UK Castles: The Best Way to Discover Britain’s History
Britain’s iconic castles are spread across the UK, meaning that, wherever you choose to study in the UK, you won’t be far from a historic fort or a medieval castle to explore. Whether you are staying for a short time or plan to make the UK your home for longer, you absolutely must visit your local castle. Getting to know the rich history of Britain is the first step to becoming a local! Here is a list of a few of our favorite castles:
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Built in the Iron Ages, Edinburgh Castle has been home to a great many noble kings and queens, including Queen Margaret, Mary Queen of Scots, James VI, and Charles Stuart. It has been used as a military base, and also as a jail for prisoners of war. As you walk through the castle you will discover the Great Hall, the setting for many royal celebrations, the Stone of Destiny, where many coronations took place, and the Scottish Crown Jewels. Currently owned by Historic Scotland, the castle takes pride of place in the Scottish capital, where it regularly holds re-enactments, concerts, and events.
Closest Kaplan school: Edinburgh
Christchurch Castle and Norman House, Dorset
If you are looking to visit a real Norman ruin, Christchurch Castle will not disappoint. During the 12th century, the huge castle dominated the landscape, but now only parts of the mound-top remain. Eager architects will love the early building work, while those fascinated by Norman history will enjoy wandering around and learning more about the era. The nearby Norman House will also be of great interest. Entrance to both attractions is free, and they are open all year in daylight hours.
Closest Kaplan school: Bournemouth
Farleigh Hungerford Castle
Once home to the notorious Hungerford family, the remains of this castle tell a chilling tale. First built in the 1370s, the castle was passed down through the generations, which included two family members who were executed during the War of the Roses and another who was beheaded by Henry VIII. One Tudor family member murdered her husband and burnt his remains in the fireplace, while another imprisoned his wife in part of the castle for four years. Learn all about the family’s twisted tales through the audio tour provided at the entrance.
Closest Kaplan school: Bath
Perhaps the most famous castle in the country, Windsor Castle is a favored residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Just a short trip out of West London, it is the oldest and largest occupied castle in Britain. The beautiful building has belonged to the royal family for over 900 years and a special flag flies from the main turret when the Queen herself is in residence. The Queen often entertains state visitors at the castle and will occasionally hold banquets here too. An audio tour will walk you through the public areas of the castle, and, if you time your visit right, you might even get to see the changing of the guard.
Closest Kaplan school: London
There are around 650 castles throughout the UK, but these are a few of our favorites. I you are interested in studying at one of our UK schools, check out some of our City Guides and popular UK destinations.