Bank holidays practically beg for a little royal treatment, don’t you think? If you’re nodding along, then ditch the usual staycation plans and set your sights on some truly majestic adventures. This guide is your golden ticket to castle days out across England, Ireland, and Wales – because sometimes, only turrets and tapestries will do.

Why Castles? A Royal Argument

  • History Whispers: Where else can you literally walk through centuries of stories? Castles have seen it all – battles, feasts, secret romances… the walls could talk!
  • Photogenic Perfection: Honestly, have you ever seen a bad photo of a castle? They’re the backdrop of dreams, perfect for your Instagram feed.
  • Family Fun Factor: Kids (and kids at heart) love exploring secret passages, climbing towers, and imagining themselves as knights and princesses.

England: A Tapestry of Castles

Warwick Castle: Prepare for jousting tournaments, a birds of prey show, and even a Horrible Histories maze! Adult tickets start at £26 when booked online. warwick-castle.com

Dover Castle: Overlooking the iconic White Cliffs, this fortress has a secret wartime tunnel network. Tickets from £24.50 for adults. english-heritage.org.uk

Windsor Castle: The Queen’s official residence, this one’s a must for royal watchers. Adult entry is around £28. rct.uk

Alnwick Castle: Ever seen Harry Potter? This is Hogwarts! It also offers archery lessons and stunning gardens. Prices start at £19.95 for adults. alnwickcastle.com

Ireland: Where Legends Come to Life

Blarney Castle: Kiss the Blarney Stone for the “gift of gab.” A must-do, even if it means hanging upside down! Tickets from €18 for adults. blarneycastle.ie

Bunratty Castle: Experience a medieval banquet with live music and entertainment. Prices vary depending on the package. bunrattycastle.ie

Ashford Castle: This luxurious 5-star hotel was once a Guinness family estate. It’s pricey, but the sheer opulence is worth it. ashfordcastle.com

Wales: A Dragon’s Lair of Castles

Caernarfon Castle: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this imposing fortress is steeped in Welsh history. Adult admission is £11.40. cadw.gov.wales

Conwy Castle: Another UNESCO gem, Conwy’s impressive walls and towers make it a photographer’s dream. Entry is £10.30 for adults. cadw.gov.wales

Cardiff Castle: From Roman ruins to a Victorian Gothic mansion, this castle’s got it all. Adult tickets from £14.50. cardiffcastle.com

Pembroke Castle: Birthplace of Henry VII, this castle has a fascinating history (and a massive cavern to explore!). Prices from £8.50 for adults. pembroke-castle.co.uk

A Royal Reminder:

  • Book Ahead: Bank holidays are popular times, so secure your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Dress for Adventure: Comfy shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are essential for exploring castle grounds.
  • Fuel Up: Most castles have cafés or restaurants, but pack a picnic for a more budget-friendly (and romantic) option.

So, which castle will be your royal residence this bank holiday?

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