A Crash Course in British Castles

Edinburgh castle, Scotland

Before coming to Britain, even before embarking on our European journey, I would often sit and dream of treading through stone passageways, patrolling the length of rocky defences, and keeping watch from the tallest turrets on a windy night. Castles were raised by the ruling powers through the blood and sweat of their toiling subjects; impenetrable fortresses of carved stone blocks atop rocky crags, castles are truly an awesome sight to behold. They were, at many times, scenes of bloodshed: from sword clashing medieval battles to the assassination of nobles. They were once the seat of lords and kings, protecting, as well as dominating, the countryside. They have stood for hundreds of years and will hopefully continue to stand for centuries more (partially thanks to the National Trust).

The grandeur of Conwy Castle.

When we finally entered the land famous for its castles, my dreams of exploring those magnificent fortresses came back to me and I wanted to visit as many as it would take to be sick of them. Needless to say I believe we met that goal; if I have to tour another bloody castle I may just leap off its lovely ramparts and drown myself in its quaint little moat. But looking back at our UK castle tour now I can re-appreciate the ‘magic’ behind their crumbling walls and their cold, empty rooms. We visited 16 castles in total on our Britain and Ireland tour, each one vastly different than the next and each with its own history, design, and legends!

Mow Cop, Tamworth, and Newcastle in England

Edinburgh, Crichton, Rosslyn, Tantallon, Direlton, and Urquhart in Scotland

Muness in the Shetlands,

Cuchulainn’s Castle in Ireland,

Beaumaris, Caernafon, Conwy, Rhuddlan, and Flint in Wales

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