If there are two things the UK is famous for it’s our rich history and beautiful landscapes. That’s why, at Hippychick, we’re all such big fans of Castles as an ideal family day out. They combine the best of both, so here is the conclusion to our list of the UK’s top castles.
Here we bring you a taster of what’s out there just waiting to be explored this summer with a few of our team’s favourites. If there’s one you feel we’ve missed of the list please let us know. We love hearing about a new hot spot to visit! We’d also love to see pictures of any of your castle visits so please do share them on our Facebook Page
Leeds Castle is widely regarded to be one of Britain’s prettiest. Standing on an island in the cntre of a wide moat, the Castle features many sumptuous rooms to visit as well as a whole host of attractions that make its year long ticket great value for any family. There’s plenty going on to entertain the kids this summer – from falconry displays to children’s theatre to mystery quests.
If your child is excited by history, get them booked into the Heroes, Heroines and Hoods on 12th and 13th of August during which the stories of legends are brought to life in an interactive children’s theatre with stilts, juggling and spinning plates!
Top Tip! There’s an abundance of wildlife to see throughout the 500 acre estate so Leeds Castle is a great all year round destination.
Top Tip! For little ones, Elsie the Train will take the weight off their feet as it journeys from the main gate up to the castle.
Did you know? The castle is home to waht is thought to be the World’s only museum of dog collars!
Caernarfon has held the rare honour of being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986. Described on its site as a ‘brute of a fortress – Caernarfon’s appearance is unashamedly muscle bound and intimidating’! This isn’t the world’s prettiest castle and there are no furnished rooms to see but its huge stature, distinctive polygonal towers and waterside setting make it an impressive site.
With lots of towers to climb and great views from the battlements this is a castle to let your imagination run riot in! Children will also love the boat tour that you can take around the castle and bay.
Top Tip! The castle is very large and there are lots of steep steps for little people. Be warned!
Did you know? Caernarfon Castle was the setting for Prince Charles formal investiture as the Prince of Wales.
Set high on the rugged North Cornwall Coast Tintagel Castle, rumoured to be the birthplace of King Arthur enjoys a spectacular setting and dramatic views out to sea.
There are no opulent rooms to view hear – this is a ruin with a rugged feel that will really fire children’s imaginations! Throughout the summer they can participate in the Summer Fun Trail and explore the castle ruins while finding hidden clues to solve a challenge. Any successful trail hunters receive a reward!
Children will also love exploring nearby Merlin’s Cave and will love the special lunch packs at the cafe complete with bucket and spade to enjoy on the beach.
Located at the very heart of the City in beautiful walled parklands, Cardiff Castle has a long and varied past. During its 2000 year history it has been a Roman Garrison, a Norman Stronghold and in Victorian times was turned into a gothic fantasy.
Today it’s regularly voted as one of the top castles in the world and makes an ideal family day out with a dedicated Family Trail to follow, Children’s dressing up corner with child sized costumes and play area. Guided tours are given by costumed guides which children love and which really helps bring to life the history that they’re talking about.
If you’re planning a visit, be sure not to miss the Castle’s Grand Medieval Melee on the 19th & 20th of August or how about a Dinosaur Encounter on the 24th August
Top Tip! Make sure your visit coincides with lunch or tea time as the cafe has spectacular views from its terrace
Did you know? Cardiff Castle is home to a series of tunnels that acted as shelters during the war and that can be visited today?
First built by William the Conqueror following his invasion of England in 1066, Windsor Castles is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. it is also one of three official residences of Her Majesty the Queen and reputedly her favourite.
A trip to Windsor Castle is a family day out that guarantees something for everyone, from magnificent State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collections through to St. George’s Chapel, burial place of 10 monarchs and Queen Mary’s Doll’s House – the largest dolls house in the world. There’s so much to see that it’s well worth making use of the free electronic audio guides (there’s even a dedicated children’s one).
Queen Mary’s Dolls House is worth setting aside serious time for. Widely regarded to be not only the largest but also the most beautiful dolls house in the world, it is a perfect replica in miniature of an aristocratic home. Crammed full of thousands of intricate pieces of furniture created by leading artisans, designers and craftsmen, attention to detail in the house is so amazing it even features electricity, running hot and cold water and working lifts!
Another spectacle worth making time for and that children of all ages will love is the Changing of the Guards. Check out the dates planned for this summer here
This castle isn’t all about pomp and circumstance though. Take the Great Kitchen Tour for a fascinating insight into ‘behind the scenes’ life at the castle.
Did you know? The Great Fire at Windsor Castle in 1992 took 250 firefighters over 15 hours to put out? Renovation work to the castle took over five years and cost £37 million.
Did you know? The clothes on the dolls in Queen Mary’s Dolls House were designed and made by some of the top Parisian fashion houses including Lanvin, Cartier, Hermes and Vuitton!