Beautiful Castles and Palaces to Visit in the UK (England, Scotland and Wales)

The UK is known for some of the most beautiful castles and palaces in the world. I’m fascinated to learn about and visit the famous castles and palaces in the UK.

Since I moved to the UK back in 2009, castles and palaces are always on my list every time my husband and I go travelling around the country for a short break. Here is a sample UK Itinerary for 2 weeks that you can use when you wish to visit Britain.

We both like to learn about the history of the place we’re visiting. So, castles and palaces are some of the best places to start discovering the history of the area.  Besides, it is imperative to know the history so you can appreciate the present.

Read more: What Is The Difference Between the UK and Great Britain

The difference between Palace and Castle

Castles and palaces are meant for royalties, but they were built with a different purpose. Castles were mainly built to show power, supremacy and designed for protection. The massive thick walls of the castle can protect the people of importance in times of siege.

While on the other hand,  Palaces were built specifically as royal residences. The lavish and glamorous designs of the palaces were made to impress and entertain royal guests.

Here is the list of famous castles and palaces in the UK that you shouldn’t miss.

Blenheim Palace

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom
Blenheim Palace: One of the beautiful castles in the UK

The Blenheim Palace is the royal residence of the Duke of Marlborough located in the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire.

This is the birthplace of the respected Sir Winston Churchill, the late Duke of Marlborough and Prime Minister of the UK during WWII. The palace was a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill (1st Duke of Marlborough) back in the 18th century.

Location: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP
Ticket Prices:
Concessions, child & family tickets are also available.
For Palace, Park and Gardens — £24.00/adult
For access to garden and park — £15.30 / adult

An annual pass will be given to you once you purchased the Palace, Park and Gardens pass. There are available scheduled group tours available in the lobby of the Palace.

At the nearby church (St. Martin’s Church, Bladon), you can find the burial ground of Sir Winston Churchill. The little small-town church is worth visiting too.

I wrote another article here about the Best Things to Do in Oxfordshire (UK) if you want to know more about this beautiful English county.

Here are the tours worth joining if you want to see the beauty and grandeur of Blenheim Palace:

Blenheim Palace Admission Ticket | Blenheim Palace & the Cotswolds with Lunch from London | Downton Abbey Film Locations & Blenheim Palace Day Tour | Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Read More: Amazing Places to Visit and Things to Do in Cotswolds Villages (UK)

Windsor Castle

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom
Photo Credit: Jean-Marc Astesana | CC BY-SA 2.0

A visit to the UK won’t be complete without paying a visit to this iconic castle. The castle is the royal residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

Located in the beautiful countryside of Berkshire and an hour away from London. It is one of the best castles to visit in England. Windsor Castle is such an iconic landmark for the British monarchy and the rest of the UK, hence it is also one of the most visited places in England.

Windsor Castle is the oldest and biggest occupied castle in the world where the British monarchs live for more than a thousand years.

Location: Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ
Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available.
Adult Ticket = £ 20.50 | Child Ticket (under 17) =£ 12.00

The ticket includes a visit to the royal apartments and other parts of the castle, the amazing doll collection, St. George chapel (where you can see the burial place of Prince Albert).

The change of the royal guard is one of the highlights when you visit this castle. The Change of Guard starts at 11 am. So make sure to look out for a perfect spot to see this parade.

Here are the suggested tours that are worth joining to enjoy the beauty of Windsor Castle:

Windsor Castle Admission Ticket | From London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford Tour | Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath Day Trip | Windsor Castle Afternoon Sightseeing Tour from London |  From London: Windsor Half-Day Tour

Bodiam Castle

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom
Photo Credit: Nick Rowland | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Bodiam Castle is an excellent portrayal of authority. This 14th-century medieval castle is picture-perfect from every angle. The castle ground is massive and a great place for a picnic.

The castle was built by a knight named Sir Edward Dalyngrigge.  The primary purpose of this castle was to defend the area from the French during the medieval war. Bodiam Castle is one of the best castles in England.

Location:  Bodiam Castle, Bodiam, Robertsbridge TN32 5UA
Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available. Adult = £ 9.30 Child  = £ 4.65

Tintagel Castle

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom
Photo Credit: barnyz | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This beautiful castle by the cliff is something you shouldn’t miss when you visit Cornwall.

