Days Out Ideas

Captivating Castles You Must Visit

Written by Helen

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Due to our rich and turbulent history, the UK is full of many magnificent castles. Often with excellent facilities for families including children’s trails and activities. Below I have found some castles for you to visit, from the highlands of Scotland to the Kent countryside:

Leeds Castle, Kent

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With 500 acres of stunning parkland and 900 years of history ready to be discovered Leeds Castle makes for a great family day out. It was a Norman stronghold and a royal residence for six medieval queens of England. You can see how previous owners have left their mark on the castle as you make your way around. There are also the gorgeous gardens to explore, birds of prey to meet, a dog collar museum, craft centre and an adventure playground.
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Lincoln Castle

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Recently renovated the fantastic Lincoln Castle has plenty to offer families looking for a day out. Built by William the Conqueror in 1068, the castle has even since stood as a symbol of power and a seat of justice. You can scale the heights of the Medieval Wall Walk, wander around the Victorian Prison and go see a copy of the Magna Carta and learn about its story.
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Culzean Castle, Scotland

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This beautiful castle is set right on the cliff front and surrounded by Culzean Country Park, a 242-hectare estate. The castle is full of antique furniture and furnishings and is a fine example of high-class living. There is so much to see and the video, multi-media tour and information cards guide you through the fascinating history of the castle. The children will love trying to spot the Lego figures hidden in every room and there are other activities for them to complete as they make their way around. Altogether there’s an amazing 40 other quirky buildings around the estate for you to explore. The huge grounds are great for seeing ducks, swans, other wildfowl and possibly even otters at the Swan Pond.  There is also an outdoor adventure playground the children will love.
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Carlisle Castle, Cumbria

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Bring the kids here to learn all about 900 years of history and Britain’s most seized castle.   The castle, which has had many visitors from Royalty to the notorious Border Reivers. Hear all the exciting stories of daring rescues, bloody battles and warring clans on your journey around the castle. The stories are brought to life for the kids with games and dressing up.
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Auckland Castle, County Durham

There is so much history to learn about at this fantastic castle. The castle has been the palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham for almost 900 years. The Bishop of Durham was granted exceptional powers to act as a political and military leader. Nowadays you can take a guided tour or explore on your own and discover the many magnificent rooms and buildings all full of amazing furniture, paintings and antiques. Outside you will find extensive grounds to stroll around.
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Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

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Warwick Castle offers a great day out for all visitors. You’ll see shows, demonstrations, hear stories and be able to walk around the stunning grounds. Visit Merlin: The Dragon Tower, based on the popular TV show; it is a wonderfully interactive experience where you will join Merlin on his quest and speak to The Great Dragon himself!  If you are feeling brave, head down to the Castle Dungeon and learn of the darkest, bloodiest history of the castle.
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Tower of London

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There is something for all of the family at this fortress, one of the most famous landmarks in London. The historic tower houses the Crown Jewels, the prison cell of Sir Walter Raleigh (known as the Bloody Tower), and the Chapel of St. John and the Royal Armouries.  Make sure you take one of the guided tours, which really brings the history to life. There is a trail that the family can follow around the fortress where you will learn about how kings and queens use to live in the tower. Pick up the Medieval Palace family trail at the Welcome Centre when you arrive and keep an eye out for the famous Ravens.
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Windsor Castle, Berkshire

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As the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty the Queen, this is the perfect setting for a regal day out with the family. Covering 13 acres, you’ll discover gorgeous architecture, stunning interiors and many changing displays for you to learn all about the history. For the children, there is an audio tour where you are introduced to many magical characters who live at Windsor and there are family activity trails where you can learn more about the castle and it’s treasures.
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Caernarfon Castle, Wales

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A truly stunning castle!  Built back in the 1300’s by Edward I, the castle was intentionally designed to be intimidating to try to control the Welsh. Bring your little kings or queens here so they can learn all about the fascinating history of this castle. The buildings are great for exploring with their many corridors, stair towers and grand rooms.
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Edinburgh Castle

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There is so much to see at the iconic landmark that is Edinburgh Castle; you’ll be spoilt for choice. Visit The Great Hall, The Royal Palace and even take a look at the magnificent Crown Jewels. Experience the roar of the One o’clock Gun and discover the Prisons of War.  Inside the castle there is The National War Museum, which has 400 years of Scottish history waiting to be discovered.
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Lulworth Castle, Dorset

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Lulworth Castle is an early 17th century mock castle, which has now been re-built as a museum. As well as wonderful historic architecture and displays, you can also enjoy the spectacular surroundings and children can have lots of fun in the adventure play park. The stunning parkland can be viewed from the top of the tower or enjoyed at ground level, as you stroll through the grounds admiring the beauty.
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Dover Castle, Kent

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Bring the family here to immerse yourselves in the history of Dover at this fantastic castle. Perched on the edge of the White Cliffs of Dover, the castle has guarded the shores from invasion for over 20 centuries. There are dark wartime tunnels to explore that have a vivid recreation of the Dunkirk evacuation, the Great Tower has costumed actors introducing medieval life at King Henry II’s court and there’s lots more to keep the family entertained.
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Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire

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Bring the family to see this fairy-tale castle.  Walk through the sumptuous interiors of the little caste with beautifully painted walls and ceilings, the old castle and the wonderful indoor Riding House. The audio guides teach you all about the fascinating castle as you make your way around and there are some stunning views from the top of the castle over the M1 and Chesterfield.
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Framlington Castle, Suffolk

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The family can explore a fascinating 12th century castle that was once the refuge of Mary Tudor before she became Queen. Walk through 800 years of history and enjoy the ‘From Powerhouse to Poorhouse’ exhibition. There are themed tours that you can follow as you make your way around, or use one of the guided tours. There are also themed games and activities for the children.
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Hope you have enjoyed this blog? Don’t forget to check out our City Guides with free days out all over the UK.


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