The Best Castles Near Bath

The beautiful English city of Bath is situated in the South-West of the country, and is one of the most enchanting cities in the entirety of the nation; with its grand and impressive Roman and Georgian architecture, as well as its irresistible spas and growing art scene, Bath is a fantastic city to visit.

Though the city itself is not enormous, and there are many opportunities to branch out and explore what lies further afield; what is particularly notable about Bath and its surrounding area, is that there are a huge number of historic castles, many of which are incredibly well-preserved, and provide an insight into the past.

This list will highlight the best castles near to Bath, their key points of interest, as well as practical information, such as their location, and their opening and closing times.

The best 7 castles to visit near Bath

1. Sham Castle

Designed in approximately the year 1755 by the famous pioneer of Gothic revival architecture, Sanderson Miller, Sham Castle is a beautiful and unique folly castle that is situated upon Claverton Down, that offers unbeatable views of the city of Bath below.

Though the castle was designed in 1755, it was not built until the year 1762 by the master mason for the prominent entrepreneur Ralph Allen, Richard James; it is today a Grade II Listed Building, and has many beautiful Neo-Gothic features, such as dramatic archways, windows, and turrets. It is also illuminated at night, meaning it is a great place to visit in the early evening.

Where: Claverton Down

When: 18th century

Style: Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

2. Farleigh Hungerford Castle

Situated in the scenic village of Farleigh Hungerford, which is just outside of Bath lies the gorgeous Farleigh Hungerford Castle; this castle consists of two parts, and they were built at different. The first section, the inner court, was constructed by Sir Thomas Hungerford between the years 1377 and 1383.

The second section, the outer section, was not constructed until years later. Today, the castle is owned by the English Heritage group, and it is primarily a tourist attraction; it makes for a great day trip from Bath.

Where: Farleigh Hungerford

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

3. Nunney Castle

Located in the idyllic Somerset village of Nunney lies the fantastic and historic Nunney Castle, which is an amazing 14th-century medieval fortress.

It was originally constructed by Sir John Delamare who was a knight in the court of King Edward III; it was constructed in a classic moat style and is believed to have been influenced by the French castles of the time.

Unfortunately, in the 16th century, the castle was heavily damaged in the midst of the English Civil War, and it has since been ruined. The castle is now owned by English Heritage, and it operates as a tourist attraction.

Where: Nunney

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

Check out more beautiful castles to visit in Somerset. 

4. Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle is a beautiful and historic castle that is located in the town of Berkeley in the county of Gloucestershire; today, it is maintained by the English Heritage, and it is a Grade I Listed Building.

The origins of this castle originally date back to the 11th century, though it has been in the possession of the Berkeley family since they undertook a reconstruction of it in the 12th century; it was also briefly owned by the Tudors.

Fascinatingly, it is also believed to have been the site where King Edward II was murdered; there are so many hidden secrets here just waiting to be uncovered.

Where: Berkeley

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

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5. Blaise Castle Estate

Built in approximately the year 1766, Blaise Castle was is a stunning Neo-Gothic folly castle that is situated on the larger estate. This particular folly castle on the estate is a Grade II listed and ancillary building, and it is primarily used as a tourist attraction.

Although the castle itself is relatively new, the grounds on which is it built has an incredibly extensive history, dating back to the Neolithic era, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Roman period. The Estate makes for a perfect day trip to escape the city-scape of Bath, and enjoy another side to the area’s heritage.

Where: Henbury

When: 18th century

Style: Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

6. Old Wardour Castle

Located in the scenic country of Wiltshire and perched neatly upon a lake lies the stunning Old Wardour Castle; it was originally constructed in the 14th century as a residence for nobility, as well as a site to entertain friends and guests.

Over the centuries, the castle has switched hands, on multiple different occasions, and its overall shape and style have also altered. It has also appeared in many films, and has been the inspiration for others; it is a great place to come for a day trip from Bath, either for a romantic stroll or family day out.

Where: Tisbury

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

7. Donnington Castle

Situated a little further away from the centre of Bath, but nonetheless an easily accessible site by car, lies the beautiful Donnington Castle; located in Berkshire, this ruined medieval castle was originally founded in the year 1386 by Sir Richard Abberbury the Elder before it was acquired by Thomas Chaucer.

The castle has a fantastic history of military conflict, battles, as well as being a royal residence for famous figures, and it also offers visitors impressive views of the surrounding countryside.

Where: Donnington

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: The castle itself is not accessible, but the grounds are always open

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