In the sleepy village of Berkeley (pronounced bark-ley), this castle is perfectly preserved, down to its medieval turrets, and full of family treasures. It witnessed the murder of King Edward II in 1327—the cell in which it occurred can still be seen. Edward was betrayed by his French consort, Queen Isabella, and her paramour, the earl of Mortimer. Roger De Berkeley, a Norman knight, began work on the castle in 1153, and it has remained in the family ever since.
Magnificent furniture, tapestries, and pictures fill the state apartments, but even the ancient buttery and kitchen are interesting. The castle is 20 miles north of Bristol, accessed from M5.