On your next trip, you’ll want to pencil in a visit to see these beautiful castles! Take a look below.
#1 Conwy Castle (North Wales)
A must for Game of Thrones fans, Conwy castle evokes the grittier side of life for medieval nobility. With its thick dark walls growing up almost naturally from the rock on which it stands, Conwy is a castle that means business.
#2 Windsor Castle (South East England)
It’s the world’s oldest and largest inhabited castle, and the Queen spends most of her free weekends there, as well as being in residence around Easter and in June. There is a host of things to see and do including the state apartments themselves, and an impressive collection of art.
#3 Chateau Chambord (the Loire Valley, France)
The jewel of the French renaissance, Chateau Chambord boasts 16th century architecture, and a fine collection of furniture and tapestries from the 17th and 18th centuries.
#4 Hohenzollern Castle (Southern Germany)
Its towers and turrets rising up from lush green woodland (or magical white, if you visit in winter), Hohenzollern Castle is impressive enough from the outside, but it’s the interiors that really wow.
#5 Alnwick Castle (North East England)
It has been featured as a location for a whole host of television programmes and films, from Downton Abbey to Harry Potter. Be sure to check out the Alnwick Garden, which includes one of the largest tree houses in the world, as well as a ‘poison garden’ which features cannabis and opium poppies.
#6 Château de Pierrefonds (Picardy, France)
Once ruined, and restored to more than its original splendour in the 19th century, Pierrefonds is a short journey away from Paris, but somewhat off the beaten track, and well worth a visit.
#7 Neuschwanstein Castle (Southern Germany)
The inspiration behind Disney’s Cinderella’s castle, Neuschwanstein is a fairy tale brought to life. Built by the eccentric King Ludwig II of Bavaria during the 19th century, Neuschwanstein Castle represented a retreat into a fantasy world of Arthurian knights and their ladies.
#8 Château d’Azay-le-Rideau (West Central France)
Château d’Azay-le-Rideau is a truly unique part of French heritage. Currently being restored, visitors have a chance to learn about the traditional skills which go into preserving national landmarks.
#9 Château de Versailles (Paris, France)
Versailles is one of the most famous castles in the world. It’s also much more than that. The gardens are every bit as impressive as the building, but perhaps the most interesting historical curiosity is the Queen’s hamlet, built on the orders of Marie-Antoinette.
#10 Mont Saint Michel (Normandy, France)
Mont Saint Michel is simply stunning: the combination of sturdiness and towering elegance has to be seen to be believed. Legend has it that it was founded when the archangel Michael ordered a local bishop to build a chapel on the site. Its history is not as a royal palace but as an abbey, and indeed there are often monks in residence there today.