According to this year's surveys, 11 percent of Americans who are planning to travel internationally right now are considering a trip to the United Kingdom. Of those travelers, one-in-four intends to explore the country beyond London, showing an interest in its history and heritage.

A similar curiosity fuels trips to villages throughout Europe and other continents that otherwise might've ended up being forgotten. Settlements abandoned by developers that never became suburbs.

However, there is a way to visit these wonderful places even without leaving your home. The subreddit r/Castles and its 149k members constantly share pictures of wonderful historic palaces and fortifications. So pack your thumbs, we're scrolling!

#1

Edinburgh, Scotland Is Like A Real Life Harry Potter World

Edinburgh, Scotland Is Like A Real Life Harry Potter World

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Alex
Community Member
1 week ago

Yep, the weather looks right. Dark clouds, drizzle and cold every day of the year 😆

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#2

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland

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Romenriel
Community Member
1 week ago

Wow.

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A lot of the allure of these places comes from the history and human drama that played out within their walls, as well as the astonishing architecture that features on so many castles. They're also romantic and somewhat mystical, places that spark our imagination and conjure visions of knights in shining armor and powerful queens.

"Because they combine two functions, they are far more interesting than fortresses or palaces," Marc Morris, the author of 'Castles: Their History and Evolution in Medieval Britain' told CNN Travel.

#3

Mont St-Michel, France

Mont St-Michel, France

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Jihana
Community Member
1 week ago

Love the perspective of the picture

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#4

Kylemore Abbey In The Fog, Connemara, Galway, Ireland

Kylemore Abbey In The Fog, Connemara, Galway, Ireland

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Kaa
Community Member
1 week ago

This is a really great photo. Love the atmosphere

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#5

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

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Nami Tantrum
Community Member
1 week ago

that's a farely new castle compared to the others though

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"What makes a castle a castle is that it combines the functions of defense and dwelling — it's a fortification and a stately home rolled into one," Morris said.

The author highlighted that creating a building which is both comfortable and defensible is difficult. "The ingenious ways in which castle-designers reconciled this balance is always intriguing."

#6

Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

Zordack Report

BetterBitterButter
Community Member
1 week ago

So Germans took inspiration for their fairy tale castles from these?

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#7

At The End Of A 2.64 Mile Long Avenue Lined With Chestnut Trees And Flanked By Grazing Deer Awaits Windsor Castle A Truly Magnificent Sight

At The End Of A 2.64 Mile Long Avenue Lined With Chestnut Trees And Flanked By Grazing Deer Awaits Windsor Castle A Truly Magnificent Sight

TheGuvnor247 Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 week ago

Those deer are slightly threatening, not gonna lie

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#8

The Rock Of Cashel, An Ancient Royal Site For The Kings Of Munster In County Tipperary, Ireland

The Rock Of Cashel, An Ancient Royal Site For The Kings Of Munster In County Tipperary, Ireland

I_am_person6969 Report

BetterBitterButter
Community Member
1 week ago

When I was younger , I saw photographs of some Irish castles on the internet. I fell in love with those. It has been a dream of mine to visit the Emerald Isle one day. Hope someday things work out for me to visit these places(from what I know Ireland is quite expensive but maybe countryside not so much?) from thousands of kilometers away.

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#9

Château De Pierrefonds, France. It Is Such An Overwhelming Feeling Just Standing In Front Of It

Château De Pierrefonds, France. It Is Such An Overwhelming Feeling Just Standing In Front Of It

TheHolyAnusGuardian Report

Ash
Community Member
1 week ago

Isn't this where they filmed BBC's Merlin?

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Even though we normally associate castles with European history, as you can see from this list, it's actually an architectural form found around the globe — in nations as varied as Japan and India, Morocco and Mexico.

Many are now hubs of living history where modern visitors can watch jousting and other ancient combat forms, listen to medieval music or watch artisans demonstrate the arts, crafts and everyday skills of a century from years ago.

#10

Scaligero Castle, Italy

Scaligero Castle, Italy

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Norma
Community Member
1 week ago

oooo...I love that fortified dock/mooring! That's first class!

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#11

Peleș Castle - Carpathian Mountains - Sinaia, Romania

Peleș Castle - Carpathian Mountains - Sinaia, Romania

rockystl Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 week ago

Been there. I highly recommend visiting it, it is AWESOME!

