Be it fairytale or gothic revival, turrets or towers, dragon-filled or the home of royalty, castles come in all shapes and sizes. What they all have in common is their imposing outlines sitting in commanding positions, clearly selling the message about the wealth and power of their owners. If you fancy playing royals for the day, we bring you ten of the best castle walks…
Castles across the UK have fascinating histories stretching over many centuries. Often used as fortresses in wars and power struggles, it is no surprise that they have enjoyed mixed fortunes. Whilst some are now only haunting ruins, others continue to be the homes of royalty and gentry. Take your pick from our hand-selected favourites and you will enjoy everything from the home of King Arthur or a current royal residence to a fortress dating from the Norman invasion or a modern gothic folly built solely to demonstrate wealth.
This walk starts from Beeston Castle, the ruins of a 13th century castle, and heads out across farmland to circle Peckforton Castle, a 19th century country house built in the style of a medieval castle and now operating as a hotel. Both castles are visible for much of the route sitting high on their respective hills giving a real sense of their imposing presence on the area.
The capital of ancient Northumbria, Bamburgh is notable for three things, all of which you can explore whilst following this route. First, Bamburgh Castle is one of Northumberland’s most iconic buildings and serves as a backdrop to the entire route. Second, the extensive sandy beaches are some of the best in England, ideal for picnics or rock pooling. Finally, the village is the final resting place of Grace Darling, the Victorian heroine famed for participating in the rescue of a shipwreck in 1838.
Castell Coch is a fantastic Victorian castle designed by William Burges. Built on the ruins of a medieval castle, the name Castell Coch translates in English to Red Castle, taking its name from the red sandstone from which it is built. It is an excellent example of Victorian Gothic Revival. The walk gives you chance to visit the castle as well as the beautiful surrounding beech woodland.
Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror. The walk explores stretches of the Grand Union Canal and the River Avon as well as passing the historic Warwick Castle and St. John's House Museum near to the centre of Warwick.
This walk starts from the idyllic medieval village of Castle Hedingham, following a loop north into the surrounding arable farmland with the opportunity to visit the namesake Norman Castle. The Norman Keep at Hedingham Castle is the best preserved in England. It was built in 1140 by Aubrey de Vere II, the first Lord Great Chamberlain of England.
The 13th century Pickering Castle was used as a royal hunting lodge, holiday home and a stud farm by a succession of medieval kings. The walk takes you from the centre of the market town, heading north on quiet tracks and through pastures before returning through woodland to reach the castle itself.
Arundel Castle is a restored and remodelled medieval castle and has served as a home since the 11th century. It has been in the ownership of the family of the Duke of Norfolk for more than 400 years. The walking route allows you to explore the town before taking a riverside journey heading north to Amberley.
This linear walk leads you along the Purbeck Ridge from Corfe Castle to Swanage returning by train on the heritage steam railway. The Isle of Purbeck, whilst not an island, has water on three sides so the route, affording panoramic views of the stunning local coastlines. Early in the walk you will have a wonderful view of the ruins of the 11th century Corfe Castle which perches above the village.
Tintagel Castle is associated with the legends surrounding King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. This cliff top route will give you spectacular views across this section of the Atlantic coast, chance to visit the castle itself and of course you’ll also be able to enjoy the famous local myths and legends.
Windsor Castle is perhaps the most famous of all castles, being the largest inhabited castle in the world and one of the main residences of the Queen. This walk explores Windsor Great Park and you’ll have magnificent views of Windsor Castle as well as a chance to see some of the park’s famous statues such as the Copper Horse.
14 February 2017
Google Play 2018
Best walking app I've used, the routes have always been better than expected. Not only are they picturesque, they are also easy to follow.
Google Play 2018
Loving this app. Initially had a few glitches but these all went away after a bit of tweaking the settings. I have used the app for 6 walks so far and have discovered lovely local walks that I would have never known about. The walk descriptions and directions have been really accurate. The live map has been helpful in checking that I haven't gone off course.
Newsletter Feedback 2018
Just completed my first walk using the @ifootpathuk app on my phone. A nice walk and we didn't get lost (as I have no sense of direction whatsoever that is high praise!) #hiking #Snowdonia #walking #adventure
Twitter Feedback 2018
Google Play Review 2018
Super fast help to sort out my problem. Well done and nice friendly reply as well.
Help Centre August 2018
Super fast help to sort out my problem. Well done and nice friendly reply as well.
iOS Appstore November 2017
Great App - never get lost! by The Parallax View Best couple of quid I’ve spent in a long time. Walks are well described & it’s easy to see if you’ve wandered off the mapped tracks via GPS. Degree of difficulty is useful too - can choose a 2 Welly, 5 mile walk with a pub at the end for a relaxing Sunday.
Email November 2017
Wow what a lovely experience it was using your app worked perfectly from the off for the first time found walks nearby we would have never found, brilliant work guys and gals.
This is a great app. Easy to use. Great selection of walks and very uncomplicated instructions, good simple maps. Other walking apps I have tried can be very confusing, this one is just right. Thank you
I used the app for the first time this afternoon. I lead regular ‘Walking for Health’. The app is terrific!
I do a lot of solo walking...so always worry about safety and getting lost.....not anymore I don't...!!!!! The guides are always spot on....and that's what I do.just follow the blue spot...!!! Thank you.... It's my favourite app...!!!!
My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
Without doubt the best app that I have ever downloaded! - NT
This App is brilliant. It enables you to track your walks and download them for future reference. The Library provides you with a variety of walks and are supported by clear instructions and photographs along the route. This makes them very easy to follow. I have used the App for about two years and have found it invaluable. Should you have any queries about any aspect of iFootpath the support you get is second to none.
Absolutely beautiful walk, and a wonderful app. Thank you so much :)
I want to congratulate you on your web site/app performance, quick, reliable and easy to use. I have similar walking apps with OS Maps and ViewRanger but yours is best.
This app has totally changed my life, i absolutely love it. I did this walk yesterday, what a beautiful walk it is, i thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely do it again, in fact i met an older gentleman who was on his 100 and something time there!! My sister and daughter cant wait to come along. The noise mentioned about the motorway is negligible and for me did not detract from the overall walk at all, the view from the top was stunning!!
So far I have downloaded 5 walks and completed 3 of them, tomorrow will be No 4. I love your website The walk descriptions are the best I have used in the last six years of rambling since I retired. This is a website I would be more than happy to pay a subscription for, instead I'll donate a sum to my favourite charity. THANK YOU.
Have deleted Pokemon Go and downloaded @ifootpathuk which is much more 'me'
I love the illustrated descriptions of each walk section. Really helps to enjoy the walk and get to know something about what I'm seeing. So much better than apps that only provide GPS co-ordinates and no photos or description. Love it!
After trying out numerous other apps I came across this one: way ahead of any of the others in every way. Much more accurate and very easy to use with great features. Would highly recommend it as THE app to use for walking.
Just wonderful, with walks for everyone: the fit, the not-so-fit, short walks, long walks, through woods, up hills (and down).
I highly recommend it, as my mum and I use it to go for walks and finish by eating at a pub. Its detailed and sometimes humorous instructions lead us easily to our destination. Also, to top this, it has interesting facts about the area we're walking in
I don't review much but this app deserves it. Downloaded some really good walks and the combination of the good descriptions and the really useful map of the walk showing where you are make it a brilliant tool. Well done and keep up the good work.
Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
Used app while visiting (it was great!)--live in Texas. Thanks!
Your app and walks are a dream to use
Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!