Category Archives: UK attractions

Dunstanburgh Castle - top UK castles on the My Time Rewards blog

The Top Ten Castles in the UK | Places to Visit

Best UK castles to visit

As chosen by Anna Tims of the Guardian, the My Time Rewards blog explores the top ten castles in the UK.

1. Bodiam Castle, East Sussex, England

top UK castles - bodium castle - my time rewards blog

Courtesy of Sam Moore, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/vTzALG

Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II. Open all year round and well worth a visit.

Interesting fact: In 1829 the owner sold the castle and 24 acres (10 ha) of the surrounding land to John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller for just £3,000 (£220,000 as of 2008).

2. Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, Wales

Caernarfon Castle - top UK castles - my time rewards blog

Courtesy of Pete37038, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/CPPcPk

Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service. The current building dates back to the 13th century, when King Edward started replacing the previous 11th century motte-and-bailey castle.

Interesting fact: In 1911, Caernarfon Castle was used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales, and again in 1969 for Prince Charles.

3. Conwy Castle, Wales

Courtesy of Christine, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/edKNVS

Courtesy of Christine, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/edKNVS

Conwy Castle is a medieval fortification in Conwy, on the north coast of Wales. This is another castle built by Edward I, during his conquest of Wales, between 1283 and 1289.

Interesting fact: Richard II used the castle as a stronghold when evading his rival Henry Bolingbroke (later to become Henry IV).

4. Corfe Castle, Dorset, England

Corfe Castle - top UK castles - my time rewards blog

Courtesy of Philip Selby, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/F72gYt

Corfe Castle is a fortification standing above the village of the same name on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates back to the 11th century.

Interesting fact: During restoration work in the 1980′s, an “appearance” door was found in the keep, designed for Henry I. The National Trust claims that this indicates that the castle would have been one of the most important in England at the time.

5. Dunstanburgh Castle, England

Dunstanburgh Castle - top UK castles on the My Time Rewards blog

Courtesy of Bootneck Photography, Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/TMuKul

Dunstanburgh Castle is the largest in Northumberland and the site shows traces of much earlier occupation before the erection of the castle was started in 1313 by the Earl of Lancaster.

Interesting Fact: Recent evidence suggests that the site of the castle was occupied in prehistoric times: however, the principal remains date from the 14th century.

6. Framlingham Castle, England

Courtesy of Robert Rongen, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/WrlMlb

Courtesy of Robert Rongen, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/WrlMlb

Framlingham Castle is a magnificent 12th century fortress with a long and colourful past which makes a fascinating family day out in Suffolk. It’s open daily 10am – 6pm.

Interesting fact: During the Second World War, Framlingham Castle was used by the British military as part of the regional defences against a potential German invasion.

7. Hedingham Castle, Essex, England

Courtesy of Visit Essex, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/l1N2XB

Courtesy of Visit Essex, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/l1N2XB

The 900 year old Norman keep of Hedingham Castle stands in 160 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland where the Lindsay family, descendants of the original owners, the De Veres, still live.

Interesting fact: The castle was besieged twice, in 1216 and 1217, during the dispute between King John, rebel barons, and the French prince. Both sieges were successful.

8. Kenilworth Castle, England

Kenilworth Castle - top UK castles on the My Time Rewards blog

Courtesy of JDforrester, Wikipedia http://goo.gl/nSFCgc

Enjoy a great day out in Warwickshire at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden. One of the largest historic attractions in the West Midlands, enjoy exploring the spectacular ruins.

Interesting fact: The castle was the subject of the six-month long Siege of Kenilworth in 1266, believed to be the longest siege in English history, and formed a base for Lancastrian operations in the Wars of the Roses.

9. Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland

Linlithgow Palace - UK best castles on the My Time Rewards blog

Courtesy of Grangeburn, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/nF7Dx7

Linlithgow Palace was one of the principal residences of the monarchs of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. The magnificent ruins of Linlithgow Palace are set in a park beside a loch.

Interesting fact: The Palace is said to be haunted by the spectre of Mary of Guise, mother to Mary, Queen of Scots.

10. Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, England

Courtesy of Paula J James, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/08Zu1T

Courtesy of Paula J James, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/08Zu1T

Ludlow Castle stands prominently on high ground, able to resist attack from would be invaders from over the Welsh border. You can take a virtual tour of the castle on the website, or visit it within the historic market town of Ludlow.

Interesting fact: The castle was a major base in the Wars of the Roses and was taken by the Lancastrians in 1459 but back in York hands in 1461.

other castles to visit

Did we miss a favourite of yours? Please leave a comment below if so! Thank you for reading the My Time Rewards blog.