The castle is linked to the popular folklore of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. The castle was built in the 13th century, so only the ruins and remaining artefacts are the only things that you can see here. The picturesque landscape is worth a visit. When we went to visit this castle, I was in awe to experience the beauty of the area.

Location: Tintagel Castle, Castle Road, Tintagel, Cornwall, PL34 0HE
Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available. Part of the English Heritage, members can visit this for free.
Adult = £ 7.90 | Child  = £ 4.70

Here’s my suggested tour with accommodation worth booking if you want to visit Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.

Warwick Castle

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom
Photo Credit: Nathan Reading | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

My husband and I had our first date visiting this castle, so it’s pretty special for us. The castle is a popular attraction in the West Midlands, as there are loads of fun activities for the kids, a mini aviary and different shows with a medieval theme.

The Warwick Castle was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and for more than a thousand years is still standing proud.  The galleries and interiors of the castle are well preserved.

Location: Warwick Castle, Warwick CV34 4QU
Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available.
Adult = £ 19.20 | Child = £16.80. You can get advance discounted tickets.

There are coupons from various food packets here in the UK can be found that can give you a two for one entry to the castle.

Here are the suggested tours and activities worth booking to enjoy the beauty of Warwick Castle:

Warwick Castle Entrance Ticket | Warwick, Oxford and Stratford Full-Day Tour from London | Warwick Castle, Stratford, Oxford & Cotswolds Day Trip

Read this helpful guide and visit the Palace of the Peak District in the East Midlands.

Read More: Best Day Trips Ideas from Birmingham, UK

Tower of London

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom
Photo Credit: Andy Sedg | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This famous castle in London was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. This castle has witnessed so much violence and grandeur throughout its history.

At present, the Tower of London is the home of the Royal Crown Jewels of the British Monarchy. You can also see the other kid’s awesome activities in London when you visit the city.

Location: Tower of London, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB
Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available. You can get a discounted price if you buy your tickets online.
Adult = £25.00 | Child = £12.00

Here are my suggested tours and activities that are worth booking to see the Crown Jewels and the Tower of London.

Tower of London Ticket with Crown Jewels Exhibition | Tower of London and Tower Bridge VIP Early-Access Tour |
Tower of London Private Guided Tour | The Original Tour and Tower of London Entrance Ticket

Conwy Castle

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom

Conwy Castle is one of the most popular castles in Wales and lies by the Conwy River.

Built by King Edward I back in the 13th century as the monarch’s residence in Wales. The strong walls are still standing tall and proud overlooking the beautiful countryside scenery in Northern Wales.

Location: Conwy Castle, Rose Hill St, Conwy LL32 8AY
Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available.
Adult = £7.95 | Child = £ 5.60

Enjoy your visit around Northern Wales and enjoy Conwy Castle and other Wales attractions in Llandudno with the Sightseeing tour bus.

Buckingham Palace

Money Saving Budget Tips to travel to London

Buckingham Palace is probably the most famous palace in the world.

Sitting in the buzzing heart of London, this palace is truly an iconic landmark and symbol of the British Monarchy.  The palace has seen loads of monumental events in the UK’s history and is one of the best things to do in London. The palace serves as the receiving place for all the dignitaries and royalties who pay a visit to the Queen.

Location: Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA
Buckingham Palace is only open to the public during summer. This will give you an opportunity to visit the royal gallery, staterooms and the Royal Mews.

Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available.
Adult = £ 39.50 | Child = £ 22.00 (under 17 years old/ FREE admission for under 5)

Here are the suggested tours and activities to see and access the Buckingham Palace:

Buckingham Palace: The State Rooms Entrance Ticket | Buckingham Palace: The Royal Mews Entrance Ticket | Buckingham Palace: The Queen’s Gallery Entrance Ticket | London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace Tour

Read More: Best day trips ideas from London, UK

Holyrood Palace

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom

The Holyrood Palace also known as the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland.

The palace was originally built as a church in Edinburgh in the 12th century and was then converted into a palace for the British Monarchy. The palace is located at the end of the Royal Mile near the Scottish Parliament. It’s one of the best castles in Scotland.

