North Yorkshire is home to some of the most remarkable castles in the United Kingdom. With their rich history and stunning architecture, these castles attract visitors from all over the world. In this article, we will explore the best North Yorkshire castles to visit and learn about their fascinating past.
Castle Howard is a magnificent 18th-century castle located near York. This castle has been in the Howard family for over 300 years and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in the UK. Visitors can explore the castle’s vast collection of art and antique furniture or wander through the extensive gardens and woodland. Castle Howard website: https://www.castlehoward.co.uk/
Skipton Castle is one of the most complete and well-preserved medieval castles in England. Built over 900 years ago, this castle played an important role in the English Civil War. Visitors can explore the castle’s extensive grounds and towers, as well as the banquet hall and dungeon. Skipton Castle website: https://www.skiptoncastle.co.uk/
Bolton Castle is a stunning 14th-century castle located in the heart of Wensleydale. Visitors can take a guided tour of the castle and learn about its fascinating history, including its role in the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots. The castle also features a range of medieval activities, such as archery and falconry displays. Bolton Castle website: https://www.boltoncastle.co.uk/
Richmond Castle is a well-preserved Norman castle that dates back to the 11th century. Visitors can explore the castle’s keep and Great Hall, as well as the dungeons and ancient graffiti left by prisoners. The castle also offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Richmond Castle website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/richmond-castle/
Middleham Castle is a ruined castle located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. This castle was once the home of Richard III and played a significant role in the Wars of the Roses. Visitors can explore the castle’s extensive ruins, including the keep and the castle walls. Middleham Castle website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/middleham-castle/
Pickering Castle is a well-preserved 13th-century castle located in the market town of Pickering. Visitors can explore the castle’s keep and bailey, as well as the exhibition on the history of the castle. The castle also features a range of events and activities throughout the year. Pickering Castle website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/pickering-castle/
Scarborough Castle is a ruined castle located on the headland overlooking Scarborough’s North Bay. This castle has a rich history dating back over 3000 years, from the Iron Age to the English Civil War. Visitors can explore the castle’s extensive ruins and enjoy the spectacular views of the North Sea. Scarborough Castle website: https://www.english-
Knaresborough Castle is a ruined castle located in the market town of Knaresborough. This castle dates back to the 12th century and played a significant role in the English Civil War. Visitors can explore the castle’s ruins, including the keep and the castle walls, as well as the King’s Tower and the Courthouse Museum. Knaresborough Castle website: https://knaresboroughcastle.co.uk/
Ripley Castle is a 14th-century castle located in the picturesque village of Ripley. Visitors can explore the castle’s grand halls and galleries, as well as the stunning gardens and grounds. The castle also hosts a range of events and activities throughout the year, including the annual Ripley Castle Shoot. Ripley Castle website: https://www.ripleycastle.co.uk/
Helmsley Castle is a well-preserved 12th-century castle located in the market town of Helmsley. The castle was once a strategic stronghold and played a significant role in the wars between England and Scotland. Visitors can explore the castle’s extensive ruins, including the keep and the tower, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Helmsley Castle website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/helmsley-castle/
North Yorkshire boasts some of the most impressive castles in the UK, each with its unique history and architecture. From the grandeur of Castle Howard to the ruins of Knaresborough Castle, these castles offer visitors an insight into the past and a chance to experience the grandeur of medieval life. Whether you are a history buff, a lover of architecture or simply looking for a fun day out, North Yorkshire’s castles have something for everyone.
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- What is the best time of year to visit North Yorkshire castles?
The best time to visit North Yorkshire castles is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the gardens are in full bloom.
- Are North Yorkshire castles wheelchair accessible?
Most of the castles in North Yorkshire are partially accessible to wheelchair users. Visitors are advised to check with the castle before visiting.
- Can I bring my dog to North Yorkshire castles?
Most of the castles in North Yorkshire are dog-friendly, but visitors are advised to check with the castle before bringing their pet.
- Are there any events or activities at North Yorkshire castles?
Many of the castles in North Yorkshire host events and activities throughout the year, including medieval reenactments, falconry displays, and ghost tours.
- How long does it take to visit a North Yorkshire castle?
The time it takes to visit a North Yorkshire castle varies depending on the size of the castle and the number of exhibits. Visitors should allow at least 2-3 hours to explore each castle fully.