Share Button

The 10 Most Popular UK Attractions

What are the most popular UK attractions to visit in 2014?

Having a look at Visit Britain’s Top 10, the My Time Rewards blog looks at the best UK attractions to visit this summer.

1. The Tower of London

Tower of London - Top UK Attractions - My Time Rewards

From Wikipedia Creative Commons http://goo.gl/EySaKP

There is so much history around this famous landmark, and no wonder that this is the most popular UK attraction. This is the place where you can “discover 1000 years of history”. Website here.

Interesting facts: the tower’s full name is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress. The last people to be imprisoned there were the Kray twins in 1952.

2. Hylands House and Estate in Essex

Hylands House Essex - Top UK attractions on the My Time Rewards blog

From Wikipedia Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/sbM60G

As well as hosting the popular V festival, Hyland House has a lot to offer. Built in 1730, the house was privately owned until it was opened to the public in 2005 – but really, it’s the 232 hectare grounds that attract visitors. Visit the website here.

3. St Paul’s Cathedral, London

St Pauls Cathedral - top UK attractions on the My Time Rewards blog

From Wikipedia Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/nx5AZo

There has been a church at the site of St Paul’s since AD604, and King Ethelred the Unready was buried there in 1016. Visitors can benefit from a year-long pass if they choose to give gift-aid.

Interesting fact: Sir Christopher Wren was tasked with rebuilding St Paul’s after the great fire of London in 1666, along with 51 other churches in London. Visit the St Paul’s Website.

4. Westminster Abbey, London

Westminster Abbey - top UK attraction on the My Time Rewards blog

From Wikipedia Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/5Hlqat

In its most recent history, Westminster Abbey hosted the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Construction of the current church began in 1245 by Henry III, and many famous figures have been buried here. Visit the Westminster Abbey website.

Interesting fact: the Tenor bell in the Abbey weighs 1544kg.

5. Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo

Flamingo Land in Yorkshire - top UK attraction on the My Time Rewards blogFind out why Yorkshire’s Flamingo Land is the UK’s most visited zoo. With over 140 species of reptiles, mammals and birds, as well as plenty of fairground rides, it is a hit with families nationwide.

Interesting fact: this Yorkshire zoo very recently celebrated the birth of Sumatran tiger triplets.

6. Chester Zoo, Cheshire

Chester Zoo - a top UK attraction on the My Time Rewards blog

From Wikipedia Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/lZLVwr

One of the UK’s largest zoos at 111 acres, Chester Zoo gives visitors a packed day out. You can drive through the various areas and see all sorts of wildlife experiences, including the Spirit of the Jaguar.

Interesting fact: the zoo recently celebrated the arrival of a rare Visayan warty piglet – the rarest of all wild pigs.

7. Windermere Boat Cruises, Lake District

Windemere Lake Cruises - top UK attractions on the My Time Rewards blog

From the Telegraph: http://goo.gl/BzLQt

From family-friendly attractions and lazy days by the lake, to historic houses and beautiful gardens, Windermere and its surroundings has it all. The lake cruise lets you absorb the scenery. Visit the website.

Interesting fact: the Brathay Windermere marathon was voted the most scenic in the UK.

8. The Royal Academy of Arts, London

The Royal Academy of Arts, London - UK attractions on the My Time Rewards blog

From Wikipedia Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/IyUz17

The Royal Academy was the first institution to provide professional training for artists in Britain. Visitors can enjoy a variety of artwork and galleries, as well as the famous Summer Exhibition.

Interesting Fact: In the collection is Michelangelo’s Taddei Tondo, which is the only marble by Michelangelo in the United Kingdom.

9. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Stonehenge - a top UK attraction on the My Time Rewards blog

From Wikipedia Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/noC1gH

The fact that no-one really knows what Stonehenge is may be why it attracts so many visitors each day. Archaeologists estimate the stone arrangement to be placed between 3000 and 2000BC.

Interesting Fact: There are just two opportunities a year to go right up and touch the stones – at the Summer and Winter solstices.

10. The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben - UK attractions on My Time Rewards blog

From Wikipedia Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/NDRE02

Guided tours take visitors into both the Commons and Lords chambers and historic Westminster Hall. It is a beautiful site for photography, appearing in many films, including V for Vendetta.

Interesting Fact: Big Ben only refers to the bell. The building itself called the Elizabeth Tower, in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

Which is your favourite out of these UK attractions?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Share Button