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An Update On My Quest To Visit All The Castles In England

Or at least those with remains. I would likely look a bit silly standing in a field saying “there’s a castle here!” and it would make a boring post. That said you’d think standing in a car park saying there was a king underneath would be silly, and look what happened.

I’ve realised that it might have been a good thing to note down the date I first decided to make my castle life goal, and had a moment of disappointment, but at least I’ve the dates of each visit thanks to the default setting of my camera to add meta data.

Since I’m rather behind in terms of posting, in regards to actual visits, I thought it might be interesting, and would make up for the lack of an oath ceremony, to list the places I’ve been to so far. It’s a rather random mix and if I had the money I’d go about it linearly, but I am not a blogging superstar with passive income to spend. I should probably preface this list with ‘Elizabeth Chadwick fest’ as her work (medieval historical fiction) has had an influence on the order of my trips.

So far I have been to and photographed the following:

Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke – Where Charles I was imprisoned by the Roundheads.

Goodrich Castle

Goodrich – Owned by the de Clare family and later, by marriage, William Marshall. Chadwick number one, a happy accident as I wasn’t aware of the connection until I got there.

Hever Castle

Hever – The home of the Boleyn family; where Anne Boleyn lived as a child and where she returned to to keep Henry at arm’s length.

Highclere Castle

Highclere – Downton Abbey. Enough said, really.

Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe – Currently being renovated, a castle that burned down and was, in it’s day, a beautiful mansion.

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow – The Mortimer base, and Catherine of Aragon’s residence in the happier days of her first marriage. Chadwick number two, it looks rather different to what she described in her book…

Porchester Castle

Porchester – A base of Richard II’s, a rather small castle meeting the waterfront.

Southampton Castle

Southampton – A fort, a marketplace, and now the wrapper of the homes at the edge of Southampton.

Whittington Castle

Whittington – Battled over for years and now very much in ruins, the gatehouse itself being new in comparison to the rest of it. Chadwick number three, an important Welsh Marches castle.

Wolvesey Castle

Wolvesey – A sumptuous bishop’s palace, or at least it was (I expect the current bishop is rather happy for his mansion next door).

So that’s it really, an update and an excuse to post pictures of amazing scenes. I’ve tended to view a few buildings during one trip, hence the close proximity of some places. I’ve also sort of visited Shrewsbury and Corfe, but not been in them at all so I’m not counting them here. I’ve been to Winchester, too, which is just as well because it would’ve been silly to miss it when going to the city for Wolvesey. I’m undecided about Winchester Castle because you can only enter the one hall, the room housing a replica of the legendary round table. (A replica of a legend… makes you wonder whether the replica ought not be called the true table.)

Have you been to any of the castles I’ve listed here? Any recommendations for where to go next?



July 22, 2013, 3:51 am

I think I would LOSE MY MIND if I were able to visit any of those places. All the history makes me feel giddy…and that’s just from looking at your photos! Here in America everything is too darn new, lol. You are a lucky gal to be able to visit such wonderful places!!

jenn aka the picky girl

July 22, 2013, 4:01 am

This is just absolutely the coolest. I would love to be able to visit any or all of these.


July 22, 2013, 9:03 am

Sadly the only one from this list I’ve been to is Southampton Castle. I say sadly because it is probably the least intact of the whole list! I am lucky enough to have a castle here in my hometown. Only a little one but still rather cool.


July 22, 2013, 4:26 pm

Just looking at those pictures puts me at ease – nothing more relaxing and interesting than a castle visit. I’ve not visited any of them that I can remember, possibly Hever when I was young.

You should visit Bodiam, I think you’d love it.

Audra (Unabridged Chick)

July 22, 2013, 4:57 pm

Gorgeous! I’ve never been to the UK (other than airport layovers) and am dying. Your castle pics have me so envious — so gorgeous and impressive!


July 22, 2013, 9:29 pm

What a wonderful project – these are all beautiful. Having just finished a rather obsessive watching of The Tudors am especially interested to see Hever and Catherine of Aragon’s home – there must be hundreds and thousands- I hope you get to see them all!

Ana @ things mean a lot

July 23, 2013, 9:13 am

Beautiful pictures! I’ve not been to any of those, but I’m totally using this post for future holiday ideas. I’ve actually not yet visited many castles in England, but I’ve been to a couple in Wales (I highly recommend Caernarfon and Beaumaris) and Scotland – Edinburgh Castle, of course, and stunning Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness.


July 23, 2013, 9:04 pm

What great pictures! I love visiting castles too but haven’t been to any of those yet. Most of the castles I’ve been to are in the north and my favourites are Alnwick Castle (where Harry Potter was filmed and home to the Dukes of Northumberland) and Chillingham Castle, which is supposed to be one of England’s most haunted castles. I recommend both of those if you’re ever up in this part of the country. Good luck with the rest of your quest!

Jenny @ Reading the End (formerly Jenny’s Books)

July 24, 2013, 1:03 am

How cool! What beautiful castles! I went to a few castles the first time I was in England, but I can’t remember which ones. Leeds Castle, I remember for sure, because they had a whole brochure and everything proclaiming it the loveliest castle in the world.

Tanya Patrice

July 24, 2013, 4:39 am

This is such an awesome goal! I’ve never been to any castles and would love to!!! For now, I’ll live vicariously through you :-)


July 29, 2013, 2:15 pm

I’m loving this post, Charlie!!
I have never been in any of these castles, but you can’t imagine how I would like!
In the place where I live there are several castles too, and I love them (I live in a region called “Castilla y León”; castilla means a land with castles).
I have never thought about challenging myself to visit them, but I think it is a great idea!



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