Castles are appealing for many reasons. Not only are they regal, but they represent decades -- even centuries -- of history. Better than that, they’re jaw-droppingly stunning to look at! Their striking medieval features and impressive designs are just the kinds of things worthy of being on film. In fact, many are. Perhaps you’ve watched period flicks like Jane Eyre or TV shows like Downton Abbey or have a soft spot for the magical Hogwarts of the famous Harry Potter movies. Well, these are the types of productions that require grand settings, and nothing is grander than a castle fit for royalty.
It turns out that in addition to catching some of these iconic castles on film, you can also visit them in person. Walk their elegant halls and ascend their extravagant staircases.
Curious to learn more about some popular real-life castles that have also made appearances on the big screen? Read on!
1. Chatsworth House
Located in Bakewell, England, the Chatsworth House has endured through 16 generations and has been seen in films such as The Wolfman, Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess, and Death Comes to Pemberley. The house is known best for its great art, impeccable landscaping, and hospitality. There are 30 rooms open for visitors’ exploration and the house offers many events that you can sign up to attend, including Summer at Chatsworth from July 20 through August 29 and the Chatsworth Country Fair running August 30 to September 1. Tickets for events are sold separately, but various castle entry tickets are available based on what part of the estate you wish to venture through.
2. Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle is located in Alnwick, England, and has been featured in big films and TV shows such as Transformers: The Last Knight, Downton Abbey, Elizabeth, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It’s even played the part of Hogwarts in the well-loved Harry Potter films. The castle offers several events throughout the year, one of which is Wizarding Week from August 24 through August 31. Fans of Harry Potter are invited to connect to the movie in the place where so many iconic scenes were filmed. Adult ticket prices for a visit to the castle are £15.05 (roughly $17 USD) and family prices for a family of two to four are £41.15 (roughly $45 USD). Prices vary for children's tickets and all ticket prices will have a slight upcharge if you plan on purchasing them at the gate.
3. Castle Howard
Castle Howard has been featured in many films and TV shows. The most famous include Victoria, Death Comes To Pemberley, and Brideshead Revisited. The castle is located in York, England, and prides itself on being a family home. Castle Howard offers family and group visit opportunities throughout the year and also hosts events on its grounds, including the Autumn Harvest and Flower Festival from September 26 to 29. Ticket prices vary depending on the portion of the castle you choose to visit.
4. Bamburgh Castle
Located in Bamburgh, England, this castle has been the setting for the films Ivanhoe, Mary Queen of Scots, and the iconic Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchett. One of the largest inhabited castles in England, Bamburgh Castle allows people to tour the grounds and also offers events like talks and Dragon (or scavenger) Hunts that’ll enhance your castle experience. Adult tickets are £11.25 (roughly $13 USD), children 5 and up are £5.50 (roughly $6 USD).
5. Broughton Castle
Broughton Castle has been the backdrop for many notable films including Wolf Hall, Jane Eyre, Shakespeare in Love, The Madness of King George, and Three Men and a Little Lady. The castle is located in Branbury, England, and offers tours and regular admission year-round. Entrance is free for members of the Historic Houses Association. Otherwise, on days when the castle is open, the adult admission price is £10 (roughly $11 USD). Private guided tours are are available by appointment. For all other pricing check the castle’s website.
6. Dover Castle
Dover Castle in Dover, England, has been the film location for flicks including Notting Hill and Marvel’s Avengers. The castle is referred to as the “key to England” and has stood for more than nine centuries. It is open to visitors and hosts fun events throughout the year, from jousting tournaments to a spooky castle night for Halloween. The castle also offers an escape room experience called The Bunker. Booking requirements for the escape room vary based on the number of participants. Members of the castle receive free entry; general admission prices vary -- check the tickets page for details.
7. Lyndhurst Castle
This castle is located in the U.S., in Tarrytown, New York, to be exact. Films such as Cradle Will Rock, Winter’s Tale, and House of Dark Shadows have been filmed here. Notable TV shows that feature scenes shot at the castle include Seven Deadly Sins, The Blacklist, Project Runway, and even TLC’s Four Weddings. Lyndhurst Castle is one of the first Gothic Revival mansions in the U.S. and is an architectural beauty. The castle is open for a variety of tours and events such as its Sunset Jazz concert series, which runs from July 11 to August 29. Castle tour tickets range from $10 to $20.
The fact that you can visit the castles in some of your favorite films is cool. But these 9 United Kingdom castles you can actually stay in are amazing! Start planning your royal getaway!