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17 Medieval Castles To Step Into The Boots of Legendary Knights

17 Medieval Castles To Step Into The Boots of Legendary Knights

Ready to step back in time and walk in the footsteps of legendary British knights? Here are 15 medieval castles that are sure to transport you to the days of daring adventures and grand battles. From the rugged highlands of Scotland to the picturesque valleys of Wales, each castle holds stories of noble deeds and historical events. Grab your imaginary sword and shield, and let’s explore these magnificent structures where history comes alive!

Leeds Castle, England

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Leeds Castle, referred to as the “loveliest castle in the world,” is set on two islands on the River Len in the heart of Kent. The castle is renowned for its stunning architecture, beautiful moat, and expansive grounds that include a maze, a grotto, and aviaries. Although it was originally built in the 12th century, the castle has been extensively renovated over the centuries and combines medieval, Tudor, and early 20th-century architectural elements.

Caerphilly Castle, Wales

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Caerphilly Castle is famous for its extensive water defenses and large gatehouses. This medieval fortress in South Wales is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Britain, after Windsor Castle. It is most notable for its leaning tower, which out-leans the Leaning Tower of Pisa, caused by damage from the Civil War.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

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Perched dramatically on an extinct volcanic crag, Edinburgh Castle is a symbol of Scottish heritage and was once home to Mary, Queen of Scots. It offers panoramic views of the city and houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland.

Tower of London, England

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A historic fortress by the River Thames, the Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was built by William the Conqueror in 1066 and was a residence of the royal family. The tower is notorious for its prison and as the execution site of Anne Boleyn.

Warwick Castle, England

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Founded by William the Conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle has been home to many Earls of Warwick, most famously Richard Neville, known as the “Kingmaker” during the Wars of the Roses.

Windsor Castle, England

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Located in Berkshire, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It has been the family home to British kings and queens for over 1,000 years and is an official residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

Caernarfon Castle, Wales

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Known for its polygonal towers, Caernarfon Castle was built by Edward I and was intended as a seat of power and as a symbol of English dominance over Wales. The castle was the birthplace of Edward II, making it a site of significant historical importance.

Stirling Castle, Scotland

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One of Scotland’s grandest castles, Stirling Castle is surrounded by steep cliffs and was a favored residence of the Stewart kings and queens, including Mary, Queen of Scots.

Alnwick Castle, England

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This castle in Northumberland has been the home of the Percy family for over 700 years. It famously doubled as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films and was a significant military outpost during the border wars.

Bodiam Castle, England

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Built in 1385 in East Sussex, Bodiam Castle is one of the most picturesque castles in England, with its moat and intact exterior walls making it a perfect example of a late medieval moated castle.

Conwy Castle, Wales

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Built by Edward I during his conquest of Wales, Conwy Castle is one of the key fortresses in his “iron ring” of castles designed to contain the Welsh. It is remarkably well-preserved and offers visitors a taste of medieval military architecture.

Dover Castle, England

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Known as the “Key to England,” this fortress has guarded the English Channel since Roman times. Henry II began the present castle in the 12th century, and it has been of strategic importance ever since.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

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Located on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, Eilean Donan is one of the most iconic and photographed castles in Scotland. It was involved in the Jacobite rebellions and was restored in the 20th century.

Pembroke Castle, Wales

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Birthplace of Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty, Pembroke Castle is a historic fortress that played a crucial role in the medieval political struggles of Wales.

Lancaster Castle, England

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Known for its well-documented role in the English Civil War, Lancaster Castle’s history extends back to Roman times. It was a prison until 2011 and is associated with the Lancashire Witches’ trials.

Linlithgow Palace, Scotland

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The birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, Linlithgow Palace was a favorite residence of the Stewart kings before the Union of the Crowns.

Cardiff Castle, Wales

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Located in the heart of Cardiff, this castle features a mix of Roman, Norman, and Victorian Gothic architecture. It was transformed in the 19th century into a luxurious Victorian Gothic revival mansion, richly decorated and furnished.

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Emese Maczko is a travel blogger behind Eco Lodges Anywhere. Having explored several destinations around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, and resided in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg, Emese possesses a keen understanding of diverse cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of each destination she visits. She advocates for sustainable travel and ecotourism.