Best country for medieval castles?

In your opinion, what is the best country to visit to see medieval castles? Ireland? England? Other? Thank you!

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

Wales. Here's the encyclopedia: Peruse and drool. If you scurry around real quickly and see all hundred or so that still have something left, there's probably a thousand stone circles, menhirs, hill forts, cairns, and dolmen that can take up the rest of the afternoon.

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
646 posts

I agree, Wales. I've been to several UK and European countries and couldn't believe all the wonderful castles in Wales. Many were built by King Edward to subjugate the Welsh in the late 13th century. But there are others, too, in all shapes, sizes and conditions.

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1542 posts

Scotland for sure. The castles in Wales are mostly ruins whereas those in Scotland are furnished and have beautiful gardens. Glamis Castle looks exactly what one would expect a castle to look like.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

I reckon beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'd describe Glamis as looking like a moatless bawdy house that you could punch through with a bb gun. Harlech on the other hand . . . . (Not that either Susan or I know anything about cat houses . . . at least I don't, I can't speak for the group). Welsh denfesive castles not in ruins include: Caerphilly, Kidwelly, Pembroke, Harlech, Conwy, Caernarvon , Beaumaris, and a few others.

Posted by Ken
Spring, Texas
599 posts

I think it depends on what you are looking for as a "medieval castle." I agree with Ed that the Welch castles are what I would think of when I say "castle." These castles aren't totally destroyed but they generally don't have flooring for the upper levels except where added for the benefit of tourists. They were simply abandoned when they were no longer of military value. Nobody lives in these castles. Susan likes the more modern version of a castle where the defensive aspects were no longer important so the owners added windows and doors. It more liveable and a wonderfully gentrified "castle." Many are still occupied in Britain and Ireland.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7927 posts

Spain has some pretty decent castles too (France could probably be added to the list as well). It really depends on what you like. Wales is probably my first choice because I prefer wandering around a shell of a castle more than a guided tour through a refurbished/furnished castle where I have to stay between the ropes (but I like some of those too).

Posted by Carla
Holbrook, NY, USA
20 posts

Thank you, thank you, thank you! What wonderful responses. I do love the castles in France and England, but I think I will try Scotland AND Wales. I appreciate all of the advice. I wanted to take my son on a trip post college graduation, and when I asked him where he wanted to go, he said to a place with medieval castles. This should be great!

Posted by Frank
Los Angeles, CA, USA
177 posts

Best country for medieval castles to me would be Romania. - Peles Castle - Bran Castle
- Hunyad Castle Best country to see prestige gothic architecture would be Belgium. Best country to see the progressive in architecture through out history (middle age, gothic, renaissance, baroque, rococo, romanticism) would be Czech Republic.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
4298 posts

Okay, I have to vote for Scotland, although I admit to not having been to Wales. It could be because in Scotland, between castles you can have fine whisky. ; ) Best castle all around Stirling Castle. Then Edinburgh Castle. Then there are some ruins: Urquhart Doune Castle site of the Monty Python Movie Kildrummy Castle Hermitage CastleMary Queen of Scots slept here. Aberdeen Castles Drum Castle Castle Frazier For Outlander fans Corgarff Castlemore of Tower House Running out of room and I've not included the Iconic Eilean Donan.

Posted by Carla
Holbrook, NY, USA
20 posts

I wish there was a "like" button for each of your responses. Thank you.

Posted by Kathleen
Camano Island, WA, usa
406 posts

Wales for Edwards midieval Castles...Scotland for Georgian/Victorian "Romantic" era Palaces. Scotland has real castles too...Look in the Southwest near Dumphries. Read up on Mary Queen of Scots and you will find many places she stayed.