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Castles in Cumbria

Photo: David Avoura King (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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A visit to a castle — whether you stumble over one during a hike outdoors or walk your way around the grounds with a guide — is always something special, and you’ve got 18 beautiful castles to choose from in Cumbria. Just browse our list to find your top castle , and add some history to your next adventure!

The top 18 castles in Cumbria

    © OSM
    1

    Wray Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    A National Trust property that's open for visitors from late March to late October, Wray Castle is a stunning Victorian house built in 1840. A bit of a strange sight …

    Tip by
    emmie c
    © OSM
    2

    Carlisle Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Dating back over 900 years, Carlisle Castle would once have been at the centre of various battles and invasion. It was constructed in a Norman style, complete with motte and …

    Tip by
    Amy
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    3

    Wray Castle

    Hiking Highlight

    Very nice hike from Hawkshead Croft campsite to Wray Castle and back

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    Tip by
    Stefan
    © OSM
    5

    Penrith Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    A ruined medieval castle in Penrith, Penrith Castle has witnessed many turbulent eras of British history. Built between 1399 and 1470 to defend against Scottish raids, the castle passed between …

    Tip by
    Amy
    © OSM
    6

    Gleaston Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Built in the 14th century for John Harrington, Gleaston Castle passed through the hands of various affluent families throughout its history. Eventually, the castle lay disused and fell into disrepair. …

    Tip by
    Amy
    © OSM
    7

    Shap Abbey

    Hiking Highlight

    The impressive ruins of Shap Abbey are situated in the secluded and beautiful valley of the River Lowther. Founded in the late 12th century, Shap Abbey was one of 32 …

    © OSM
    8

    Cockermouth Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Built by the Normans in 1134, Cockermouth Castle is a wonderful historical site. The castle was constructed where the River Cocker and Derwent meet using stone from Derventio, a Roman …

    Tip by
    Amy
    © OSM
    9

    Sizergh Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Set amongst stunning landscaped gardens, Sizergh Castle transports you back in time. The Strickland family has lived in the beautiful medieval house for over 750 years. Family portraits and possessions …

    Tip by
    Amy
    © OSM
    10

    Naworth Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Built in the 13th century, Naworth is a spectacular medieval castle in Cumbria. This former royal-owned castle has hosted a range of nobles during its history. Artist William Morris also …

    Tip by
    Amy
    © OSM
    11

    Pendragon Castle

    Hiking Highlight

    This romantic ruin, set amongst the Vale of Mallerstang’s scenic beauty, has a rich history and many associated legends. Said to have once been the fortress of Uther Pendragon of …

    © OSM
    12

    Piel Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Built at the beginning of the 14th century, Piel Castle once protected the local harbour on the island from Scottish raids. Stones from a nearby beach were used to construct …

    Tip by
    Amy
    © OSM
    13

    Appleby Castle

    Hiking Highlight

    This magnificent castle, standing proud above the Eden Valley, was built at the behest of William II after he had driven the Scots out of Westmorland in 1092. Caesar's Tower …

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    14

    Muncaster Castle

    Hiking Highlight

    This is a magnificent grade I-listed castle with gardens set to the backdrop of the highest mountains in England. The estate began in the 12th century, though the present castle …

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    15

    Brough Castle

    Hiking Highlight

    Brough Castle commands a strategically important position at the foot of the Stainmore Pass. The Romans built a fort here to protect their military road across the Pennines. 1,000 years …

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    16

    Brougham Castle

    Hiking Highlight

    Formerly the site of the Brocavum Roman fort, Brougham Castle is a 13th-century castle at the confluence of the Eamont and Lowther rivers. Today it is scheduled an Ancient Monument …

    © OSM
    17

    Egremont Castle

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Originally built under William II of England in 1092 to protect Egremont town from invasion, Egremont castle has now fallen into ruin. You can, however, still visit the crumbling walls …

    Tip by
    Amy
    © OSM
    18

    Brougham Hall

    Hiking Highlight

    Brougham Hall has lived a chequered life. At the time of the Norman Conquest it was in the hands of the Veteriponts, ancestors to the Cliffords. It was Lady Anne …

Map of the Top 18 castles in Cumbria

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