Top 20 Fairytale Castles in the UK

I absolutely love the United Kingdom so I may be a little bit biased but I genuinely feel like it has some of the most spectacular fairytale castles to visit.  Below is the list I came up with 20 of the castles you must visit either if you are visiting the UK or living there. They are also great photoshoot places!

1. Tower of London, Central London

Home to the Crown Jewels, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames. In 1078, William the Conqueror built The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name.

2. Windsor castle, Berkshire

The 11th-century castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, in England.

3. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

A historic fortress which dominates Edinburgh’ skyline and it’s Scotland’s most-visited paid tourist attraction, with over 1.4 million visitors in 2013.

If you are going to visit Edinburgh, please do not forget to check my post on 11 top sights in Edinburgh 

4. Dover castle, Kent

Dubbed the “Key to England” because of its defensive importance throughout history, Dover Castle is a must-see 12th-century medieval structure in Kent.

5. Lancaster castle, Lancashire

A medieval castle that its early history is unclear, but may have been founded in the 11th century on the site of a Roman fort overlooking a crossing of the River Lune

6. Warwick castle, Warwickshire

A medieval stronghold developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle is set against the backdrop of stunning scenery and the winding River Avon.

7. Bodiam castle, East Sussex


A stunning 14th-century moated fortress near Robertsbridge, Bodiam Castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III to defend the area against French invasion.

8. Bamburgh Castle, Nortumberland

A Grade I listed building, this castle sits on a basalt outcrop overlooking the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne and is home to the Bamburgh Castle Aviation Artefacts Museum.

9. Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island

A 16th century castle located on Holy Island, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England,  what was once the very volatile border area between England and Scotland. It was built in 1550 and it sits on the highest point of the island.

10. Raby Castle, County Durham

Medieval castle that was built in the mid 14th century on the site of an earlier fortified manor house, this medieval castle, near Staindrop in County Durham, sits in a 200-acre deer park. It was built by John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby.  

11. Totnes castle, Devon

A Norman motte and bailey castle in England; it is situated in the town of Totnes on the River Dart in Devon.The castle is a scheduled monument and a Grade I* listed building.

12. Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire

It is situated 12 miles (19 km) north east of Sleaford and has its origins in either a stone castle or a fortified manor house, built by Robert de Tattershall in 1231. It was rebuilt in brick, and greatly expanded, by Ralph, 3rd Lord Cromwell, Treasurer of England, between 1430 and 1450. Brick castles are less common in England than stone and when brick was chosen as a building material, it was mainly because its aesthetic appeal.

13. Leeds Castle, Kent

Set on two islands on the River Len, in the heart of Kent, Leeds Castle has been fortified for more than 900 years. It has been used by many monarchs as including King Edward I and Henry VIII used it as a residence for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

14. Arundel Castle, West Sussex

Restored medieval castle founded by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. It is the seat of The Dukes of Norfolk and set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens.

15. York Castle, York

A fortified complex comprising a sequence of castles, prisons, law courts and other buildings on the south side of the River Foss for the last 9 centuries. The now-ruinous keep of the medieval Norman castle is commonly referred to as Clifford’s Tower.

16. Cardiff Castle, Wales

A medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion located in the city centre of Cardiff, Wales

17. Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland

A Norman Irish castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough.

18. Stirling Castle, Scotland

One of the most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally. The castle sits atop Castle Hill and it is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position.

19. Caernarfon Castle, North-West Wales

A medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales where in 1283  King Edward I of England began replacing it with its current stone structure.

20. Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland

A 14th-century fortification on the coast of Northumberland in northern England, between the villages of Craster and Embleton. It was built by Earl Thomas of Lancaster between 1313 and 1322, taking advantage of the site’s natural defences and the existing earthworks of an Iron Age fort.

Which is your favourite? Have I missed any that you have already visited? Tell me in the comments below

Leave a Reply