Are you a history buff? If bygone days and the lives of royalty intrigue you, these castles are worth your time. Their ancient stones brim with mystery and bring the past alive.
Every castle will present you with a fascinating experience. Each one possesses a distinctive character, history, and architecture. Some are romantic while others are forbidding. Yet they all stir up a sense of wonder.
You can walk where kings and queens once walked and lived. Hear tales of their glory.
1. Carreg Cennen Castle, Wales
The story of Carreg Cennen Castle goes back at least to the 13th century. Much of the interior of Carreg Cennen was demolished in 1462 after the Wars of the Roses. Yet visitors can still visualize this medieval stronghold as it was in its heyday.
Carreg Cennen perches on a limestone hilltop in Brecon Beacons National Park. One unusual feature that intrigues visitors is the natural limestone cave beneath the castle.
The Castle & Tea rooms are open every day from 9.30 am.
2. Predjama Castle, Slovenia
Visitors to Predjama Castle marvel at this wonder of the middle ages. It has nestled in the middle of a 123-meter-high cliff for more than 800 years.
Behind the largest cave castle in the world, there is a network of secret tunnels. The castle’s dungeons, secret tunnels, and bloody history lure all castle lovers.
You must visit Predjama Castle during the annual medieval tournament, held each July. Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
3. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein was inspired by the authentic style of the old German knights’ castles. Exquisite scenes from medieval legends and poetry decorate the interior.
King Ludwig “The Fairy-Tale King” designed it to be a place of retreat. Today, it is one of the best-known castles in Europe. This romantic castle inspired Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland.
After the tour of the castle grounds, walk along the nearby trails. You will find the most spectacular and idyllic views.
4. Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Constructed in the mid-13th century, Scotland’s Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most iconic castles in Europe. This fortified structure stands on an island at the point where three great sea lochs connect.
Eilean Donan Castle stands amid magnificent scenery. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Scottish Highlands.
Visitors can view nearly every part of the castle.
5. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle dominates Scotland’s capital city from Castle Rock, an extinct volcano. Scottish monarchs once resided in this stronghold built in the 12th century.
The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland. A more ancient relic is the Stone of Scone (or the Stone of Destiny). It is used in the coronation ceremony of Sovereigns. Visitors can see the famous 15th-century gun Mons Meg - the One O’Clock Gun - and the National War Museum of Scotland.
A beautifully restored medieval fortress, it is open to the public all year round.
A Final Word
Make it a point to visit one of these castles where ancient history still flourishes. Climb spiraling stairways to the tops of the battlements and explore secret passageways on your next vacation.