You might think that, by their very nature, castles aren’t the most accessible of sites to visit. After all, their entire reason for existing is to be inaccessible and difficult to get around!
But surprisingly, many of the UK’s very best castles are relatively easy to explore, and the teams who run them have made a lot of effort to make these ancient buildings open to all. Many also have wonderful grounds and gardens to enjoy.
So, with that in mind, here is Quingo Scooters’ guide to the UK’s best and most accessible castles.
1. Dover Castle, Kent
It’s hard to think of more strategically-placed castle than Dover. There have been fortifications of one sort or another here since the Iron Age. It has played an important role over the centuries – there is still evidence of a Roman lighthouse as well as an Anglo Saxon church. And of course the castle itself sits in a commanding position on the White Cliffs, from where it acted as a naval headquarters during World War II.
As you’d expect with a building of this age, not every part of the castle is accessible. But there is ramped access to the ground floor however and the grounds themselves are also accessible – just watch out for a few steeper slopes here and there. There is a car park close to the entrance and also an excellent visitor bus route around the site.
2. Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire
Come for the castle – stay for the views. This stunning castle has incredible views over the Vale of Scarsale which you can enjoy from the terrace. The castle was created by Sir William Cavendish during the Stuart period and is a lavish and spectacular experience.
While the Little Castle itself isn’t accessible, there is still plenty to see along the huge terrace, the Riding House and around the Venus Garden. There are level, firm paths throughout the beautiful gardens, as well as plenty of spots to stop and take in the views. The team there are very helpful, and recommend you give them a call on 01246 822844 before your visit to discuss your requirements.
3. Alnwick Castle, Northumbria
If you love castles and wild landscapes, you will love Northumbria in general. This is a region of spectacular ruins overlooking vast, windswept beaches – the kind of place that still feels alive with history. Alnwick Castle is something very special however and it makes for a great day out. The castle was used for the Harry Potter films as the setting for Hogwarts, but its origins stretch back to Norman times.
There’s a lot to see here, and of course given the building’s age not all of it is accessible. But large parts of it are, including much of the extensive grounds. There is a lift to the upper floors, and there is also Blue Badge parking available conveniently close by. The team there are very helpful too – just give them a call on 01665 511 100 or email [email protected].
4. Sudeley Castle, Cotswolds
Something a bit less wild and a little more genteel now. Sudeley in the Cotswolds has both a beautiful castle and ten – yes, ten – unique gardens.
It has a fascinating history. Henry VIII’s final wife Katherine Parr is buried here, and the gardens date back to before the Tudors.
There is an excellent circular accessible route around the gardens which is well worth exploring. The Pheasantry and the church are also accessible, as is the adventure playground if you’re visiting with family.
5. Glamis Castle, Scotland
First things first – it’s pronounced ‘glaams’, if you want to sound like you’re in the know! The seat of the Lyon family, the earls of Strathmore for almost 650 years, this has been the home of significant royals for many generations.
The Queen Mother grew up there, Princess Margaret was born there, and famously, it is the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. As far as we know there haven’t been any real-life royal murders here (although James V had one earl’s widow condemned to death for being a witch!).
But this is an impressive place and much of it is also accessible. The ground floor (including the coach house and the restaurant) as well as the gardens are all accessible for those of us who use a mobility scooter.If you’ve got any questions, just give the team a call on 01307 840393 or email them at [email protected] to discuss your visit.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 30847.