we're finally going to the UK this year, in July actually, and we can't wait to be there. Just like another poster mentioned, England seems like a wonderful place to be!
We'll be 4 weeks there visiting England, Scotland and Wales, I wanted to ask about castles over there and which ones are open to the public..any other ideas welcome..thanks ..
There are hundreds of castles in Great Britain and the vast majority of them are open to the public. They range from impressively, largely intact and well-run tourist attractions (like Leeds Castle in Kent) to dramatically situated and and romantic ruins (like Tintagel in Cornwall).
A good place for a browse is the English Heritage website, though this only covers England and there are also a great many romantic castle ruins in South Wales and some excellent castles scattered across Scotland (I've never been but many people enjoy Eilean Donan. Castle Explorer is a pretty good site which shows castles across Great Britain.
You should have gone June or September. July normally has better weather but the kids are off so prices of everything go up, rooms and travel get fully booked, and there are crowds everywhere.
There is lots and lots to see. With time short, consider a cheap Ryanair flight to Scotland (Glasgow - Prestwick) from where you can pick up a car.
Most schools aren't out until 22nd of July this year so you've probably lucked out on that one, apart from the last week which as Cyberia says will be hectic - book accommodation right now for this week or risk having none!
[ Edit: Edited on 04-Jun-2011, at 12:10 by magykal1 ]
There are a lot of castles which are open to the public. You could go to Muncaster Castle, Hedingham Castle, Berkeley Castle, Sudeley Castle, Herver Castle, Leeds Castle, Penhurst Place, Rockingham Castle, Chillingham Castle, Ripley Castle, Warwick Castle. Also, some castles are used for accommodation so you might want to check them out.
Go to York, that is one big castle pretty much.
Checking out the old maritime cities in the UK would do you well. Edinburgh, Liverpool, Southampton erm... others.
The English Heritage website was probably the best suggestion.
If you only have 4 weeks, I wouldn't waste your time with the maritime cities. There are some beautiful historical cities such as bath ( easy to get to stonehenge from here) York. you must drive through the cotswolds, and go to the lake district.
London is a great city, and like someone else said check out the budget airlines that will save you a lot of time.
Check the Historic Royal Palaces website, they have a lot going on in London with Hampton Court Palace probably one of the best.
magykal1 mentioned Tintagel before - It really is beautiful down there and if you end up in that part of the country then there is plenty more to see too.
I wouldn't bother with Warwick Castle, as beautiful as it is it's now pretty much a theme park.