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
A view across the moat to Bodiam Castle with summer flags on the bridge

Top 10 castles 

We look after some of the most interesting and enchanting castles in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Here's our pick of the best must-see castles.

Winter Lights at Corfe Castle

Christmas lights and winter illuminations 

This Christmas, the castles, houses and gardens in our care will be illuminated with twinkling light displays. Wrap up warm and pay a visit to kick-start your celebrations.

Hugh Napier, saddle tank locomotive

Hugh Napier: 'the little engine I love' 

In our latest Curator’s blog, Elizabeth Green, Lead Curator for Wales, talks about an object she loves, a working steam engine named Hugh Napier from Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd. Take a closer look at one of the more unusual items in the Trust's collections.

Castles and forts we recommend

near Robertsbridge, East Sussex

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

Open today
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Downpatrick, County Down

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

Partially open today
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near Exeter, Devon

Nothing is normal. Dramatic castle overlooking the Teign Gorge, undergoing a conservation project to make it watertight

Open today
View all opening times 

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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