Fun castles for kids

Dec 2nd, 2008, 05:57 AM
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Fun castles for kids

In my never ending quest to get my family to europe, I started thinking about what DD9 would really like to see, and decided it was castles. Big, fancy castles that look like Cinderella would walk out any second.

Can someone direct me to a county, region, website, or some source of information to start a little research?

Thank you!
debbiedana is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:13 AM
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The Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria was apparently Walt Disney's inspiration for his Cinderella Castles:

I've never been there - but I'm sure you'll find someone here who has.
G_Hopper is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:17 AM
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Yes Neuschwanstein for sure - surprise at every turn on the tour. In Fussen, Germany and an easy day trip from Munich or a great smaller town with lots of cozy guest house accommodations.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:24 AM
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One castle that i took my then 10-yr old son to and that he loved was Carcassonne in southern France - it is an awesome looking citadel of high ramparts circling the whole Cite Medieval. The fortress of your dreams (though not really an individual stand-alone castle) - we walked thru the moats, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Wow, you're fast! Wonderful suggestions!
debbiedana is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:41 AM
ira is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 09:32 AM
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In the UK, with kids in mind, I would add Warwick Castle,

Cathinjoetown is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 10:03 AM
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Neuschwanstein is the cutsyest - but is only about 150 yers old.

For a real castle - with an authentic dungeone and everything else you could want - Warwick in the UK is best. Also - Edinburgh Castle is fantastic - and old/authentic.

It really depends on if you're looking for fairy tales or history.

And Blenheim insn't a castle - it's a palace (a pleasure palace like the chateeuax of the Loire) - rather than a military fortification.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 10:13 AM
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To me Windsor Castle, near London, is as dreamy looking on the outside as any castle and for kids the Doll House thing may be of interest - easy to get to by train.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 10:35 AM
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For castles in England:

We have found that we actually prefer ruins more than "restored" castles. We spent a few hours at Hever Castle only to be disappointed that so much of it was restored and remodeled by Waldorf.

So -- our two favorites that nobody ever mentions:
Portchester Castle: Perfect place for little ones to run and run and run.
Donnington: There isn't much left of this one, but it's nearby. We used to take popsicles up there in the summer and have it all to ourselves. We call it "our castle."
BKP is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 01:12 PM
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I really appreciate all the answers. You've given me a great starting point
debbiedana is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 01:50 PM
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Scotland has the most impressive castles IMO. Glamis looks very much like a storybook castle--also Blair, Cawdor, Brodie do not disappoint.
nini is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 01:56 PM
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My daughter (7 yrs old at the time) loved the Chateau d'Usse in the Loire Valley. It is the castle that inspired Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty. There are even wax figures of Sleeping Beauty and the prince up in one of the towers. I think any little girl would love this castle as well as the others in the Loire Valley.
pommefrites is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 04:17 PM
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Here is a website I found some time ago. It might provide some information.

My favorite castle for kids is Warwick. Your daughter would love all the scheduled children's activities.
Marsha is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:30 PM
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In addition to the other posts:

Along the Mosel by Cochem is my favorite castle, Burg Eltz.

Along the Rhine, Marksburg Castle.

In the Sud Tirol (Italy) south of Innsbruck, Churburg Castle, Castle Tirolo.

pja1 is online now  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:55 PM
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We started our son's trips to Europe when he was 10, with a trip that included the Loire chateaux. We included visits to earlier and later castles, and one of his favorites was one of the oldest, Fougere, which was built as a defensive castle, rather than as a palace (chateau).

Thus, our next trip included older castles, the much older "Cathar" castles in the Languedoc (southwestern France) (1300s and earlier, I think), such as Peyrepertuse, and those in the Dordogne area of France (1400s). He liked Beynac and an older, more ruinous castle, Chateau Commarque. One thing about the older, more ruined castle, is that you can climb around on them.

On our last trip, to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, we also visited many older castles. There are a lot, especially in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Show your daughter pictures and information about the various palaces and castles, and see what interests her the most.

If you and she decide that she wants to see more Cinderalla-like castles, use the words "chateau" or "palace" in your searches. The more elaborate structures were constructed later, in the 1700s and 1800s. A term you might see that describes chateaux of this period are is "Baroque."

Once you narrow down a region to visit, you will find many websites devoted to castles/palaces - many people are devoted to "collecting" castle visits.
Lexma90 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 12:57 AM
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Muiderslot near Amsterdam is fun for kids. Not a fairy tale castle as per Neuschwanstein, but a real castle.

Windsor Castle also has the Queens dolls house which may appeal to a 9 year old.
A perfect, but ruined, castle is Bodiam in Sussex.
hetismij is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 06:28 AM
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Another Scottish castle with a fairy tale aspect is Dunrobin, north of Inverness a bit. It is a bit out of the way, though
GreenDragon is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 08:09 AM
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Scottish castles are the best - I have been to over 150 castles in Europe and none seem to compare! They are oozing with atmosphere and just beg to be explored. Many have exciting dungeons and torture chambers that can really appeal to kids! You don't have to line up for ages to get in and you can explore as much as you want, unlike some castles in Germany, for example.

Welsh castles are wonderful, too, like Caerphilly, Harlech, Chepstow, etc.
travel2live2 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 04:53 AM
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I live in Scotland near Aberdeen, where there is a wealth of "castles". I wouldn't want you to get the impression that many of these castles look like palaces or fortresses. Many have been lived in for hundreds of years, and as tastes in furnishings changed, so did the interiors of these castles. So many of the castles, when inside, look quite like very nice manor houses, not as you would expect a "castle" to look. However, the nicest that I like in this area is Glamis Castle, where the late Queen Mum grew up, and the ruins of Dunnotar Castle. It has an incredible view over the North Sea and a stunning history, including its own ghost in the bakery area.
linda_hoagland is offline  

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