Although the UK has over 4,000 castles to choose from, King Charles III’s favourite castle is reportedly 120 year old Kinloch Castle on Scotland’s Isle of Rum. But while the King is likely to spend the Coronation weekend between Clarence House and Windsor Castle, there are a few lesser-known castles that are worth exploring.
UK’s hidden gem castles (Tank)
- Hever Castle, Edenbridge, Kent
- Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex
- Bewcastle Castle, Bewcastle, Cumbria
- Berkeley Castle, Berkeley, Gloucestershire
- Elsdon Castle, Elsdon, Northumberland
- Goodrich Castle, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
- Walmer Castle, Deal, Kent
- Old Wardour Castle, Tisbury, Wiltshire
- Raby Castle, Darlington, County Durham
- Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent
Tank has identified some of England’s most forgotten castles by looking at the best-rated castles with the fewest tags on social media.
England’s best hidden castle is Hever Castle, the childhood home of unfortunate ex-Queen Anne Boleyn.
Built in the 14th century, Hever Castle’s panelled rooms, tapestries and antiques offer a glimpse into Tudor history. Anne Boleyn’s prayer books are also displayed there.
A tourist ‘Escape in 60’ wrote on Tripadvisor: “Hever Castle is one of the prettiest places I have been to. The grounds are beautiful; and full of interesting things to see.”
Although Anne Boleyn might be the most infamous of the wives of Henry VIII, another of Henry’s wives once owned the castle.
Anne of Cleves, the second wife to be divorced by the unpredictable King, owned the castle until 1557.
The second hidden gem on the list was Arundel Castle, located in West Sussex, which dates back to 1067.
The castle still has some of its original features including a Norman Keep, medieval Gatehouse and Barbican.
Arundel Castle has been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk for over 850 years and Queen Victoria once stayed there.
Victoria visited the Castle for three days with her husband, Prince Albert, and the bedroom furniture was specially commissioned for her visit.
Bewcastle Castle in Carlisle is a ruin which was first built between 1361 and 71 by John de Strivelyn, one of the King’s generals.
The Castle was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in 1641 but much of the gatehouse is still visible today.
Elizabeth Rhodes, founding director of Swain Architecture, said: “Castles always bring various stages of history to life.
“Almost all have been changed or added to at various times, which gives them differing styles of architecture across the same building or the same site, as their purpose and fate evolved.
“The most famous castles are often busy on bank holiday weekends but, by deliberately seeking out ones that most people are unaware of, you then have a chance to explore them properly and soak up their history.”
Britons looking to explore one of Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite castles could head to Balmoral which recently reopened to the public.