South of England
One cannot help but immediately think of London when thinking of the South of England and it is easy to see why. The streets of London and its great masterpieces such as ST Paul’s Cathedral, constructed by Sir Christopher Wren are inspiring. But to focus too long on the Capital would be to miss out on the incredible heritage of the rest of England’s South. While London is the seat of parliamentary and monarchist power, the sinews of that power were carved elsewhere. And if you want to really experience this history then you should stay in a castle in England's South, such as the stunnung Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire for a Tudor experience.
Perhaps the World’s greatest engineer, Isambard Brunel built the railways, bridges and dockyards that linked Britain’s industrial heartlands. William Shakespeare, born and bred in the West Midlands penned many of his most famous pieces in his formative years in Stratford Upon Avon.
Elizabeth I governed as a delegator of power during a period of absolute monarchist power in England and this approach to management allowed Britain to repel threats from mainland Catholic Europe and establish it as a world player.
The legacy of this is built in stone in the spectacular cities of Bath, and its Royal Crescent, and Cambridge and the hidden gems of Cirencester and Whitstable and beyond. With so much fascinating history in such a small area, it would be madness not to go explore!
North of England
‘Northerners’ love to point out that the North of England has an identity and culture as different from the South of England as that of Scotland’s or Wales’. When you arrive in the birthplace of the industrial revolution you quickly see why. It is apparent in the local dialects and the built heritage of the areas from the City of old York, Ironbridge Gorge or Liverpool’s historic maritime quarter. The beautiful countryside is home to many stunning castles for you to stay in, such as Langley Castle Hotel in Northumberland or Peckforton Castle, Cheshire.
Almost every local could tell you something about the Wars of the Roses or the legacy of the Vikings yet the history of the North of England is not stuck in time. The unique Northern character is and always has been evolving and is epitomised in the determination of characters such as the great seafarer Captain James Cook and the self-made innovator John Harrison, inventor of the chronometer.
With such a labour intensive economic history it is perhaps unsurprising that the great social emancipators Emily Wilding Davison and William Wilberforce were inspired to campaign so fervently for greater human rights in modern Britain. