6 best Under the Radar Castles to Visit in England in 2024

image source: pexels.com

When we want to travel somewhere, first we think about the most popular destinations, like Paris, to see the Eiffel Tower, or Pisa, to take a picture of you trying to straight up the leaning tower. If you want to travel to England, you know that there are many interesting places, monuments and of course, castles.

The castles are a very popular form of medieval buildings that people used to live there. Many of these buildings vanished with no trace, but also, there is a significant number of them that survived” for centuries. People love them because the buildings are magnificent. Many castles around the world are popular because they offer unique scenery and landmarks, giving the visitors the feeling like they live in medieval times, imaging kings, queens, and their armies there.

But, we all know that very often, smaller and less-known destinations are even better and more romantic for touristic visits. Here are a few under the radar castles in England:

Leeds Castle

Image source: leeds-castle.com

If you want to visit it, you should go to Kent, 8 kilometers southeast of Maidstone. The building was constructed by Robert de Crevecoeur. In the 13th century, King Edward I used it as his favorite residence, and in the 16th century, Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon spent a lot of time there. It has been opened for public visits since 1976. It was renovated many times, and the people love the beautiful gardens and the nature around it. From 1980 to 2011, there was a beautiful aviary with over 100 bird species, but due to high costs, it was closed in 2012. Today’s venue is pet friendly too. Sir Cliff Richard filmed his popular concert there, named “Castles in the Air.” Leeds also appeared in the film “The Moonraker.”

Arundel Castle

This is an old building established by Roger de Montgomery in 1067. It’s located in Arundel, West Sussex. It was damaged in the English Civil War and later restored by Charles Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and it was the principal seat of his family. Arundel Castle has a very rich historical value for England. It was also used as a filming location. People remember it from 1988, from “Doctor Who” serial named “Silver Nemesis,” where it was used as a double of Windsor Castle, then in “The Madness of King George” from 1994 and in 2009 in the film “The Young Victoria.”

Dover Castle

image source: english-heritage.org.uk

This is a World War 2 monument and takes a great part of British history. There are secret tunnels used to evacuate soldiers in Operation Dynamo. People can also visit the underground hospital, which is a good replica of the wartime hospitals. It was built in the 11th century in Kent, and today is owned by English Heritage. There is historical proof that this area was fortified since the Iron Age, and that later Romans were using it. There are two Roman phrases (lighthouses) around the monument. The whole site has protection against unauthorized renovations, and between 2007 and 2009, the interior was recreated by English Heritage.

Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle also has a great historical value for England, and it’s also a home of wonderful pieces of artwork. It’s located in North East Leicestershire, and the owner is David Manners, who is 11th Duke of Rutland. Most of the deceased members of the Manners family are buried in the mausoleum there. The castle is opened for visitors, even though the ownership is private. It’s surrounded by beautiful nature. Belvoir Gardens were dedicated to Elizabeth Howard, the 5th Duchess of Rutland. The translation of the name means “beautiful view,” and it comes from the French language. It was used as a filming location for a few scenes in “The Da Vinci Code.”

Sudeley Castle

Image source: sudeleycastle.co.uk

It’s located in the Cotswolds near Winchcombe in Gloucestershire. The castle was built in the 15th century. There is a chapel St. Mary’s Sudeley, where Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, is buried in a marble tomb. The chapel is a part of the local parish of the English Church. The whole residence is opened for visitors on specific dates, while the private parts stay closed to the public during the whole year. The gardens around are rich with flowers and trees, creating a beautiful scenery.

Dunstanburgh Castle

These remains are located between Craster and Embleton, on the coast of Northumberland in England. The castle was built in the 14th century by Earl Thomas of Lancaster. It’s surrounded by three artificial lakes and curtain walls. Today’s owners are English Heritage and National Trust. There are no plans soon to be restored, but it’s still a very important part of English history, and visitors love the mystic environment around the remains of what once was Dunstanburgh Castle.

Visit toristsecrets.com if you want to know more about less-known castles in England.

While we are still here, let’s see some of the little known similar monuments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, that is opened for visitors:

Kilchurn Castle

Image source: flickr.com

You can find the remains on a rocky peninsula, surrounded by mountains of the West Coast in Scotland. You can easily imagine medieval battles there, and the whole landscape resembles something we saw in “Game of Thrones.”

Old Castle in Crom

It’s located on the shore of Upper Lough Erne in Northern Ireland. The remains and ruins are surrounded by an ancient forest. People love these ruins because they look like they came out of some childhood stories.

Ruthin Castle

Image source: booking.com

Opposite of the previous two that are only ruins and remains, Ruthin Castle in Denbighshire in Wales is restored and serves as hotel accommodation. It’s a perfect place to stay if you want to live a medieval life for a few days.

This list can be very helpful if you want to spend your holidays doing something different than swimming and staying on a beach a whole day. There are very beautiful touristic attractions that are not very popular, so you can start exploring the world and find your new favorite place.