There are so many beautiful places to visit around the world, but there’s something extra special about going to a castle. There’s something magically Disney-ish about the towering turrets, the spiral staircases, the parapets, and the battlements, and we’ve got a whole list of castles that are must-see to channel your inner princess!
1. Lowther Castle- England
Located in the Lake District in the North West of England, this beautiful half-ruined, half-renovated castle has only recently been re-opened for visitors, due to its tumultuous history of debts, ruin, and weapons testing. Now though, you’re free to explore every bit of the extensive lawns, forests and formal gardens, not to mention the breath-taking scenic views you get from the colossal, glass-less window frames.
2. Chateau de Pierrefonds- France
This chateau in the North of France is truly magical, surrounded by forest, with cylindrical towers and blue-grey slate roof tiles, as well as a dramatic courtyard watched over by stone statues mounted on the walls. Not only is the interior elegantly constructed, framed by gorgeous stain glass windows, but this castle was also used as the set for BBC’s Merlin, lending that extra bit of magic to it.
3. Neuschwanstein Castle- Germany
This imposing structure perched atop a craggy outcrop in Hohenschwangau, Germany, is formed of red and grey brick, with defined battlements, gorgeous views from the raised courtyards, and impressive ecclesiastical interiors.
4. Dunrobin Castle- Scotland
This castle in the wild highlands of Scotland has been the family seat of the Earldom of Sutherland since the 13th Century, complete with richly upholstered rooms, labyrinthine gardens, fountains, and an elegant clock tower.
5. Culzean Castle- Scotland
A huge sandstone fortress built in the 18th Century, Culzean Castle is set atop a cliff. The extensive park includes beaches, a deer park, and ponds. Its crowning jewel is a magnificent oval staircase.
6. Hohenschwangau Castle- Germany
Close to Schloss Neuschwanstein, this castle is nestled deep in the rising folds of mountainous forest. With magnificent views from the fountain strewn parapets, this golden, red-roofed building is definitely a place you get princess vibes.
7. Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel, Germany
Not technically a castle, this man-made aqueduct in Kassel, Germany, is part of a 17th Century, UNESCO World Heritage landscape park, and looks every bit the waterfall palace of our daydreams. Not only is it beautiful in isolation, but the location is also stunning, with many more fountains and gardens to admire and explore.
8. Corvin Castle Hunedoara, Romania
This Romanian palace is notable for its recognisable orange turrets and bridged moat. Dating back to the 15th Century, this ancient building is full of legends and intrigue, its gothic arched corridors and dozens of towers hold centuries-worth of secrets. Not only is it beautiful, but this castle is also said to have housed a most infamous prisoner: Vlad the Impaler. Looking at it now, we’re definitely getting Dracula vibes.
9. Swallow’s Nest Castle- Gaspra, Crimean Peninsula
This fascinatingly-shaped castle is a Neo-gothic 20th-century masterpiece, situated on the edge of the Crimean Southern Coastline, so close to the edge in fact, that on some of the balconies you are practically hovering, suspended, over the Black Sea.
10. Fairytale Gate Lodge- Scotland
This ethereal gate lodge in Scotland may be the subject of many aesthetic prints, but actually, its location remains shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, its woodland location, single tower, and quaint cottage structure reflected in the lake by which it stands make it an essential addition to our list, the whole aesthetic calling to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty crossed with Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott.