Tintagel in Cornwall is mainly a ruin now – but many years ago it may have been the home of one of English history’s most famous figures: King Arthur.
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Who Was King Arthur?
As you may remember Arthur was the poor boy who pulled the sword Excalibur from a rock, thus proving his right to the throne of England.
The stories of Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table – and the stories of the Lady of the Lake, Generviere, Lancelot and the rest – are some of the most popular medieval tales.
Although little of the original castle remains – other than its foundations and a small number of walls – the castle’s current owners have done much to provide visitors with a taste of what it must have been like in those days – not least by a series of sculptures commissioned to show off some of the stories. Here’s one of King Arthur himself:
Every summer, the castle becomes the home of thousands of Arthurian enthusiasts who come to experience the days of King Arthur and his knights.
Tintagel is a great place to visit – but so are some of the many other castles in England. Here are some of the many others (some well known, others less so) that you might like to explore too.
More Great English Castles:
More Great English Castles:
The 900-year-old Norwich Castle is one of Norwich’s most beloved landmarks. Originally built by the Normans as a royal palace, the castle was later used as a prison.
Today, the castle is home to exquisite collections of fine art, antiques, and the collections of the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum collections.
Ludlow Castle, Shropshire
First a Norman fortress, Ludlow Castle was improved upon for centuries and eventually became a royal palace. Originally, the fortification served to hold back the Welsh.
Today, the castle is open for all to enjoy.
Barnard Castle, County Durham
Sitting high on a rock above the River Tees, the Barnard Castle is named for its founder, Bernard de Balliol.
First built in the 12th century, the castle was later the property of Richard III.
Visitors to the estate are able to enjoy the castle’s famed ‘sensory garden,’ which contains a variety of scented plants and tactile-rich objects.
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire
Less than 100 miles from London, the stately Warwick Castle is known for its superb medieval interior and great period re-enactments.
The Castle has been through a lot over the years. A few notable moments include when it was attacked in 1264, the siege of Warwick Castle in 1642, and the fire that tore through the castle in 1871. Despite all of these setbacks, the castle has endured throughout history and still stands today.
It was kept by the Earls of Warwick before becoming the private residence of the Greville Family until 1978, when it became the property of the Tussauds Group, who later became Merlin Entertainment Group, in 2007.
Dover Castle, Kent
Dover Castle is one of the most iconic castles in England. It also has the distinction of being among the oldest; it was originally fortified by William the Conqueror following the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
At the heart of the Isle of Wight is the romantic castle of Carisbrooke. The glorious castle has been many things over its long history.
Once an armed fortress, the castle has also been a king’s prison and a royal summer retreat.
Today, visitors to the majestic castle find an entertaining museum, a lovely Edwardian garden, and many wonderful events.
Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire
Originally built in the 12th century, Bolsover Castle was given a makeover by Sir George Talbot in 1553 after years of neglect. The earl later became known for his marriage to ‘Bess of Hardwick’, who was probably the most astute business in the 16th century.
Today, the castle intended for luxurious living has been restored. The castle’s battlements, venus garden, and fountain have been given a second life. Visitors are able to tour the grounds, visit the castle’s Discovery Centre (located in the castle’s riding stables), partake in one of the many events held throughout the year, or just enjoy a picnic at the lovely site.
Leeds Castle, Kent
Appearing in the Domesday Book, Leeds Castle has been a stronghold for the Norman armies, a royal residence, and a royal palace occupied by kings and queens.
The location of the castle is nothing short of stunning, with it being situated on two islands in a beautiful lake.
20 miles west of London, The 900-year-old Windsor Castle is the oldest official royal estate, and the largest currently occupied castle in the world.
However, this residence is much more than just a castle. The grounds at Windsor contain a large church, several homes, and the royal palace.
Hever Castle, Kent
The 700-year-old Hever Castle was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn is home to a fine collection of beautiful furniture, antiques, tapestries, and an impressive collection of Tudor paintings.
