Castles hold a charm for all of us. These are some of the most beautiful castles that are a must-visit for any traveler.
Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
One of the most faultless medieval castles in the land. The towers, reflected in the water, look as they would have done 600 years ago when Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a knight of Edward II, rode up to his new home. Although the hundred years war was still raging and there was the threat of armed Frenchmen gliding up the waterways to Bodiam, the castle was designed as a style declaration rather than a defense. But its assertive looks embarrassed Parliamentarians during the civil war and sadly they gutted it to avoid it being used as a Royalist defence. An adequate number of curling stone stairways remain, however, for modern-day adventurists along the battlements.
Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd
Fifty years in the making, this was proposed to stamp English might permanently on Welsh soil. Having recently returned from the crusades, Edward I tried to relplicate the walls of Constantinople to exemplify his regal ambitions and spurned customary round towers in favour of daunting polygonals. It survived three sieges during the civil war pretty much intact and the King’s Gate is rated the mightiest in the land while the Eagle Tower is one of the best ornamented medieval fortifications. The closest thing Wales has to a royal palace, it was used for the inauguration of Prince Charles in 1969.
Conwy Castle, Conwy
It perches beautifully on what was a rocky promontory sticking out into the River Conwy and was the first of the Snowdonian castles built by Edward I in his efforts to restrain the Welsh. In superseding centuries it was captured, recaptured and ransomed by various kings and their foes and, unavoidably, it was eviscerated during the English civil war. It remains a striking outline against the water and the fact that the original walls still surround the town preserves the medieval taste. It’s quite well preserved inside and you can view the North Wales coast while harmonizing atop the high towers.
Corfe Castle, Dorset
The pointy silhouettes rearing over the village of Corfe are a famous adventure; and the discovery last year of lavish Norman carvings suggests that the castle might have been one of the six most important in England. It was begun by William the Conquerer after 1066, Henry I added a keep and King John improved the comforts and defenses. It housed royals until Elizabeth I sold it to her Lord Chancellor. One resolute resident, Lady Mary Bankes, held out here against Parliamentary forces after her husband was killed in the civil war, but was at last betrayed and the stranglehold demolished.