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#12

Wooden Church On Kizhi Island, Russia, Builts Without Nails

Wooden Church On Kizhi Island, Russia, Builts Without Nails

Tovixoa Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 week ago

All made of wood without nails? Impressive. And incredible that it never burnt down.

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#13

Stalker, Scotland. Stalker Castle Was First Built In 1320 By Clan Macdougall

Stalker, Scotland. Stalker Castle Was First Built In 1320 By Clan Macdougall

It took on the form we see today in the 1440's after the Stewarts took over. The Stewarts lost the castle in a drunken bet around 1620 to Clan Campbell

Hoohill Report

Imperfect Panda
Community Member
1 week ago

Oh, I bet the Clan Mother was quite displeased w/her Husband in the morning!

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They also make great backdrops for outdoor events, such as concerts, films, plays and military performances, or for the on-location filming of movies and television shows.

"With a castle, you get not only the stories of sieges, but also stories of the domestic lives of the rich and famous," Morris said.

#14

Cochem Castle, Germany

Cochem Castle, Germany

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Albert
Community Member
1 week ago

Just visited Cochem a week ago. Very nice castle

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#15

Sanctuary Of Truth In Pattaya, Thailand

Sanctuary Of Truth In Pattaya, Thailand

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Lemonade Midnight
Community Member
1 week ago

This is my favourite I think

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#16

Osaka Castle At Night

Osaka Castle At Night

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James D
Community Member
1 week ago

I was lucky enough to go there when I was backpacking. Its truly wonderful.

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#17

Hohenzollern Castle At Sunrise On A Winter Morning In The Sea Of Clouds, Germany

Hohenzollern Castle At Sunrise On A Winter Morning In The Sea Of Clouds, Germany

terchon Report

BetterBitterButter
Community Member
1 week ago

This is clearly from a fairy tale.

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"Castles are places where plots were hatched, marriages were consummated, murders carried out, royal babies born, and so on. With castles, you are never short of fascinating things to talk about," Morris added.

Maybe that's why after all these years they still excite even children. For example, Lego just revealed a new set at LegoCon 2022 called The Lion Knights' Castle, which takes inspiration from the 1970s Yellow and Black Knight's castles. However, something tells me quite a few adults will be playing with them too.

#18

Abandoned Castle In Lough Key, Ireland

Abandoned Castle In Lough Key, Ireland

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Kel_how
Community Member
1 week ago

Just a low key castle

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#19

The Bojnice Castle Was Built In The 12th Century, It's Located In Slovakia And Has Romantic,gothic And Renaissance Elements

The Bojnice Castle Was Built In The 12th Century, It's Located In Slovakia And Has Romantic,gothic And Renaissance Elements

tallicahet81 Report

Jayne Kyra
Community Member
1 week ago

We have lots of castles here! One of the good parts about Slovakia! Also, another view of Bojnice: bojnice-62...7d09c0.jpg bojnice-62b42d77d09c0.jpg

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#20

Wernigerode Castle, Germany

Wernigerode Castle, Germany

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Lola G
Community Member
1 week ago

I would 100% study witchcraft there

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#21

Fort Bourtange, Groningen, Netherlands

Fort Bourtange, Groningen, Netherlands

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Imperfect Panda
Community Member
1 week ago

I would love to know the the thought behind the Architect’s choices here.

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Whether you want battlements or baronial glamor, it's also possible to stay in the U.K.'s oldest buildings. 

Some are part of organizations such as the National Trust, the Landmark Trust, or English Heritage while private owners tend to use Loyd & Townsend Rose.

Staying in one of L&TR properties allows you to soak up history in a way that's not possible on a day trip. Its extensive portfolio includes such beauties as the Inveraray Castle on the banks of Loch Fyne.

#22

I Didn't Notice Any Japanese Castles, So Here Is Himeji Castle

I Didn't Notice Any Japanese Castles, So Here Is Himeji Castle

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Shauna Hicken
Community Member
1 week ago

Its beautiful. (Osaka Castle, earlier in this collection, is also in Japan)

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#23

Butrón Castle, Spain

Butrón Castle, Spain

Porodicnostablo Report

Ines Olabarria-Smith
Community Member
1 week ago

I uses to work there!

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#24

The Castle Of Wijnendale, Belgium

The Castle Of Wijnendale, Belgium

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Lemonade Midnight
Community Member
1 week ago

Looks like something out of a fairytale :D

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#25

Quinta Da Regaleira In Sintra Portugal. This Place Is Surreal

Quinta Da Regaleira In Sintra Portugal. This Place Is Surreal

pboksz Report

Randolph Croft
Community Member
1 week ago

I've been there. The entire property was built to be... surreal.

