The Top 10 Castles Kids Most Want To Visit

August 06, 2018 6:00 AM ‐ Movies

This article is more than five years old.

A poll of 1,000 kids aged six to 16 has revealed the castle that they'd most like to visit, whether real or fictional. The study was commissioned by English Heritage ahead of its forthcoming #LoveCastles season, which aims to encourage families to take a trip to one of the nation's forts.

Fictional castles dominated their bucket lists, although landmarks such as a castle which is reputedly one of the UK's most haunted feature in the top 10, as well as several make-believe castles from children's movies and the Harry Potter franchise. Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said "we are in danger of creating an 'iCastle Generation' of kids who have only ever seen a castle on a screen."

She adds, "most of us can remember our first trip to a castle – whether on a day out with the family or a school trip, but today's children are increasingly likely to catch their first glimpse via TV or film rather than in real life."

The research also found 60% of kid's earliest memories of castles were through TV, film and books, while 43% revealed they are more familiar with fictional forts than real-life ones.

It also emerged two thirds enjoy visiting castles and half of kids "love" castles, but 37% haven't visited one for more than a year and half wished their parents took them to see castles more often. In fact, 41% wished they lived in a castle.

10. Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

In 1959 Walt Disney made their version of the classic fairytale 'Sleeping Beauty', the company recreated the castle in real life at their Disneyland, California theme park.

9. Dover Castle, Kent

Dover Castle

Records show that a settlement has existed on the site of Dover Castle since Saxon times, it has a history of involvement in pirates, Napoleonic battles, and even housed a secret underground command centre in the Second World War. So it's no wonder that it is often referred to as one of the most haunted castle in the UK.

8. Windsor Castle, Berkshire

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle dates back to the reign of William the Conqueror and is said to be home to many ghost, as well as plenty of monarchs throughout British history. The notable ghosts that are said to haunt the castle include that of King Charles I, Elizabeth I and King George III has also been seen peering out of the window in the room where he was often detained.

7. Far Far Away Castle, Shrek

Far Far Away Castle, Shrek

The Far Far Away Palace is the home of the Far Far Away Royal Family and their servants in DreamWorks' 'Shrek' franchise.

6. Castle Doom, Marvel Comics

Castle Doom, Marvel Comics

Castle Doom is a medieval-styled palace which is the home of Doctor Doom, self proclaimed ruler if the small European nation of Latveria, in Marvel's 'Fantastic Four' comics.

5. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

The Scottish capital is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the world, and the castle which overlooks it also has its fair share of spooks, many tourists have reported plenty of paranormal activity over the years. There are several ghosts who are said to haunt this historic fortress, the most commonly sighted are an old man in apron, a piper who mysteriously lost his life after getting lost in the tunnels below the castle and a headless drummer boy.

4. Beast's Castle, Beauty And The Beast

Beast's Castle, Beauty And The Beast

You can actually visit the castle that inspired the beast’s home in Disney's 'Beauty And The Beast', the Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley was the inspiration for the castle in both the 1991 animated movie and the 2017 version starring Emma Watson.

3. Elsa's Ice Palace, Frozen

Elsa's Ice Palace, Frozen

Elsa's Ice Palace was created by Elsa the Snow Queen in the 2013 Disney animated film Frozen, during the sequence of "Let It Go" on the North Mountain. This palace was where she was supposed to live in isolation in order to protect people from her so that she can be safe from getting into trouble.

2. Cinderella's Castle

Cinderella's Castle

Cinderella's Castle came second in the poll, ahead of other Disney favourites, although the castle first featured in one of Disney's first animated feature length movies, it is possible to visit the castle in real life as it's been constructed in two Disney parks, the Magic Kingdom Florida and Tokyo Disneyland.

1. Hogwarts, Harry Potter

Hogwarts Castle

Hogwarts is the castle kids most want to visit, it has emerged. The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from J.K. Rowling OBE's Harry Potter books and movies topped the poll, despite not being real. Children could however visit Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, the castle was the location used for Hogwarts Castle in 'Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone' and 'Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets.'

A separate poll of 1,000 adults found more than half are more familiar with real castles than those from TV, books and films and in contrast to the kids survey findings, the top ten castles grown-ups would most like to visit were dominated by real-life forts, including Tintagel Castle in Cornwall and Dover Castle on the Kent coast.

Amid this, seven in ten adults said they enjoy visiting castles, but 38% haven't been to one within the past two years. English Heritage is hosting a range of events and activities this summer across its 66 castles in England – including jousts, trails, sandcastle-building workshops and Minecraft workshops.

Kate Mavor added, "we’re calling on families up and down the country to reverse the 'iCastle Generation' trend and take a day out to a real life castle. In our castles kids can run around in the sunshine, watch gallant knights jousting, build a sandcastle or, for those who just can't give up the screen, build a castle in a special Minecraft workshop."

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