A couple and a baby. One crazy idea. Welcome to Castle Casanovas. The spin-off to Oh So T that incorporates our love for history, travel and a small dose of insanity.

So what is the crazy idea? Well, it is more of a challenge really. Steve and I are going to attempt to visit every castle in the United Kingdom with our baby, Alex. 

Are we insane? Yes. Will we do it? I am not 100% convinced yet, but I am going to back us and say YES. 

Castles in the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland and Ireland)

When I say there are a lot of castles in the UK I am not joking. 

England has around 4,000. However, this includes any residence with the word 'castle' or 'palace' in its title. If you stick to a strict definition of a castle being a medieval fortified residence then you can reduce that number down to around 1,500 castles. Easier for us to try and visit them all, but still a mammoth task. If you exclude every castle that is now just earthworks, a hotel / wedding venue or privately owned (so unable to visit it) you can get that number down to around 300. Of course, the list will be culled further as we research places and learn of their current condition; for example, some castles are completely closed off due to being dangerous so we would not be able to get close enough to share much other than trees and foliage. 

Wales has around 600 castles, but only 100 are still standing after either being restored or remain as protected ruins. The rest have returned to nature and would be footings or just ground with a plaque to let you know the castle was once situated there.

Scotland has around 3,000 castles. Again, quite a few of these are likely to be grand residences with the word 'castle' in their name as opposed to actually a castle built for defence purposes. 

The Caveats

This insane challenge of course required caveats, because trying to visit around 8,000 castles would be nigh-on impossible. Even if we visited two castles every weekend for the rest of our lives it would take us 77 years to complete and I have not got 77 years of life left. To make this challenge even slightly possible, we are sticking to castles that had defence as their purpose i.e. following the actual definition of a castle. That being said, we may include posts about grand residences that we visit whilst away on holiday, because I enjoy pretending I am a lady of the manor and photographing how the other half used to live. 

We will not be including any castles that have returned to the ground, are earthworks or just footings. This is solely because I do not fancy travelling hours to visit a hill with nothing on it. This may change IF (and it is a massive if) we manage to visit all the castles on our list and decide why not go the whole hog and do it ALL. I doubt that will happen, but hey if you're still around in 20 years we might.

We will not be including any castles that are under private ownership, given the difficulties with access unless they are open to the public or castles that have been turned into houses, wedding venues or business buildings (yes they do exist). We may visit the odd castle that is now a hotel, but that depends on a whole host of variables as some of the prices are extortionate to stay in a draughty room - I know it is all about the history, but we feel the cold and that just would not be enjoyable.

We will not be visiting any castles in Ireland or Northern Ireland due to travelling as we are based in Manchester and with a baby travelling that far is just not possible. This may change in the future, but for now we are excluding Irish castles. 

The Castles

Below you will find links to the pages detailing the castles we will attempt to visit. Those pages will be updated each time we visit a castle and will have a link to each blogpost about each place. We cannot wait to get started with our challenge and keep you guys updated with our progress. Don't forget to follow our socials as well, which I will link below for you, to keep up to date with new posts and for unseen video content that may not make it into the blogposts themselves.

ENGLAND

WALES

SCOTLAND

Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Twitter 

In total we have 521 castles to visit. 

Castles visited so far:  8  /  521 - Challenge 1.5% complete. 

We are really excited to share this journey with you and cannot wait to update you on our progress!

Until Next Time

The Castle Casanovas

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