The United Kingdom is often associated with royalty. A trip to this country will never be complete without visiting its various castles. Here we will look at the Top 5 castles in the United Kingdom according to the Travel Channel.
The 900-year old Windsor Castle is recognized as the largest occupied and oldest official royal residence in the world. It is more than just a castle as it also houses several homes, a large church, and of course, the royal palace. Windsor Castle is visited by more than a million people yearly with the likes of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton having been guests at the palace.
Located along the River Thames, the Hampton Court was once occupied by Henry the VIII, known for having 6 wives and beheading 2 of them. His fifth wife was 15-year old Katherine Howard who was imprisoned, escaped, and then tried for treason. For trying to escape, she was dragged through a gallery that’s now called Haunted Gallery. The outside of the castle features a 60-acre garden, spectacular view of the River Thames, and a maze that has confused visitors for more than 300 years.
The Edinburgh Castle now serves as the protector and safe-keeper of the Scottish crown jewels. At 500 years old, the crown, sword, and scepter were used during coronations of Scottish kings and queens. It also keeps the clock which fires a loud gun at 1 pm every day for 150 years to inform sailors at sea and to the locals about the correct time as people could not afford a watch. Visitors can see the dungeons which imprisoned prisoners over the years. Wax models can be seen throughout the dungeon to depict the real conditions during that time.
St. Michael’s Mount
St. Michael’s Mount is connected to the mainland by a causeway. When high tide comes, the mount is cut off from the village of Marazion. For several years and until now, it has provided villagers with a great escape for the inhabitants, who sometimes craved for a warm meal and a drink or 2. Travelers have been visiting this rocky island since the 5th century, when according to legends. Archangel Michael appeared to a group of people. A Benedictine monastery was built there in the 12th century.
The Stirling Castle is a popular symbol of Scotland. Outside walls stands a monument to its great national hero William Wallace, who led a small army against Edward I, at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. Today, it still stands as a reminder to the people of the victory at Sitrling. Likewise, it was also here were the very first attempt for flight took place. Using strips of wood, chicken feathers, and glue, scientist John Damian performed a brief flight by jumping off a stone wall before flying straight down dropping like a stone.