The UK is known as a historical place, and offers keen historian sightseers a wealth of castles, ruins and exciting stories from the past. I wanted to highlight three of my favourite castles in the West Midlands area, which was home to me for a while when I was a student.
Destroyed on purpose in the 17th Century after the English Civil War, Kenilworth Castle was an important focus point for control of the area ever since its construction in the early 12th Century. My favourite thing about this poorly known castle is the stunning woodland surrounding and the huge windows of the Great Hall. It's difficult to be impressed by old buildings in a modern age of steel and glass (both easy materials to build with) but the huge and towering Great Hall is remarkable. There are also carefully cared-for gardens in the grounds.
Perched on a rocky outcrop, overlooking what many describe as one of the most beautiful towns in the UK, Ludlow Castle has guarded this town for almost a thousand years. It was probably one of the first really ambitious stone castles designed in the era just after wooden castles lost popularity. The castle is now an incredibly popular wedding and events venue, and is open to the public for tours and sightseeing - you can even stay in the renovated modern apartments inside the castle.
Warwick Castle is similarly ancient, having guarded the banks of the River Avon for almost a thousand years, although with many changes to the structure over the time. This castle saw service during the 100 Years War, the English Civil War, was a country house for the Earl of Warwick and is now a theme park and historical site. Warwick Castle is one of the finest examples of recreation in the UK. Due to the money coming in through tourist visitors, the owners have now created a fully inclusive and interactive experience at the castle. Visitors can see jousting, medieval feasts and falconry shows almost every day. Confusing mazes, dangerous and scary dungeons provide an almost authentic experience!
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