7 Yorkshire Castles to Visit

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We are not a warring race but Yorkshire folk have always defended their territory. Here is a selection of castles from former glory days that are now visitor attractions worth your time exploring.

  1. With its 3,000 year history, stunning location and panoramic views over the Yorkshire coastline, Scarborough Castle is one of the finest tourist attractions in the North.
  2. Skipsey Castle is an impressive Norman motte and bailey castle dating from before 1086 and among the first raised in Yorkshire. Earthworks were used to create a fortified ‘borough’.
  3. The castle is not the oldest part of Conisbrough as St Peters Church is the oldest building in South Yorkshire dating from AD 650-700. However by the time of the Norman conquest the manor was held by King Harold. In the 16th century the castle suffered neglect and eventually became a ruin but now happily benefits from some restoration. In the view of many Conisbrough Castle is unique.
  4. Unlock 900 years of life at Helmsley Castle, an essential site for any visitor to the market town of Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park.
  5. Middleham Castle is a fascinating place to visit in the Yorkshire Dales. Once the childhood home of Richard III you can relive the Castle’s illustrious history and unlock the deeds of its great owners. ‘My horse my horse a kingdom for a horse’ by William Shakespeare Richard III – appropriate for Middleham with it’s racing stables.
  6. Spofforth Castle is a ruined hall and chamber of a fortified manor house of the powerful Percy family, dating mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries. Its undercroft is cut into a rocky outcrop.
  7. Richmond Castle has breathtaking views of the Yorkshire dales on the coast to coast path. Richmond Castle is one of the finest tourist attractions in North Yorkshire.
  8. From Clifford’s Tower the stunning view you get of the historic city of York that makes Clifford’s Tower one of the most popular attractions in Yorkshire. Some gory stories are told on York ghost walks.

Contribution from English Heritage – keeper of all these castles and many other prominent Yorkshire sites.



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