The best of Britain's castles

A wonderful aspect of the British landscape and filled with tales of history and riches, seeing one of Britain's castles makes for a captivating day out. Step back in time with our top pick of the best six castles to visit in the UK, some where you can even stay, so that you can be king or queen for the day.

Head to Windsor Castle to see the Queen's official residence, or check out the setting behind the thrilling TV drama Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle. Visit Bodiam Castle for one of Britain's perfect example of a moat, or stay the weekend in the most regal of residences at one of Britain's wonderful castle hotels...

1. Windsor Castle
The oldest castle in the world and the Queen's official residence, Windsor Castle's rich regal history spans almost 1000 years. Used as a royal residence since the time of Henry I, the Berkshire castle sprawls across 13 acres and contains more than 1,000 rooms, making it the world's largest occupied castle and the largest in the UK. Visitors can tour the magnificent state apartments where you will find treasures from the Royal Collection, including arms and armour, as well as famous artwork by Rubens, Rembrandt and Gainsborough.


You'll also be able to see St George's Chapel, one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England and the burial place of Henry VIII and Charles I. One of the visit's highlights – Queen Mary's Dolls' House, is the largest, most beautiful and most famous dolls' house in the world. Built between 1921 and 1924, for Queen Mary herself, this magical residence is a perfect replica in miniature of an aristocratic home.

A collection of artwork to mark Prince Philip's 90th birthday is currently on display in the Drawings Gallery. And if you don't go for a tour, see the changing of the guards take place each day (excluding Sundays) at 11am from April until the end of July.

Click on the photo above for more of the best of Britain's castles...