothic world of these beautiful buildings. Here are just some of our must-see castles.

View across the moat to Bodiam Castle in bright sunlight

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex 

With its moat, spiral staircases and fine views, this is one of the most famous British castles. Built in 1385 as a fortress and family home, enough of the interior survives to give a good impression of castle life.

Visitors in hard hats on the roof

Castle Drogo, Devon 

This 20th-century Lutyens masterpiece is undergoing a five-year conservation project. The interior has been completely redisplayed and there's even the chance to get up close to the building work by climbing up the viewing tower.

The West elevation of Chirk Castle showing Adam's Tower

Chirk Castle, Wrexham 

Chirk is the last Welsh castle from the reign of Edward I that is still lived in. Its 700 year history includes a medieval dungeon and tower, 17th-century Long Gallery and 18th-century apartments. More recent additions include a laundry and servants’ hall.

A little boy in toy armour at Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, Dorset 

The adventure starts when you arrive at this dramatic ruin by steam train. Take time out from exploring the battlements to meet the resident ravens. According to legend, the ravens will leave if they predict something terrible is going to happen.

Child dressed up as a medieval knight

Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland 

More ruin than castle, Dunstaburgh lies on one of the most beautiful stretches of Northumberland coastline. Use your imagination to recreate the fairytale castle that once stood here, while you enjoy the stunning surrounds.

Visitors in the garden at Dunster Castle, Somerset

Dunster Castle, Somerset 

Dunster Castle has a long history; a castle has existed here since before the Norman era. During Saxon times, the location served as a fortress against Celtics and Vikings. There are ghosts and secret passages if you feel brave enough to find them.

Visitors at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd, North Wales

Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd 

Another iconic fort, Penrhyn Castle looks older than its 200 years. It's crammed with fascinating items. Don't miss the collection of paintings, restored kitchens, model railway museum and dolls' museum.

A couple walk in the grounds at Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

Sizergh Castle, Cumbria 

Sizergh is a unique place, with centuries-old portraits and furniture sitting alongside family photographs. The garden has been crafted and cared for over generations. You'll find a lake, the National Collection of Hardy Ferns and a superb rock garden.

The east and north fronts of the Great Tower at Tattershall Castle

Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire 

The 130ft medieval tower of Tattershall is striking in the flat landscape. It sits on the site of a much older castle. Climb the 150 steps from the basement to the battlements, then explore the grounds, moats, Guardhouse gift shop and church.

Children running in the Wray Castle grounds, Cumbria

Wray Castle, Cumbria 

This castle sits on the shores of Lake Windermere with turrets, towers and grounds. It came to us without its contents so you won't find the paintings and antiques you may expect. Instead discover a special building with a grand, varied history.