7 must-see strongholds in Britain
Britain’s rich and varied history has been characterised by conflict for hundreds of years, and reminders of these fierce battles dot the British landscape in the form of towering castles and fortresses. On your visit to Britain be sure to get a taste of its fascinating history by visiting some of the country’s best castles.
Edward I built Caernarfon Castle in the late 13th Century as a display of power over Wales, and it certainly shows. This imposing edifice dominates the horizon of the town of Caernarfon in north Wales, with its mighty walls still surrounding the settlement. Caernarfon has played a key part in royal tradition since it was built, and it is still used to this day to crown the next heir to the throne, having been used most recently to bestow Prince Charles his title. When Prince Charles becomes king, Prince William will follow in his father’s footsteps with a ceremony at Caernarfon to announce him as the new Prince of Wales.
With its pointed turrets and circular towers, visitors to Castell Coch in Wales will find themselves stepping into a fairy tale setting that has to be seen to be believed. This whimsical castle was built in the late 19th century by an eccentric Victorian aristocrat, who wanted to construct a dedication to medieval architecture and Gothic ideals. The castle’s interior somehow manages to be even more impressive than the outside, with its rooms lavishly decorated with golden walls and antique furniture. Legend has it that the castle is haunted by the ghost of a Civil War cavalier, who buried stolen treasure in the grounds of the castle and returns at night to search for his lost fortune in vain.
Ever since Henry I in the 11th century, members of the British Royal Family have been living in England’s awe-inspiring Windsor Castle, Berkshire. However, large sections of this regal structure are still open to the public, and a trip to Windsor will provide hours of entertainment. A visit to the castle isn’t one you will be forgetting any time soon, with a guided tour that takes in the castle grounds, St George’s Chapel, and even the royal living quarters. Queen Elizabeth II still visits there regularly, and if you see her flag flying when you arrive you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the famous monarch.