This was one of the highlights of the trip. The Edinburgh castle is a must see, trudging all the way back to the 15th century. With the center courtyard greeting you into medieval times, there's also the Royal Palace and the Great Hall. You can spend an entire day roaming through the lush green hills overlooking the city of Edinburgh. A small gift shop also exists for your pleasure.
When I stepped out of my Frances Lodge, the first place I visited was the Windsor Castle. It is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It is the royal residence of Windsor. The beautiful architecture and the protective walls dominate the landscape of this delightful city. If you want to visit the castle with the added bonus of not having to pay, then go to the 6 p.m. Prayer service, held every evening in St Georges Chapel. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of the Great Windsor Park with the Long Walk.
Buckingham Palace is the residence of the Queen of England. No matter what time of the day you show up at the palace gates, it will be packed. Although the iron gates always stay bolted shut, a glimpse at the Queen's residence is enough to have you gaping. Plus, the change of guard is something worth checking out, though I'm not too sure of the exact time of day it happens.
Entrance of the castle itself is amazing with huge gardens filled with greenery. We booked our tickets online with 10% discount and moreover tickets are valid for one year. Main Castle is bit far from the entrance approximately one mile. You have two options to get to castle: Either you can go walking through gardens and woodlands or small train will take you there for 50 pence. Castle surrounded by a huge lake is simply an amazing view. Lake is generally referred to as MOAT (Water Defence in ancient time). At the start, you will encounter an exhibition telling about the castle structural transformations over the year. You enter the castle through back side and enters through wine storage room. Wines as old as 500 years ago are still preserved over there. Then we came across royal halls of the King and Queens (State Apartments, Meeting Rooms, Library,Dinner Rooms). I liked the Library part most because of its huge book stand structure and amazing lake view in the reading room. This castle was a private property of Lady Bellie till 1974. After her death, according to her wish Castle got opened to public. You will feel the royality in every part of the castle.
Dover Castle has guarded the Strait of Dover (the narrowest point from England to continental Europe) for around 6,000 years. Some of the most famous names in history have walked the halls of this medieval castle, from William the Conqueror to King Henry II. (The latter of whom I had a pleasure of meeting during my visit.) Dover Castle is just one part of the history that has played through time on Dover’s hilltop. You can still visit the ruins of a lighthouse built by the Romans in the second century AD, a beautiful Saxon church from 1000 AD, and the secret wartime tunnels from World War II where some of Britain’s most famous war strategies were played out. Dover castle has recently gone through a major renovation to make the rooms appear how they might have looked in the 1100′s. Bright tapestries adorn the walls, royal red and blues and golds throughout. It really adds a bit of magic as you pass through the rooms, almost like you are visiting a working royal castle. The details throughout Dover Castle are incredible, and you can see everything from a royal toilet chamber to a chess set copied from an original at the British Museum. I enjoyed seeing the original features best of all. Gorgeous wood beams, fireplaces used hundreds of years ago, and the beautiful chapel dedicated to Thomas Beckett who King Henry II had killed.
Rochester Castle surprised me, as it had the opposite atmosphere of Dover Castle. The touristy feeling one often gets visiting famous sites, was seemingly absent from Rochester Castle, except for a small gift shop. This made it love at first sight for this girl. It is easy to see why Charles Dickens preferred this English town above all others. The walk to the castle from the train station is full of history, and you will notice plaques on every other building hinting at their varied backgrounds. The fantastic thing about this castle is that it is, in fact, in ruins. There have been no fancy renovations recreating the rooms of the former occupants, there is no banquet hall to see (as the floor it once stood on is long gone) and there are not costumed characters walking the grounds. Yet, the ruins transport you. Without all the tourist distractions you are left to your own devices; imagination is allowed to take over.
Eilean Donan Castle
Don’t miss: A walk by the Ness River and watching the sun go down from Inverness Castle – that’s how I fruitfully spent the first day. The next day I took the tour of Isle of Skye, an island, and drove past the famous Loch Ness, a gleaming lake known for a monster. Next came the picturesque and iconic Eilean Donan Castle, the setting for many films. The rugged, magnificent Scottish landscapes just got better as we moved to the Isle of Skye – lofty mountains, velvety grasslands and soaring sea cliffs.Eat: Traditional Scottish cheese platter and fresh seafood. During the journey, munch on traditional buttery shortbread. Do visit Gellions Bar, one of the oldest pubs in Inverness and guzzle down Scottish brewed beer.Day 4 & 5: GlasgowDistance from Inverness: 271km
The Cardiff Castle is huge and majestic. It is a medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion situated in Cardiff, Wales. As the castle is so big, the visitors are given a map of the whole castle and they can choose with ease which parts interests them the most. For me, I visited the House, the Keep and the Clock Tower. There is a gift shop too from where one can buy souvenirs. Average ticket price is: Adults (17-59yrs) £9.00 Senior citizens (60+yrs) £7.50 Students £7.50 Children (5-16 yrs) £7.00
Deal is located on the English Channel, in south-east England. It was once the busiest port in England due to it’s close location to France, which is only 25 miles across the water. (A neighbouring small town called Walmer is believed to be the location where Julius Caesar first arrived in Britain.) These days Deal is a quiet city that comes to life a couple of months a year when the tourists come for some time by the sea. It is most known for the castle that remains here from the 16th century. The best thing about visiting Deal Castle is that they give you total free reign on the property. Explore the rooms on your own, discover secret passages, walk the moat. Entirely unsupervised. It makes it feel like you have discovered your own special abandoned castle. I especially loved the ‘dungeon’ area. The water was above our ankles in places, and there was no electric lighting. So much water has been dripping down there over the centuries that stalactites have begun to form from the ceiling.
One of the most fascinating castles I’ve ever been in, if not the most fascinating, it’s recently completed a really thorough renovation project that began back in 1999. The Queen came and formally opened it just in 2011. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Royal Apartments furnished as they would have been during the life of Mary Queen of Scots and I also liked seeing the weavers at work who are currently completing the last of the panels which are a reproduction of the famed “Unicorn Tapestries.” There’s something about being in the shadow of a centuries-old castle that really sets a grand tone for New Year’s Eve and it turned out to be the perfect place to sport a Stewart tartan kilt. I enjoyed the live music, loved meeting the boys of the band “Bags of Rock” and Dougie MacLean’s acoustic version of ‘Caledonia’ actually made me tear up. The fireworks were the icing on a very nice cake.
There are loads of things to keep you busy - there is a Speakers Corner if you are keen to hear people speak, boating and swimming in the lakes, Kensington Palace on one end which is now a museum to Diana, two cafes (Lido and Serpentine again I think), sunbeds to sit out in the sun, or you can just run/roller blade around the park for a total of 7 kms!