10 amazing castles in Kent

PUBLISHED: 16:29 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:29 02 July 2020

Scotney Castle is one of our picks for prettiest castles in Kent (photo: TerryJLawrence, Getty Images)

Scotney Castle is one of our picks for prettiest castles in Kent (photo: TerryJLawrence, Getty Images)

Terry Lawrence

Kent has many castles and stately homes, but we have hand selected the ten best castles in Kent for you to visit

- Scotney Castle

Scotney is truly a fairytale castle: Set in a picturesque garden surrounded by woodland that spans nearly 800 acres. The 14th century, National Trust-owned property, has all the features of a picture book house with a moat and colourful garden that is the epitome of tranquillity and grandeur. You will be lost in the romance as you explore.

Visiting: The estate and gardens are perfect for summer walks and they're dog-friendly too. There is a tea room to enjoy cake and coffee.

Scotney Castle

- Leeds Castle

The stunning, moated Leeds Castle has a long history and has had many different roles. It has been the home of royalty: six medieval queens and Henry VIII and his first wife, a stronghold in Norman times and today it is a one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the country. Wonderfully preserved, visitors can go inside the castle and revel in the historical décor, imagining life 900 years in the past.

Visiting: Admission tickets grants multiple entries for one year and includes some events too. The Leeds Castle calendar is packed with events (augmented even further by its 900th anniversary celebrations), exhibitions, concerts, shows, markets, fairs and much more. Check the events page online for a full list.

DSC04376

- Dover Castle

Dover Castle is one of the largest castles in England and has a fascinating past that may go back almost 2000 years. The tunnels were converted into air raid shelters during WWII and are nearly three miles long. There is a lot to be discovered at Dover Castle.

Visiting: Open every day, Dover Castle has plenty to see and do. Descend down into the medieval tunnels, try the Bunker escape room based on the Cold War history of the castle and much more.

The Castle.  Dover, Kent, England.

- Hever Castle

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn and nearly 700 years old, Hever Castle is a breathtaking building that will immerse you in the past. With tapestries, fine furnishings, and paintings inside, you will feel like you have been transported back in time. There are 125 acres of gardens and grounds to explore, mazes, a boating lake, a Japanese tea house and activities such as archery, a military museum, a playground for the kids and more.

Visiting: Check the buzzing events page on the website because a visit might coincide with something exciting. Book tickets online to save money. Allow four hours to make the most of your day, and check opening times to avoid disappointment.

Hever Castle & Gardens - Kent

- Rochester Castle

The 113-foot keep of Rochester Castle, built by the Archbishop of Canterbury William de Corbeil in 1127, is wonderfully preserved and stands proud near the River Medway in Rochester. Nowadays there are lots of events taking place on the grounds of Rochester Castle including falconry, medieval combat shows, and much more.

Visiting: Rochester Castle is open most days throughout the year.

Castle and Cathedral

- Tonbridge Castle

The Grade I listed Tonbridge Castle and gatehouse are wonderfully preserved and restored buildings. With lots of educational features for children to enjoy including tours of the gatehouse and castle, medieval life will be brought into the present at Tonbridge Castle.

Visiting: Take an audio tour of the castle which lasts up to one hour and there is an additional 30-minute tour of the grounds. This is included in ticket entry price.

Tonbridge Castle

- Walmer Castle

Walmer Castle was built by King Henry VIII and has many features to explore including artwork and period furniture, the basement, gun ports, canons and much more. There are also eight acres of gorgeous gardens to see which have been recently restored and are full of colour during summer.

Visiting: The castle and gardens are open most days but check online for special events which may affect opening times.

Walmer-Castle-Kent-England-2018--DSC_9068 (2048x1365)

- Deal Castle

Located on the beautiful Kent coast, Deal Castle has an elaborate architectural design that makes it unique. Visitors to this coastal fort can explore the dark passages that run underneath it and peruse the outside while admiring the structure that makes Deal Castle so different.

Visiting: The castle is open most days but check online for special events which may affect opening times.

Walmer Castle Deal Kent. UK

- Upnor Castle

The peaceful surroundings of Upnor Castle do not reflect its colourful past: redeveloped in 1599 to protect warships, there was a battle in which the Dutch tried burning the British fleet. Nowadays you can enjoy the calm and quiet of the castle located in a village and set on the banks of the River Medway.

Visiting: The castle is open most days but check online for special events which may affect opening times.

upnor castle kent

- Canterbury Castle

The ruin of Canterbury Castle is a popular tourist destination for people visiting Canterbury. The ancient Norman castle was built by William the Conqueror starting in 1070. There is a lovely garden surrounding the ruins, a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon.

Visiting: It is free to visit Canterbury Castle, which is conveniently located in the city centre. Visitors can also climb up to a viewing point and information placards are placed around the area.

Canterbury Castle

__________

Follow Kent Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

More from Out & About

As the world slows down, we turn our eyes to the skies in search of the best places to watch some celestial wonders this summer

Read more

Here are 12 places that may have flown under your radar before but are well worth seeking out

Read more

Kent is blessed with fine and indeed famous country houses, but over the decades has lost as many of its grander houses as it retains. A new book by Martin Easdown reveals 120 examples that have simply disappeared

Read more
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Take our quiz to see if you can decipher the town or place in Kent from the emojis

Read more
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Enjoy three of Kent’s best and most loved cycle rides which take in lots of the county’s beautiful coastlines

Read more

We look ahead to the end of lockdown and to a quiet seaside resort we can’t wait to visit again – Herne Bay

Read more

Hythe and New Romney, with their peaceful marshes, abundant wildlife and beautiful coastline, are the perfect places to explore when we’re allowed to travel again

Read more
Friday, June 12, 2020

We’ve gathered six of the best dog-friendly pubs in Kent to enjoy a bite to eat after a scenic stroll

Read more

Try these Kent-themed ideas for the ultimate ‘stay-cation’ – without having to move further away from home than the garden gate

Read more
Monday, June 8, 2020

Picnic baskets at the ready because we have gathered 10 of the best places to enjoy a picnic in stunning rural Kent

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life