Looking for a castle to visit in England? Here is our list of ten castles you can explore that have largely remained the same since they were built in the Middle Ages. We have left out castles that are now in ruins, such as the beautiful Bodiam Castle, and ones that have been substantially altered over the centuries, like Windsor Castle. These castles are also open to the public for most of the year.
1. Tower of London
Ever since William the Conqueror built the White Tower in 1078, the Tower of London has been an important place for English history. This complex remains largely how it looked in the Middle Ages. See our page on what to see and what you might want to avoid when visiting the Tower of London.
2. Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle in Warwickshire dates from the 11th century and is now a major tourist site. It is privately owned and operated – click here to visit its website.
3. Dover Castle
The largest castle in England, Dover Castle has a history going from Roman times to the Second World War. It is operated by English Heritage – click here for more details
4. Hedingham Castle
Built in the 1140s, this is one of the best examples of a Norman keep. Located in Essex, it is over 100 feet tall. It is still owned by the descendants of Aubrey de Vere, who built the castle in the 12th century. Family members actually live next to the keep. Click here to visit its website.
5. Alnwick Castle
Located in Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is open to the public for about seven months a year. Its main keep dates from the 14th century. The castle is owned and still lived in by the Duke of Northumberland, but during the summer months most of the castle is open to the public. Click here to visit its website.
6. Lincoln Castle
An impressive Norman castle in the middle of the city of Lincoln, this was the site of two major battles in medieval English history. The castle is owned by Lincolnshire County Council – click here for more details.
7. Stokesay Castle
Located in Shropshire, it is considered one of the best-preserved medieval fortified manor houses in England. Stokesay Castle looks much like it did when it was built in the 13th century. It is operated by English Heritage – click here for more details
8. Orford Castle
Located in Suffolk, Orford Castle was built between 1165 and 1173 by Henry II. It’s central tower rises 90 feet high. It is operated by English Heritage – click here for more details
9. St Michael’s Mount
Found on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall, St Michael’s Mount consists of a medieval church and castle. It is managed in conjunction with the National Trust – click here for more details.
10. Berkeley Castle
Located in Gloucestershire, this castle was built between the 12th and 14th centuries, and it is believed this was the place where King Edward II was murdered. It is now operated by the Berkeley Castle Charitable Trust – click here to visit its website.
Top Image: Photo by Charlie Marshall / Flickr