Take a Day Trip To These Gorgeous Castles Near London

Castles near London

While visiting London, travellers always make room for a trip to Buckingham Palace in their schedule, no matter how long or short their stay is. However, there are many castles just a car or bus ride away from the capital you can easily squeeze into your plan. Whether you visit them for their historical values or to explore their architectural secrets, visiting these gorgeous castles near London on a day trip would definitely feel like a fairy tale come true moment. 

Dover Castle One of the Survivors of the Roman Empire

Nicknamed the “Key to England”, for over nine centuries Dover Castle has been renowned as the gateway to the English realm. Currently, the largest unoccupied castle in the UK should be your first stop out of London, located just 90 mins away. The castle was strategically placed 21 miles away from France when William the Conqueror began construction of the castle in 1066. 

Castles near London - Dover Castle

Visitors love what remains of the Roman Empire, like the drama of its high towers, rugged stone walls and sweeping views. The Roman lighthouse is one of the oldest landmarks on the property. However, touring the dungeons and tunnels is not for the faint of heart. The castle went through countless expansions over the years based on different tactics. When you plan on visiting this castle, you better prepare yourself for a lot of walking as there is no better way to explore the vicinity.

Leeds Castle The Loveliest Castle in the World

The Leeds castle exudes the typical fairytale castle energy with its moat. When kids imagine a castle, it’s usually a grand structure constructed with careful placement of large bricks or stones, with high towers, surrounded by water from all directions, connecting it with the mainland via a stone or wooden bridge. And that is exactly how any simpleton would describe this castle. 

Leeds Castle

Just an hour’s drive away from London near Maidstone in Kent, Leeds Castle used to be the residence of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. It features a large square maze with 2,400 yew trees with circular patterns in the middle where a surprise is waiting for the curious minds who wish t explore it. The rural location, romantic beauty and picturesque surroundings make it one of the loveliest castles not only near London but in the World. If you want to try your luck at it, then make sure to purchase your tickets at least 2 days prior. However, their validity is good for a year.

Arundel Castle Home to an Impressive Array of Priceless Artwork

It would only take you 1.5 hours drive to West Sussex, outside of London to reach the remarkable Arundel Castle, a castle with almost 1,000 years of history. Its unique features include a stunning uninterrupted view of the countryside, pristine gardens and river Arun from the medieval defence towers, gothic windows on the round towers and a motte which is constructed to tower 100 feet over the dried moat. These make it the perfect palace to visit during the spring, summer and autumn.

Castles near London - Arundel Castle

Natural beauty and aesthetics aside, another irrefutable reason to visit this castle would be the impressive array of priceless Artwork and antiquities which adorn every corner of this awe-inspiring castle. People love visiting the decorated staterooms, regal library, the Barons’ Hall, a 14th-century chapel, and several bedrooms and bathrooms which are designed in the Victorian and Edwardian styles including some personal possessions of Mary Queen of Scots. Although the castle was converted into a country home in the 19th century, the new owner opened the castle to all visitors after modernizing it.

Highclere Castle Known as the Real Downton Abbey

For the die-hard fans of the period drama Downton Abbey, the Highclere castle is a real treat. Yet another Victorian gem located 1.5 hours drive outside of London, this castle was used as the on-screen home of the show’s Crawley family. This is why it is one of the most visited castles near London. The premises of this castle encompasses a total of 1,000 acres of land, not all of which is accessible to visitors. 

Castles near London - Highclere Castle

The Highclere Castle is also popular for being the former home of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who is connected to the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. This majestic castle boasts more than 200 rooms. However, the visitors have to be satisfied with a detailed tour of only 12 bedrooms on the first floor, the pretentious library, saloon, among other parts of the estate. Highclere tours also include some time to explore the Egyptian Exhibition featuring a reproduction of the spectacular sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. Like any other noteworthy castle in the UK, you have to book your tickets a few days before.

Windsor Castle Home of the Royal Family.

Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the home of the royal family is the largest among the castles located near London. It is, in fact, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. The palace has been home to 39 monarchs for over nine centuries, and Queen Elizabeth II had spent most of her private weekends here before passing away.

Windsor Castle

If you have time to visit only one castle visiting the UK, Windsor Castle should be your top priority. It’s a museum of English history and culture is no joke, and the stunning architecture enveloping the castle is breathtaking. Despite being occupied by the royal family, the castle is open to visitors throughout the year. People can explore the magnificence of this imperial palace by making a Forty-minute drive to the west of London. Visitors will be treated to a tour of the state apartments which are extravagantly decorated with countless historical treasures that are inexplicable.

If you also want to transform your trip into a royal vacation, then make it come true with the help of NCL Tours.

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Written by Nadia Farha Mubin

Content Writer and Travel Enthusiast


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