Storm the gates- A look at London’s castles

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Highclere castle

The history of London is rich with art, culture and innovation. For centuries it has led the way in subjects such as science, literature, the arts and architecture. As you travel in and around the city you’ll discover some of the most amazing buildings and structures in the world. This guide will take you on a trip through the biggest and oldest castles in London and the surrounding areas. If you’re looking for some hassle-free sightseeing during your stay, then there’s no better way to experience Britain’s architectural history than by visiting these amazing structures.

Windsor Castle

This historic site is home to the Windsor Family and the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. It was one of the first defensive structures built by the Normans after the Battle of Hastings. Over the centuries the fortified castle has been transformed into a more residential-style living quarters for the Royal Family. Multiple renovations have been made to the interior, turning it into a gallery of historic and cultural treasures. Just a short journey down the Thames River from The Tower of London, this huge structure sits to the west of London. Heathrow airport is just a short trip away, making the Castle easy to access by car, train or bus.

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Dover Castle

Dover Castle was one of Britain’s most important defensive structures during the medieval era and today makes for a beautiful day of hassle-free sightseeing in London’s neighbouring county. It was built in the 11th century on the coast of Dover and is described as the ‘Key to England’. It is the largest castle in England and was praised for centuries thanks to its strategic location and defensive significance. Dover Castle is now a historic landmark that’s protected by law as a Scheduled Monument. Visitors can step inside the beautiful building to learn about its history with Norman invaders and its structural reinforcements during the Napoleonic Wars. There are a series of secret tunnels and pathways that run throughout, which make it a fun and exciting experience for tourists.

Highclere Castle

Fans of the popular period drama, Downton Abbey will recognise this historic building as one of the show’s primary locations. The Castle, along with its massive 5000 acre estate, was built in the Victorian era. It is located in West Berkshire and has been the residence of earls and noble men and women throughout history. In the last 100 years, Highclere Castle was home to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb. The current owner recently set up an exhibit which displays ancient Egyptian artefacts including jewellery and authentic works of art. The building is still used as a residence but is open to the public on certain days throughout the year. Highclere Castle is definitely worth putting on your list of places to visit. Not only can you browse a beautiful collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts but you can do it in one of the most beautifully designed buildings in the world.

Explorers and history hunters will be spoilt for choice by the amount of amazing places to visit around London.