The castles of Britain are numerous, and many of these historic structures figure among the best castles in the world. As such, the UK is a major castle vacation destination. Organized tours that include visits to some of the most iconic castles in the nation can be arranged, and you can also go out on your own castle hunting adventure, the likes of which can see you jumping from one sub-country to another. Wherever you find yourself in Great Britain, an interesting castle is likely to be close by, and since this is a relatively compact nation, getting around to all the sites that you wish to see shouldn't be a difficult endeavor.
England is a good place to start when looking for UK castles to visit. This country is overflowing with castles and palaces alike, and they include gems such as Windsor Castle and Hever Castle. Windsor is actually the world's largest inhabited stronghold, not to mention the biggest castle in the UK, while Hever Castle is perhaps best known for being the place where Anne Boleyn spent the majority of her childhood. Both are wonderful places to tour, partly because of their histories, their architecture, and their overall grandeur.
A trip up to the northern Northumberland region is worth considering when looking for castles to visit in England. It is there will you will find Alnwick Castle. This beautiful structure is also known as the Harry Potter Castle due to the fact that it serves as a stand-in for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy in the Harry Potter films. As you might imagine, visitor numbers have been on the rise in recent years, as more and more Harry Potter fans are interested in seeing Alnwick Castle for themselves.
Other wonderful UK castles that can be found in England include Warwick Castle, Bodiam Castle, and Arundel Castle, though you won't necessarily want to limit yourself to England on a UK castle vacation. On the main island of Great Britain, you will also find the countries of Wales and Scotland, and both of these lands are a castle lover's paradise as well.
Wales boasts around 400 castle sites, and while many of these sites feature little more than earthworks, others are home to spectacular castles that provide excellent insight into UK history. Welsh castles such as Beaumaris Castle and Conwy Castle are among the best medieval castles in all of Europe, and not visit to the capital of Cardiff would arguably be complete without a stop at the expansive Cardiff Castle. Wales is often called the Castle Capital of the World and the Land of Castles, and this should give you an idea of how perfect it is for castle vacations.
Venturing north to Scotland, a series of delightful castles beckon to travelers who have an interest in things such as architecture and history. Many of the Scottish castles are set along the shores of lochs, or lakes, and this adds to their scenic appeal. Take Urguhart Castle, for example. This ruined castle evokes a very romantic appeal, partly because of its crumbling nature, and the views of Loch Ness from its grounds are divine. Interestingly enough, reported sightings of the Loch Ness Monster are relatively common at Urguhart Castle, which is just one more reason to pay the site a visit. Even if you don't believe in this dinosaur-like creature, your visit to Urguhart Castle is likely to see you scanning the waters of Loch Ness at least once in an attempt to see if anything is out of the ordinary.
One of the other many castles in Scotland that you might move to the top of your list is Dunvegan Castle. This is especially true if you want to stay overnight on castle grounds. There are estate cottages for rent at Dunvegan Castle, and they are easily among the most tantalizing accommodations in the area.
Other castles of Britain call Northern Ireland home, and while the Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK, it too can make for a fine castle vacation destination. Some of the best castle hotels are actually found in Ireland. As for Northern Ireland, you might make a break for Carrickfergus Castle if you only have time for one castle visit. This imposing edifice is among the best preserved medieval castles in Great Britain, and thanks to its guide services and its summer events schedule, it is also a fantastic place to visit.