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#26

Tantallon Castle, Scotland

Tantallon Castle, Scotland

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Jul Chv
Community Member
1 week ago

The view.... <3

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#27

Borrekens Castle - Antwerp - Construction Began 1270

Borrekens Castle - Antwerp - Construction Began 1270

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Imperfect Panda
Community Member
1 week ago

Wow. Stunning, yet intimidating!

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#28

This Oberhofen Castle, With Its Tower On The Water, Lies On The Right Shore Of The Lake Of Thun, In Switzerland. It Dates Back To The 13th Century

This Oberhofen Castle, With Its Tower On The Water, Lies On The Right Shore Of The Lake Of Thun, In Switzerland. It Dates Back To The 13th Century

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Francis
Community Member
1 week ago

this is where i live :) but i haven't seen Castle of Thun itself in this list (yet) Schloss Thun is also really nice :)

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#29

The Imperial Castle In Cochem, Germany

The Imperial Castle In Cochem, Germany

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Merea Osthagen
Community Member
5 days ago

My jaw is now dislocated from dropping so hard...lol. Absolutely beautiful!

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#30

The Ezra Pound Castle, Schloss Brunnenburg Or Castel Fontana. Built In 1241 It Is Situated Above The City Of Merano, On The Outskirts Of The Municipality Of Tirol, Italy

The Ezra Pound Castle, Schloss Brunnenburg Or Castel Fontana. Built In 1241 It Is Situated Above The City Of Merano, On The Outskirts Of The Municipality Of Tirol, Italy

Paul-Belgium Report

Imperfect Panda
Community Member
1 week ago

What is the red part? Flora, fauna, paint?

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#31

Spiš Castle, Slovakia

Spiš Castle, Slovakia

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Christa-Mari Bentham
Community Member
1 week ago

OK boys, that's enough drinking for one morning...let's go build that wall!!!!

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#32

Château Miranda - Belgium

Château Miranda - Belgium

Digitalanthill Report

Imperfect Panda
Community Member
1 week ago

Mother Nature is reclaiming her land.

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#33

The Garibaldi Castle In Khryashchevka, Russia, Is Named By Its Owner In The Honor Of His Father - Garibaldi Arcadievich Kuzichkin

The Garibaldi Castle In Khryashchevka, Russia, Is Named By Its Owner In The Honor Of His Father - Garibaldi Arcadievich Kuzichkin

The castle was built in the Neo-Gothic style and it's more of an architectural fantasy on the theme of European Gothic and Romanticism

djcenturion Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 week ago

Oh I love this one. Also those statues standing guard are badass

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#34

Penrhyn Castle, Wales

Penrhyn Castle, Wales

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Dawn Bodtke
Community Member
1 week ago

Knight to Rook...

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#35

The Royal Castle Of Olite Is A Former Castle Of The Kings Of Navarre, Situated In Northern Spain. The Silhouette Of The Castle, Is Not Only Imposing, It Is Also Unique For Its Architectural Chaos

The Royal Castle Of Olite Is A Former Castle Of The Kings Of Navarre, Situated In Northern Spain. The Silhouette Of The Castle, Is Not Only Imposing, It Is Also Unique For Its Architectural Chaos

djcenturion Report

Jessica Bertram
Community Member
1 week ago

egg or buttress??

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#36

Pena Palace - Sintra, Portugal

Pena Palace - Sintra, Portugal

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Robert Trebor
Community Member
1 week ago

Love the colors.

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#37

Scotny Castle Built Around 1370. Kent UK

Scotny Castle Built Around 1370. Kent UK

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Jules
Community Member
1 week ago

Missed the e, it's Scotney Castle and it's very pretty

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#38

Neuschwanstein Castle On Winter, In Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle On Winter, In Germany

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Imperfect Panda
Community Member
1 week ago

To wake up each morning and walk those grounds must have been amazing!!!

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#39

Fenis Castle, Italy

Fenis Castle, Italy

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Sharon
Community Member
1 week ago

Ooh.. just lovely.

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#40

Kalavantin Durg, India. Fortress Atop A Steep Hill

Kalavantin Durg, India. Fortress Atop A Steep Hill

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Christa-Mari Bentham
Community Member
1 week ago

Steep hill is so an understatement

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Note: this post originally had 49 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.