Warwickshire is lucky to have some amazing castles and castle ruins.

Perhaps the best castle (not just in the county of Warwickshire but in the whole of the UK) is Warwick Castle. It’s a stunning castle with fabulous views and beautiful grounds. There are also lots of extra things to see and do here.

Kenilworth Castle is also debatably the most magnificent castle ruin in the UK.

Additionally there are 6 more castles and castle ruins that are worth your time in and around Warwickshire.

Read on to find out about the best castles in Warwickshire.

Maxstoke Castle


Photo by Steve Wilson / Flickr Creative Commons

Maxstoke Castle is a beautiful 14th century moated castle. It’s situated about 3 miles out of Coleshill, Warwickshire.

The castle is private. It’s only open to the public once a year every June with the proceeds going to charity. On the open day you can see some of the interior rooms and wander around the picturesque gardens. It’s well worth a visit. You can also take a picnic.

The open day this year is 19th June 2022

Find out more at the Maxstoke Castle website

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle is a must see castle if you are in Warwickshire. .

The medieval castle was originally a wooden fort and built by William the Conqueror during 1068. It was rebuilt in stone during the 12th Century.

Climb the steep steps up to the battlements and turrets. It can feel quite tough to climb all the steps, but the views from the top are amazing.

Visit the Great Hall, which is stunning. Marvel at the State Dining Room where Queen Victoria and Albert dined. Visit the creepy dungeon – be warned though it’s not for the faint hearted!

Kids will love Horrible Histories Maze and the playground.

There are often events taking place in the Castle grounds including birds of prey and jousting. At Christmas time you can ice skate and visit Christmas markets.

Some things to note. Wear comfortable shoes as it’s a 20 minute walk from the car park to the castle. There is also an extra charge for car parking.

Find out more at Warwick Castle

Brinklow Castle


Photo by Knight Lightness / Flickr Creative Commons

Brinklow Castle was situated in the village of Brinklow, between Rugby and Coventry. It’s an early 12th Century Norman motte and bailey castle. Unfortunately, the only part of the castle that remains is the earthworks on which it was built.

It’s still fun to visit and walk around. The steep hill of the earthworks is fantastic for kids (and adults who are kids at heart) to run up and down.  There are some nice views at the top of the mound. Boards around the site tell you it’s history. Plenty of space for a picnic as well.

There is a pretty church right next to the site. Brinklow is a pretty village with pubs and a fish and chip shop.

 

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle is the ruins of a large medieval fortress. The castle was first built during the Norman conquest of England and developed during Tudor times.

There’s lots to explore. Information boards and images help bring the castle to life. Climbing the stairs to the top of the towers is a must. There are stunning views from the very top. The Leicester Tower was expressly built for the visits of Elizabeth 1st and remains as a complete building.

Explore the beautiful Elizabethan gardens and see the aviary. The Gatehouse is also worth a visit with more exhibits.

The English Heritage own and maintain the site. They often put on re-enactments of civil wars, so check out the website to see when these take place.

The Stables Cafe is a great place to enjoy refreshments during your visit. Otherwise take a picnic!

Find out more at Kenilworth Castle

Bagots Castle


Photo from Bagots Castle Facebook page

Bagots Castle is ruins of a 14th century castle in the village of Baginton in Warwickshire. Volunteers conserve the ruins for future generations. As well as the ruins, there is an Education Visitor Centre and picnic area on site.  There are also goats to feed.

The castle ruins aren’t very extensive but there are informative signs. There are also lovely walks nearby along the river.

There are two children’s trails at the castle, one for younger children and one for older kids.

Find out more at Bagots Castle

Astley Castle


Photo by Amanda Slater / Flickr Creative Commons

Astley Castle is a ruinous 16th century manor house in North Warwickshire. Although called a castle, it is likely it never was a true castle in nature but rather a fortified house.  It is thought to date from the 12th century when it was first held by the Astor family.

At Astley castle you will find a moated castle, gateway and curtain walls, lake, church and “haunted” gardens.

You can walk around the larger area of the site along public footpaths where information boards tell the history. The  Landmark trust owns the site and has a number of open days throughout the year. In 2022 this is between 17th and 20th June.

You can also stay at Astley Castle as they have renovated some of the rooms into stunning accommodation which sleeps up to 8 people.

Find out more at Astley Castle

Tamworth Castle

Officially Tamworth Castle is in Staffordshire. However before boundary changes in 1889 the castle was just within the boundaries of Warwickshire.

The Castle is a Grade I listed building. It was a Norman Castle, built in the 12th century and has amazing views of the Rivers Tame and Anker. The climb up the steps is definitely worth it.

It’s a popular day out for families with children. There’s lots for kids to do which such as brass rubbing, dressing up, story telling and games. There’s also a children’s playground.

There are fantastic grounds to walk around and lots of history to delve into. King James 1, King Henrys I, II, and III, and Sir Walter Scott all visited here.

If you’re interested in ghosts, The Lady’s Chamber is said to be haunted by the Black Nun, also known as St Editha, who founded the Benedictine Abbey at Polesworth.

Find out more at Tamworth Castle

Broughton Castle

Broughton Castle is situated in the village of Broughton about 2 miles south west of Banbury. It’s not actually in Warwickshire but not far from the county if you’re travelling by car.

It was built in medieval times and is officially a fortified manor house. It is surrounded by a large moat.

It’s the home of the Fiennes family but opens to the public over the summer.

The history of the Broughton Castle dates back to the Magna Carta. It is more of stately home than a castle, but well worth a visit.  There are some lovely rooms and a roof top view of surrounding countryside. Parts of Shakespeare in Love were filmed at the castle.

Find out more from the Broughton Castle website.

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