Europe is known for its rich culture and history, with castles as a physical manifestation of those traits. Built-in various periods and by many different civilizations, these architectural marvels are the sites of battles, stories of love both won and lost, and proof that history can come alive when traveling around Europe. With so many beautiful castles across the continent, some are worth visiting. Overlooking the North Sea, Bamburgh Castle is an impressive 11th-century structure and one of the largest castles in England. The castle is on a British Celtic fort site from the 6th century. During the Wars of the Roses, Bamburgh Castle served as the residence of King Henry VI. of the red rose of Lancaster. At that time, it was the first castle in the world to be destroyed by gunfire. After decades of financial struggles, industrialist and philanthropist William George Armstrong purchased the castle in 1894. The nearest town to Bamburgh is Newcastle-upon-Tyne, two hours away by train and bus.
When visiting the Scottish capital, a visit to Edinburgh Castle is a must. The 11th-century castle sits atop Castle Rock, a volcanic crater in the heart of Scotland’s capital. Unlike many other castles, its convenient location makes it easy to visit. Edinburgh Castle was a royal residence for centuries before becoming a military installation in the 17th century. Inside the castle, you can see the royal apartments, admire the Crown Jewels and visit the National War Museum.
Located in the heart of Kilkenny, about two hours south of Dublin, Kilkenny Castle was built in the 12th century during the Norman invasion and rebuilt in the Victorian era. The impressive castle has beautiful gardens and lavishly decorated rooms and is often named one of the most beautiful castles in the world. Kilkenny Castle has many galleries of exquisite art and artifacts, such as the Chinese Withdrawing Room, the State Dining Room, the Tapestry Room, the Library, the Picture Gallery, and many more. Kilkenny is well connected to Dublin, so you can easily visit it on a day trip from the Irish capital. Kilkenny is well connected to Dublin, making it an easy day trip from the Irish capital.