England is known for many things, from its Royal family, its thriving music scene, historic sites and centuries-old castles, rich cultural traditions, exciting cities, to its fascinating history. A popular destination in the world, England offers historic and cultural attractions at every turn.
Part of the United Kingdom, England is a country bordered by Scotland to its north and Wales to its west. It covers a large area of Great Britain and has 100 smaller islands, the most prominent of which are the Isle of Wight and Isle of Scilly.
The population of England is about 56.3 million, which covers 84% of the United Kingdom’s entire population. Much of England’s population is concentrated in the capital city of London, which is a popular political, economic, and cultural hub not only in the United Kingdom but in the rest of the world.
The country’s terrain is largely low hills and plains. However, in the north and in the west, there is some upland and mountainous terrain. A fertile land laced with small streams and endearing rivers, England has a thriving agricultural economy.
Steeped in history and tradition, Britain has been settled since prehistoric times. The earliest humans are said to have lived here since 900.000 years ago. However, Britain’s recorded history started during the Roman Era, which was around AD 43. After successfully invading Britain, the Romans stayed here for almost four centuries. The most popular structure built during this period is the Hadrian Wall (AD 122). Its ruins can still be visited this day.
After the Roman Era came the “Dark Ages,” a challenging period that lasted from 410 to 1066. It was during this period that England came to being, a new kingdom with a unique identity and language. A new era dawned during the Norman Conquest. The Medieval Period lasted from 1066 t0 1485. Then came a succession of monarchs, from the Tudors (1485 to 1603), the Stuarts (1603 to 1714), the Georgians (1714 to 1837), to the Victorians (1837 to 1901).
It was during the Victorian period that the country acquired unprecedented wealth and power which extended across the globe. This also marked the Industrial Revolution, with England as the epicentre. During this period, England became the most industrialized country in the world.
It is said that there used to be around 4,000 castles in England. However, only hundreds of these castles remain today. Some are in ruins, while others were carefully renovated and transformed into popular tourist attractions and castle hotels. With these developments, you can now stay in an English castle like royalty.
The first proper castles in England were introduced by the Normans more than 1,000 years ago. The early castles were wooden motte and bailey castles. After their victory at the Battle of Hastings in the year 1066, the Normans built around 1,000 castles in a period of 150 years to protect their territory from enemy attacks. The motte and bailey castles were quickly replaced with the stronger stone castles.
During the 11th century, Henry I and Henry II focused on building stronger keeps around the castle. However, during the 12th century, the focus shifted from keeps to enclosure walls and gatehouses, as a form of outer defences. Castles became more comfortable and stylish during the late middle ages, around the 14th and 15th centuries. Castles built during this period were larger and had more rooms.
In the later part of the medieval period, castles’ role as fortification slowly declined. The purpose of castles was to become more residential. During this period, many castles were abandoned and neglected. However, some fortresses were renovated and modernized, transformed into comfortable residences. In the 18th and 19th centuries, new mansions were built in the style of castles. While these mansions were technically not castles, they came to be known as castles.
The oldest castle in England that is still standing to this day is Windsor Castle. Built in 1070, the castle is also known as the oldest occupied castle in the world. Windsor Castle is the most popular castle in England as well, mainly due to its historic importance and its strong association with the English and the succeeding British Royal Family. Other famous castles in England include Leeds Castle, Warwick Castle, Arundel Castle, Tintagel Castle, Walmer Castle, and Bamburgh Castle.
Many of the English castles that still exist today have been converted into castle hotels. When it comes to castle accommodations in England, there are plenty to choose from. Experience living like royalty by visiting some of the most historic and popular castle hotels in England. These include the Amberley Castle, Thornbury Castle, Langley Castle, Bovey Castle, Peckforton Castle, and Warwick Castle.