Location: Holyrood Palace, Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX
Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available.
Adult = £21.50 — Royal Visit Ticket, including the entrance to the Palace, royal gallery and history tour. | Child = £14.00

Here are the suggested tours to see the grandeur of Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh:

Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Entrance Ticket | Edinburgh Queen’s Gallery Holyroodhouse Entrance Ticket | Royal Mile History Walking Tour and Palace of Holyroodhouse | Edinburgh City Full-Day Shore Excursion

Edinburgh Castle

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom

The castle that you absolutely won’t miss when you visit Scotland’s capital. The castle sits on the top of castle rock which was formed from a volcanic eruption a million years ago. The castle has been a royal residence of the previous monarchs of Scotland until the crowns of England and Scotland were united back in the 17th century.

This castle is one of the best castles in Scotland; a must-visit when you go to Edinburgh.

Location: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG
Ticket Prices: Concessions and senior tickets are available. | Adult = £16.50 | Child = £9.90

Here are the suggested tours and activities to see the beauty of Edinburgh Castle:

Edinburgh Castle Ticket | Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Ticket and Guided Tour | Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Walking Tour | Royal Edinburgh 48-Hour Attractions Ticket

If you have been lucky enough to visit these castles and palaces in the UK! See more of our United Kingdom posts or look for more other world destinations here. Please share your experience in the comment box below.

Best Castles and Palaces to Visit in the United Kingdom


Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio

Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Daily Mail UK, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her in travelling around the UK and beyond with a mission to promote sustainable tourism and share travel guides, travel tips, foodies, history and culture.

27 thoughts on “Beautiful Castles and Palaces to Visit in the UK (England, Scotland and Wales)”

  1. It has always been my dream to travel to UK and see the magnificent castles and palaces. Thanks for your blog, it has been helpful ; I am wishing to be there someday..

  2. I’m from the UK and have only visited a few of these! A nice article, if you ever get back there though, do visit Bamburgh Castle in the North East, it’s beautiful too!

  3. I’m going to have to dig out my leather bookmark collection and review. LOL A lot of them were in Wales I think. One time I missed one of the connecting buses and I arrived to Harlech Castle when it was technically closing time. The lady who was in charge wasn’t really supposed to let me in, but I must have looked so forlorn that she made a tiny exception and warned me not to fall off a rampart or something because then she’d have to report it and get in trouble.

  4. You’ve made me want to return to England to enjoy all of their castles and palaces. We love visiting historical buildings of any kind, especially the Tower of London when we there a few years back. So much beauty and terrible history there! Great roundup post.

  5. As a local this list of castles and palaces are nice and ok to explore but are the very touristy castles. I would say go further north (beyond Edinburgh and Glasgow) and the castles in Scotland are just truly amazing and no other person around to disturb the peace 🙂

  6. Of course the UK is known for castles – with this sophisticated Royal family I’ve seen some of the castles you are introducing, but not those I like the best from your pix: Bodiam and Tintagel. I need to see these on my next visit to the UK.

  7. Love this list. I went to Edinburgh Castle this time last year and I was slightly disappointed. It looks from the bottom street that it has this gorgeous grandeur and then failed to impress as it was small and a little hokey. However – I am open to seeing these other castles because I know that none of them are identical.

  8. You are so right it is every girl’s dream to become a princess and you can have this feeling for some time by visiting them. The UK has lots many beautiful castles and palaces. The Blenheim Palace, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and Windsor castle looks quite grand. The Bodiam Castle is surely picture perfect.

  9. Lovely walk through the different Castles in the U.K. I didn’t realize there were so many. I would like to go to Warwick castle my next time around the U.K. It would be fun to organize a castle/palace tour, but the costs will definitely add up. Thanks for all the useful booking and cost information.

  10. I found this at the perfect time! I’ve been starting to compile a list of things to do on my first visit to the U.K. later this year. I’ve just pinned this because I now want to see ALL OF THESE! Haha Tintagel Castle in Cornwall is totally my idea of a dream castle to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the States and we don’t have them, but I never get tired of seeing a castle. I just love the gorgeous architecture and learning about the history of the place. There are definitely a few of these I need to check out.

  12. I’ve been to a few of these and none of them ever disappoint! My favorite is definitely Edinburgh Castle and highly recommend anyone in Scotland to visit. Some of these I hadn’t heard of though, so I look forward to visiting them the next time I’m in the UK.


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