10 English Castles Kids Love to Explore

Fire up your family's imagination by delving into England's history with English Heritage, whatever the weather may bring.  Embark on a Roman quest, hunt for fairies in historic gardens or learn what it takes to be a butler in a Victorian household.


You can find out what's on near you here, but read on for some inspiration for your next day trip.

Visit Our Top 10 Castles

EH asked their Facebook followers to name their favourite castle in England, and hundreds voted for the places they love.  Here are the top 10 picks:

Dover Castle

The most iconic of all English fortresses, commanding the gateway to the realm for nine centuries, Dover Castle is a beautiful site with amazing secret wartime tunnels and hosts lots of incredible events.


Kenilworth Castle

From medieval fortress to Elizabethan palace, Kenilworth Castle has been at the centre of England's affairs for much of its 900 year history.  With its beautiful red stone and delightful setting, this castle is a real gem.


Tintagel Castle

For centuries, this dramatic castle and coastline is a breathtaking spot that has fired the imaginations of writers, artists and even the brother of a king.  It's the perfect combination of castle, cliff and sea with stunning views.


Bolsover Castle

With spectacular views over Derbyshire, this Stuart mansion was designed to entertain.  Its reputation for revelry lives on to this day with regular jousting tournaments and plenty for kids to do.


Portchester Castle

The most impressive and best-preserved of the Roman 'Saxon Shore' forts, Portchester Castle was originally built in the late 3rd century.  One respondent said:

"Portchester has everything: history, harbour, church, ramparts, views for miles, family friendly events and even cricket in the grounds."


Warkworth Castle

Crowning the hilltop over the River Coquet, this Northumbrian stronghold offers many rooms to explore and spectacular views.  Roam free and discover everything this amazing site has to offer.


Dunstanburgh Castle

Built on the most magnificent scale, Dunstanburgh Castle stands on a remote headland in Northumberland.  This isolated, beautiful ruin sparks the imagination perhaps more than any other.  The perfect place to tell stories and imagine fantastic tales.


Carisbrooke Castle

Home to its own famous donkeys, the quintessential romantic castle of Carisbrooke is at the very heart of the Isle of Wight's history.  There is much for children to do: dress up as knights, practice jousting, or learn about archaeology and even the fate of a king.


Middleham Castle

Once the home of Richard III, extensive remains of the fortified palace still survive today, making Middleham a fascinating castle to explore.


Beeston Castle

Crowning a rocky crag and boasting spectacular views, Beeston is one of the most dramatically sited medieval castles in England.  It has plenty of events and lots of fantastic places for kids to hide and use their wild imagination.


Find out more about each castle on the English Heritage site.

Admission prices vary between sites, but you can get free access to all of these castles and 400 more historic monuments, buildings and places from just £3.83 a month with English Heritage membership.

Where will you discover this half-term?

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Want more ideas for days out with the family?

Warwick Castle
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Drusillas Park
Haworth
Madame Tussauds, Blackpool
CBeebiesland

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