Check out these medieval castles in England

Arundel Castle in West Sussex | Photo by Gary Hider
Arundel Castle in West Sussex | Photo by Gary Hider

Check out these medieval castles in England

by Anthony Kapelka
Stripes Europe

Whether this is your first year in Europe or your third, no doubt you have a few places in mind that you would like to visit. When I arrived to Germany, my number one goal was to visit as many castles as I could before heading back to the States. If you have the same plan as I did (and still do), England would be a great country to visit to add a few to your list. Here are several choices to help give you some direction when planning your next vacation.

Arundel Castle: Built in the 11th century, this castle is nestled in the town center of Arundel, West Sussex.  This impressive castle’s history dates back to 1068, when Norman Lord Roger de Montgomery chose to build it on a rise that overlooked the River Arun.

Although its first few centuries were clouded with civil war, the castle is home to several beautiful chambers and halls. Usually, Arundel Castle hosts multiple events throughout the year. However, due to the pandemic, those have been canceled until further notice. When they start up again they'll post them on their official website.

Herstmonceaux Castle in East Sussex | Photo by roseov 

Herstmonceux Castle: Located in Herstmonceux, Hailsham, this castle was built in the 15th century by a Sussex knight named Roger Fiennes to match his family’s wealth and prominence in English society. Just as remarkable as Sir Roger Fiennes’ story, is the beauty of the Herstmonceux Castle.

Surrounded on several sides by water, the castle can be reached by walking across a bridge that spans from one side to the other. Herstmonceux is home to the Bader International Study Centre. Visitors can stroll through the gardens outside and view the beautiful lake that helps to give the castle its breathtaking charm.

Launceston Castle | Photo by Judita Jurkenaite 

Launceston Castle: Launceston Castle was built in the 13th century by Richard, Earl of Cornwall. Featured at its center is a round tower that allows access to the public and gives an excellent view of the town of Launceston.  In addition to the tower, visitors can stroll along the battlements at their leisure or take a tour of the grounds to learn a little bit more of its history. 

Visiting with children? The castle is a wonderful place to sit and relax while enjoying snacks and warm weather.

Skipsea Castle: Created in the 11th century by Drogo de Beauvrière, Lord of Holderness, Skipsea was one of the first Norman castles built in Britain. Unlike the other castles mentioned on this list, Skipsea is in an isolated location. The original settlement that was built alongside the castle was left abandoned in the 1300s, and the surrounding land is mostly used as farmland. 

If you are interested in history, Skipsea would be a marvelous place to visit. Visitors can still view some of the old defenses of the castle as well as visit some of the historical sites located nearby. Skipsea Castle is difficult to reach with wheelchairs or strollers due to the terrain, so plan accordingly.

There are plenty of other castles to visit throughout England, but these often-overlooked destinations are worth the trip.

Note: These castles are taking measures to protect patrons during the pandemic. These include wearing masks, limited visitors and mandatory online bookings. Make sure to visit their websites before visiting. 

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