Fun castles for kids

Dec 4th, 2008, 04:55 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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Most definitely Warwick Castle, an easy trip from London (but what isn't in England) and very well preserved and presented.
scribe99 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 05:15 AM
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I agree with Linda_Hoagland, Scotland has some great castles ranging from cliff top ruins (eg Tantallon)to really great places like Dunrobin Castle which has an entrance way like Hogwarts school from Harry Potter films. Dunrobin also has falconry displays with owls so it really is a bit like something from Harry Potter.

We did a Scotland Tour a few years ago and our favourites were Castle Fraser near Aberdeen, Dunrobin north of Inverness, Doune Castle near Stirling (lots of corridors and spiral stairs for the kids to explore) and Traquair House near Peebles because it has a great sense of unspoilt history.

The website that we found most useful was and we followed one of their itineraries for a tour route.

The Loire Valley in France also has some great chateaus, but they are usually empty of furniture and don't have the dungeons, spiral staircases and canons that appeal to kids. If going to France, I'd suggest Chenonceau. Its the one that stands on arches above a lake.
JeanNoel is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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The best castle is Neuschwanstein and there are two more in the nearby areas - Lindenhof and Herrnchemsee(? spelling). Also it is a beautiful area near the Alps.
habroms is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 10:12 AM
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A half-day drive from Neuschwanstein will get you to Bolzano (Italy), where you can visit nearby Runkelstein Castle.

It is more ruins than restored, but it is very climbable-around-in and the walls are covered with frescos from the Tristan and Isolde story (think Guenivere and Lancelot). You could also visit the Bolzano museum where the Iceman is housed -- the Bronze-age man found frozen in a glacier a some years ago.

capxxx is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Just to add to capxxx... on the way to Bolzano and Runkelstein Castle, there's Reifenstein Castle, right outside Sterzing/Vipetino. You need 4 people or the lady who lives there won't give you the tour (didn't let us.) It's right off the autostrada.

pja1 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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I would look at North Wales: Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech are close to each other and amazing. Lots of ruins, to climb on, in the vicinity too, Rhuddlan and Denbigh. In France check out the Loire. A favourite is Chateau de Saint Paterne that you can stay at and there are LOTS of fairy tale castles to visit close by and you eat well too. Forget Warwick in England- too touristy. Neuschwanstein is in a class of its own but depends on what else you want to do. Scotland has a wealth of real castles too.
cariad422 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 07:27 PM
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Before this list gets too long, what do us frequent travelers know about the person we're trying to help?
If DD9 stand for a 9 year old girl, with fantasies of Cinderella and similar stories, and she has mom and dad in tow, then there are endless possibilities; the following could be added to the above posts:

- coastal Spain has lots of fancy fortresses associated with medieval folklore; who wouldn't like Grenada?
- not just fortified castles, but big medieval houses in old towns: like the hill-towns of Tuscany; including twisted alleys, gorgeous architecture, good restaurants, lots of toy stores, and that famous Italian ice cream
- would you be familiar with the BMG Classical Kids music + story series? After listening to Vivaldi's Mystery Tour you've got to take her to Venice; or Mozart's Magic Fantasy + Salzburg
- why not try some Greek mythological fantasies, combined with walking the twisted alleys of Athens' Plaka district (with stray cats and dogs everywhere), Santorini's volcano rim, or one of the many medieval castles on the islands (in between going to the beaches); your daughter may love one of the many tiny chapels, especially if she finds one bearing her name
- switch from Cinderella to Romeo and Juliet, and head for Verona
- after a few Shirley Temple oldies, or The Sound of Music, why not look for the real stuff in the Austrian Alps?
- if she likes scary torture stuff, then try The Tower of London, or Dracula's Castle in Transylvania
- if biblical stories are in, then Rome's Vatican and catacombs, or the cave dwellings of Matera in southern Italy; or retrace the adventures in "The Da Vinci Code"
- any chance that she has read the French historical adventure stories of Jules Verne or Alexandre Dumas?
- finally, she may be happiest going to Legoland in Holland, or to Niki de Saint Phalle's Tarot Garden in Tuscany
tableronde is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I like a lot of the suggestions here but if you want to see what you'll be viewing go to my web site at

I have personally visited almost every castle listed and they are marvelous. Loire Valley castles in France are the Fairy Tale castles you speak of and Germany has quite a few.
Take a look around my site and if you think you'd like to take in England instead you can check out my blog for extensive information on North England:
The Castle Lady ; )
TheCastleLady is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 07:32 PM
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Sorry. A typo

TheCastleLady is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 11:53 AM
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It pains me to say anything nice about the land of leeks and sheep, but Wales has by far the best castles.
RM67 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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The places mentioned in the UK are great for kids -- Warwick, for example, but I would also include places like Hampton Court Palace as well. Scotland has many beautiful castles and ruins of castles which could be good depending on the age of the kids. Some of the maps you get have icons for castle locations and it's fun to plan itineraries around castle itineraries.
Lazonia is offline  
Dec 12th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Hampton Court for sure! Kids would love the Tudor kitchen, the haunted gallery, etc.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Dec 12th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Schloss Waldeck would be an excellent choice - they offer an evening tour including the witches dungeon. Just the right amount of spookiness for kids - and the parents will be rewarded with a schnapps after the tour.

BTW, Schloss Waldeck is an excellent hotel with pool etc.
traveller1959 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2008, 01:18 PM
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I would even throw in the Tower of London as far as UK's concerned.
zelphiacat is offline  

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