Fit for a Queen (or King) – Britain's 10 most handsome castles [pics]

Britain was built on the back of a long and tumultuous history. Hundreds and hundreds of years of conflict: countless battles fought by both native and foreign forces, the endless struggle between the ruling and ruled classes and the constant search for sanctuary from the isles’ harsh and changeable weather.

Few things express what puts the Great into Britain better than a castle. Here’s our pick of the 10 most handsome castles in England, Scotland and Wales.

The featured image of the Tower of London is courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces.

Bodiam Castle - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Bodiam Castle. Photo by renrut

Bodiam Castle – East Sussex, England

Period built: 14th century
Visit price: £6.30
Unique feature: picturesque moat

Windsor Castle - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Windsor Castle. Photo by Karen Roe

Windsor Castle – Berkshire, England

Period built: 15-19th centuries
Visit price: £17
Unique feature: the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, Windsor is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world

Inveraray Castle - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Inveraray Castle. Photo courtesy of www.inveraray-castle.com

Inveraray Castle – Argyll, Scotland

Period built: 18th century
Visit price: £10
Unique feature: surrounded by Scotland’s longest sea loch (Loch Fyne) on one side and forested hills on the other

St Michael's Mount - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

St Michael’s Mount. Photo courtesy of St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount – Cornwall, England

Period built: 19th century
Visit price: £7.50
Unique feature: the castle is situated on top of a small tidal island

Warwick Castle - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Warwick Castle. Photo courtesy of Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle – Warwickshire, England

Period built: 11-17th centuries
Visit price: £30.60 (save money by booking online)
Unique feature: arguably the finest kept medieval castle in the world

Tower of London - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Tower of London. Photo courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

The Tower of London – London, England

Period built: 11-19th centuries
Visit price: £20.90
Unique feature: home to the Crown jewels

Penrhyn Castle - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Penrhyn Castle. Photo by The Ancient Brit.

Penrhyn Castle – Gwynedd, Wales

Period built: 19th century
Visit price: £10
Unique feature: contains a one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria

Arundel Castle - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Arundel Castle. Photo courtesy of www.arundelcastle.org

Arundel Castle – West Sussex, England

Period built: 11-19th centuries
Visit price: £17
Unique feature: the original motte-and-double-bailey portion of the castle (constructed in 1068) remains in great condition

Eastnor Castle - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Eastnor Castle. Photo by dave-pemcoastphotos.com

Eastnor Castle – Herefordshire, England

Period built: 19th century
Visit price: £9
Unique feature: every summer this “mock” castle (a stately home built to resemble a castle) hosts the Big Chill Festival

Dunvegan Castle - Britain's 10 most handsome castles

Dunvegan Castle. Photo courtesy of Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle – Isle of Skye, off the coast of Scotland

Period built: 9th century
Visit price: £9.50
Unique feature: occupied by the same clan for over eight centuries, Dunvegan is Scotland’s oldest continually inhabited castle

Note: all prices listed are for adult admission.

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…