castles London
Life in London

7 Castles Near London Worth Visiting

Are you thinking about visiting a castle near London? If so, then you’re in luck as there are dozens of castles for you to plan your next day trip.

Castles give us the option to see how people used to live in the old ages. Not only are these buildings of monstrous size, but they’re also quite spectacular to look at.

So for your next day trip round the countryside of London, do consider one of these 7 castles as the destination.

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle is not only one of the biggest castles near London, but also one of the most famous ones. That’s because this castle was the place Downton Abbey was filmed. Not only that, but you can also book a room here through Airbnb and Booking, and stay for the night!

Highclere Castle was built back in 1679 and renovated through 1842 – 49. The castle has an Egyptian exhibition and gardens made available to the public. But you can only visit Highclere through the summer and Christmas.

Located an hour and a half drive from London, Highclare Castle is a must-visit.

Warwick Castle

While on the subject of spectacular buildings, Warwick Castle is the only castle on this list that has real-life siege equipment! And to top it off, the thing still works! The castle workers can put on quite a show by using the trebuchet to flip things for the amusement of the crowd.

Apart from having grade A, 11th century, siege equipment, you can go to the archery range or have fun by exhibiting one of the falconry shows.

Warwick Castle was built in 1068 by William the Conqueror and it’s an hour and a half drive from London.

Windsor Castle

Build two years before Warwick Castle also by William the Conqueror after the Viking invasion of England, Windsor Castle has served the role of housing the many Royal Families of England for almost a thousand years.

This castle is one of the most historic in the whole of England. The castle used to house a total of 39 monarchs and even Queen Elizabeth II herself. The castle is somewhat farther from London than the others on this list, and it will take you round 2 hours by car or train to get there.

Don’t think that this castle isn’t exciting to visit. Here, you can visit St. George’s Chapel and enjoy the nice gardens.

Dover Castle

Dover Castle resides on the very edge of England and is a 2 hour drive by car or hour and a half by train. The castle was built in 1066 and stood grounds ever since.

The great William the Conqueror has said that if Dover Castle would fall, then the whole of England would as well. And Dover Castle was quite vital for the safety of London, with only 78 miles separating them.

This statement is further reinforced by the fact that Dover Castle is regarded as the “Key to England.” But let’s not take anything away from it. This castle served In both the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2.

Many regard the castle as the largest, with only Windsor being bigger.

Leeds Castle

The name might suggest that this castle is in fact in Leeds, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. With only an hour and a half drive by car, Leeds Castle is the subject of a lot of confusion by Londoners and foreigners alike.

Instead of Leeds, this castle is closer to Dover, and in fact resides in Kent. But what makes this one so special for a day trip? Well, what if we tell you that Leeds Castle sits on a lovely lake?

Robert de Crevecoeur is the person that built Leeds Castle back in 1119. Back then, the castle acted as a military post in case Dover Castle was ever overrun.

If the lovely lake doesn’t satisfy your taste, then how about the even lovelier gardens, colorful birds, and wonderful chambers?

Arundel Castle

Yet another castle that resides close to the edge of England, Arundel Castle is a 2 hour drive from London. Much like many other castles round London, they managed to build this one in 1068.

The person in charge of erecting this sheer wonder was Roger de Montgomery. This is one of the most interesting castles as the whole town of Arundel hosts plenty of activities inside.

One of them is the Sussex CCC cricket team. Their cricket grounds is Arundel Castle itself; truly astonishing! But if you think that this is all that Arundel Castle offers, well wait until you see the medieval games, jousts, knight tournaments and the annual tulip festival!

If you ever wanted to spend a day trip at one of the many castles near London, Arundel Castle should be high on your list!

Apart from that, the castle went through a series of renovations that gave it the distinctive Gothic flair.

Hever Castle

Hever Castle is much closer to London, with only a hour and a half drive. And if that seems like a lot, then wait until you get there. Built in 1270, the castle’s architects seriously thought about enemy interventions.

That’s why this is one of the most distinct medieval castles near London. The impressive moat that goal along the castle walls is enough to put off any enemy interventions and that it certainly did.

But the defence mechanisms and strategic location aren’t what makes Hever Castle great for a day trip. They were so serious about turning the castle into a tourist hot spot that they renovated the magnificent gardens, which are award-winning. Also, there is a Japanese tea house serving visitors with wonderful and delicious tea.

Finishing Thoughts

With so many castles near the area of London, choosing either of these can really satisfy your taste for medieval architecture. While you can find many more castles near London, these ones are some of the most historic, beautiful, and best when it comes to going on a day trip.

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