3 Of The Most Picturesque Castles In England

If there’s one thing that England has in abundance it is sarcastic humor. If there’s two things, it’s sarcastic humor and boring food. But if there’s THREE things, then the third would have to be castles. In this era of peace and prosperity where we no longer have to worry about enemies pouring out of the woods with spears and bows castles no longer serve their utilitarian purpose of defensive housing. But, man, are they cool. And beautiful, as well. There’s a reason they’ve survived well into an era where even the strongest castle’s defenses could be breached by one man with a fist sized thermite grenade, and it’s not because they’re an efficient use of land, that’s for darn sure. It’s because of just how great they are at improving the view of the countryside. I don’t know what it is but there is just something about castles that we all love the look of… here are three with looks unlike any others in England.

#1 Bodiam Castle – Classically Imposing

Just one look at Bodiam Castle and I’ve fallen in love. This is exactly what I think of when I think, “Castle.” built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a man who really really liked the letter G, to protect the dwellers therein from peasant revolts and such, Bodiam castle is, I think, the castle that I would draw as a child to house my fantasy knights in armor and their beautiful princesses. Except my moat had a totally awesome sea monster, Edward. Bodiam Castle is all stone, all grey, surrounded by a moat with a really long bridge as its only entry point and boasts four great big towers. In other words, if there should be a cockney zombie apocalypse while you’re on vacation in the UK, head to East Sussex as fast as you can and learn how to use a bow and arrow. Bodiam is the perfect place to wait it out.

 

#2 Windsor Castle – Huge and Old

Windsor Castle gets a mention as the oldest continuously occupied castle in existence, as well as being an official royal residence and bloody huge. The floor space is about 45,000 square meters so, you know, you can go bowling inside it if you don’t mind (or are excited by the idea of) smashing the heck out of some priceless artifacts and royal jewelry. I have to say the idea of tossing a 16 lb bowling ball through a ming dynasty vase would make for an excellent YouTube video. I have to say, though, that it looks a lot more like a palace to my mind than a castle, perse. This is, of course, a mark of the status of the castle as a weekend home for the queen of England and the fact that in times of peace the castle has been expanded and made more comfortable while in times of war it has grown with fortifications instead of flourishes. This might explain its unusual floor plan which looks like a mix between Game of Thrones and Disney.

 

#3 Stokesay Castle – Quaint and Funky

I am including Stokesay Castle because it is probably the most unusual castle I came across, in terms of looks. Even though it’s made from the typical castle construction material of huge freaking rocks it doesn’t look like it could defend against a slightly organized rabble of barely annoyed fisherman. I say this because, well, it’s adorable! The gatehouse is actually welcoming – a feature prized by innkeepers, not garrison commanders – and the majority of the outer wall looks thin enough to be toppled by an angry mule. So let’s hope the stables are kept by the thicker front wall, shall we? Of all the castles on this list, Stokesay is the only one I could imagine myself residing in. Maybe that’s because it was originally a fortified dairy farm. Sadly, neither I nor you nor anyone can purchase this beautiful cottage-style castle as a residence. It’s an official English heritage site… which is probably for the best. I couldn’t resist the urge to put in a disco ball and paint the outer walls paisley for too long.