Castles & forts

Royal visits, wars and ghosts - our castles and forts have seen them all. Discover the myths, legends and history of some of the best castles in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Dunster Castle in autumn
View of Dunster Castle through the trees

Top 10 castles 

Wars, ghosts and royal skulduggery abound in ancient castles. Lose yourself in history as you search for bats among the battlements, discover secret, hidden passageways and retrace the steps of smugglers of old.

A costumed knight firing an arrow from the battlements at Chirk Castle

Fairytale castles 

Are your children knights on horseback or dragon-slaying maidens? Here's our pick of our favourite fairytale castles to get your family's adventure started.

Castles and forts we recommend

near Robertsbridge, East Sussex

Archetypal 14th century moated castle with ruined interior - a glimpse of medieval splendour

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Downpatrick, County Down

Unique 18th-century mansion, famed for its mixture of architectural styles

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near Exeter, Devon

Where dramatic architecture meets innovative family home. A 20th century castle overlooking the Teign Gorge.

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Explore more castles and forts Find a castle to visit

The history behind our castles

Dawn view of Chirk Castle in Wales

Learn more about our castles and forts 

Look beyond the walls of our castles and forts to discover intriguing stories of love, betrayal and warfare. You'll find plenty of inspiration for your next castle visit, as well as learn about modern-day conservation efforts.

What we protect

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