Additionally, the castle is home to more than 125 acres of glorious gardens and award-winning landscape. One thing is for sure, at any time of the year, the stunning castle’s exteriors and interiors are sure to take your breath away.
Bolton Castle, Yorkshire
Bolton Castle in Yorkshire was once a defensive fortress as well as a luxurious family estate. Today, the castle is a well-preserved home to many outstanding rooms and features and is one of the best castles in England to visit.
Visitors of the castle can peruse rooms like the old kitchens, the nursery, the great chamber, Mary Queen of Scots’ bedroom, the armoury, and even the dungeon.
Richmond Castle, Yorkshire
Stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales elevate the Richmond Castle into its rightful place as one of the most beloved attractions in North Yorkshire.
Originally built to keep the peace in the unruly northern region, today, the castle is one of the most inspiring Norman fortresses in Great Britain.
Skipton Castle, Yorkshire
If you’re travelling to the Yorkshire Dales, why not stop on the way to see this lovely medieval castle…
One of the most well-preserved and complete medieval castles in England, the 900-year-old Skipton Castle is a place where one can easily encounter remnants of the nation’s rich history around every corner.
From the dungeon to the watchtower, Skipton Castle was made to last. In fact, the fortification withstood a three-year log siege during the nation’s Civil War. As it stands now, the castle will be around for many years to come.
Corfe Castle, Dorset
The once majestic Corfe Castle now stands in ruins guarding the Purbeck marble quarry. At one time, nothing could pass forth from the rocky outcrop without first going past Corfe. The centuries-old hillside castle is the centre of many stories of the kings and queens who passed between its walls. One of the most dramatic tales reports that the castle is where King Edward was murdered by his stepmother in 979.
St Michaels Mount
The majestic St. Micheal’s Mount is connected to the mainland by a rocky causeway. As the sea waters pour in and the tide rises, the mount becomes cut off from the nearby village of Marazion.
Pilgrims have poured to the island’s jagged shores since the 5th century when Micheal the archangel appeared before a group of people at the mount. The holy site was honoured, and a Benedictine monastery was built over the plat in the 12th century.
Still today, true believers travel to the mount and follow in the footsteps of the ancient Pilgrims to the medieval monastery located at the top of the hill.
Visitors can even stay at the castle overnight if they want.
Families are sure to love the Knight’s Village which has themed accommodation including medieval-themed lodges and glamping tents.
To travel back in time book a stay in the Tower Suites. As the name implies, these suites are located in the 14th-century Caesar’s Tower. Enjoy a beautiful bed and breakfast stay in a 4-poster bed, private castle tours, 24-hour concierge services, complimentary champagne, and two-day tickets to the dungeons.
So, then, Warwick Castle is one of the finest and historic castles in England. And, even better, you can stay there…
Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire
William the Conqueror first constructed the fortress on the site of an existing Roman fortification. Since that time, Lincoln Castle has remained a symbol of power throughout the ages.
Today, the castle is on display and is the home site of an original 1215 Magna Carta.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
The stately home of the Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle was first built following the Norman Conquest.
However, the expansive home has been remodelled and renovated many times throughout the years and is today often featured in films, shows, and popular entertainment.
The castle was used as a stand-in for Hogwarts School. Additionally, the castle has also been used as a location for feature films such as Robin hood: Prince of Thieves, The Black Adder, and Becket. Alnwick Castle was also used as the location for part of the filming of Downton Abbey.
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
On the cliffs high above the Northumberland coastline, Bamburgh Castle extends nine acres across a rocky plateau and is one of the largest castles in England that is currently inhabited.
Today, the awe-inspiring fortification sits on a throne of volcanic rock known as dolerite more than forty-five metres above sea level.
Scarborough Castle, Yorkshire
With nearly 3,000 years of history, Scarborough Castle has proudly defended the country’s inlet area and has endured medieval sieges, Civil War, and German naval bombardment.
Today, visitors can climb the embankment and enjoy sweeping views of the dramatic coastline below.