WHERE: Cardiff, Wales.
WHY I LOVE HERE: This is the only place where I experienced a castle smack bang in the centre of a city, but as you enter the grounds feels like you’re a million miles away. The original motte and bailey were built in the 11th Century, but today you can find a well-preserved fort wall, a medieval castle, and a Gothic palace with an amazing interior. You can take an audio tour which is great as it allows you to explore the area at your own pace.
WHERE: Copenhagen, Denmark.
WHY I LOVE HERE: What makes this a very enjoyable visit is the fact it’s in between being a top attraction and a hidden gem. You get all the benefits of a top attraction such as its great architecture and the excitement of being there, without ridiculous entry fees and flocks of tourists. Since it’s located in the King’s Gardens, you can wander through the peaceful park once you are done discovering the castle.
WHERE: Cork, Ireland.
WHY I LOVE HERE: It’s like stumbling across an oasis due to the peace, quiet, and fresh air. The current castle dates back to the 14th-Century, only highlighting how much history is embedded into the area. It’s not just the castle though, there’s so much to do here, such as kissing the Blaney stone, exploring the gardens, or going on an adventure to find the hidden waterfall.
WAWEL ROYAL CASTLE
WHERE: Krakow, Poland.
WHY I LOVE HERE: It was built in the 13th & 14th-centuries, and it was the world’s first UNESCO world heritage site. When you make your way up to the pretty courtyard, you start to imagine it as a mini-city because of its vast number of buildings and structures on show. As you make your way to the outskirts of the castle, you can capture amazing views across Krakow, especially if you visit in winter when it’s covered in a blanket of snow.
WHERE: Rome, Italy.
WHY I LOVE HERE: One of my favourite moments out of all my days travelling was spent here. Going through the castle made me feel like a child again, viewing historical artefacts and their impressive armoury collection. Once you arrive at the top of the castle, you can take in the breathtaking views across all of Rome. Things start to feel really special once the sun goes down and you get a clear sight of St. Peters Basilica lit up.