The UK is home to some of the world’s most beautiful – and not to mention photogenic – castles in the world. Being a big fan of these majestic monuments here at The Expert Gate Company, we dug deep and took to Instagram to uncover which of the country’s castles are the most captured and shared online.
The Top 10 Most Instagrammed UK Castles
1. Edinburgh Castle
Being the most photographed castle in Scotland, this magnificent fortress has become a world-famous landmark, and is actually one of the oldest castles in Europe. Once offering incredible military potential, the ruins are a reminder of the 26 sieges that this castle has been involved in across its 1,100-year history, which makes it one the world’s most attacked forts. Located on top of a 350 million year old volcanic rock, towering over Scotland’s capital and dominating its surrounding landscape, Edinburgh Castle makes for one hell of a photo opp.
2. Tower of London
In second place is the awe-inspiring Tower of London, located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. This iconic British landmark is packed with history, doubling as both a palace and fortress. This towering castle has seen many battles through the centuries, and over time, experienced various adaptations to enhance defense. Protected by thick, concentric walls and surrounding moat, it’s neo-gothic, fairytale-esque appearance makes it the UK’s most snappable location by a landslide.
3. Windsor Castle
For over 1,000 years, this landmark has been home to various Kings and Queens. The palace is still in use today, now being used as the Queen’s chosen weekend getaway, making it the largest working castle in the world. Perhaps its popularity is a result of people hoping to bump into Her Majesty?
Its Georgian and Victorian architecture makes it a true spectacle, complete with the iconic Henry VIII Gate and angular-walled towers. We could only wish to have an entrance to our homes similar to that of Windsor castle, so if you want your own fortress to come close, it may be worth investing in a driveway gate to give guests something to behold.
4. St Michael’s Mount
You’d think that St Michael’s Mount was straight out of a fantasy novel, with this ancient castle being perched proudly on top of a hill overlooking crashing waves. This South Western beauty is situated on a tidal island in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, so the spectacular views are not to be missed. Used as the site of a monastery between the 8th to the 11th century, this fortress withstood the tsunami caused by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, experiencing major developments to its neighbouring harbour and romanticised castle structure.
5. Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle was once a wooden fort built by William the Conqueror in 1068. Although this medieval fortress has since undergone a massive upgrade, it continues to house plenty of history. One particularly noticeable feature that Warwick Castle has to offer is its high levels of defence, especially with being built on top of a cliff above the River Avon, which acted as a preventative for attackers looking to get their weapons close to the fort. Visitors can check out the world’s most powerful catapult, take a walk on the castle walls, or behold the castle’s giant iron gate.
6. Leeds Castle
Previously home to six medieval Queens and, most famously, King Henry VIII, Leeds Castle is often known as “Castle of Queens, Queen of Castles.” Situated on the River Len, its stone walls span across three islands formed by the artificial lake, consisting of an impressive four forts used for defence and three causeways, each equipped with their own drawbridge. Take a tour down the surrounding glistening moat, as you take in the castle’s towering early medieval stone walls – just remember to take your camera with you!
7. Eilean Donan Castle
When lit up at night, Eilean Donan Castle radiates an almost ghoulish appearance. This fortress is nestled deep in the Scottish Highlands, situated at the intersection of three lochs and connected to the mainland by a magnificent arched, stone bridge. It’s easy to see why this castle is thought to be one of the most beautiful in Scotland, creating a magnificent backdrop in films like The New Avengers (1976) and James Bond: The World is Not Enough (1999). Perhaps visitors want to feel like they’re starring in their very own movie when snapping pictures in front of this towering beauty.
8. Corfe Castle
Located in Dorset are the ruins of the Norman Fortress, Corfe Castle. Known for being England’s first ever stone castle, this historical South Western landmark has fulfilled multiple purposes, once being a treasury, royal family home and military garrison. Although a skeleton of what it once was, Corfe Castle is still a preferred spot for photographers to capture an essence of the English civil war.
9. Stirling Castle
Another truly magnificent Scottish landmark by night, it’s easy to see why the towering Stirling Castle once guarded the crossing point of the River Forth. This Scottish fortification has plenty of attractive defensive features to offer, especially with being surrounded by steep cliffs on almost all sides. Standing on top of Castle Rock, this fortress towers over the River Forth, surrounded by rolling green hills and quaint villages. This makes it the perfect place to whip out your camera in an attempt to impress Instagram followers.
10. Hever Castle
Once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle’s medieval walls hold the hidden secrets of rich Tudor history. Complete with its stunning Italian Garden, gatehouse and walled bailey, it’s no wonder this Kent masterpiece has become a fond tourist attraction. Beautiful fortresses like Hever Castle could be the reason why the South East has been crowned the go-to location for snappable Instagram pics.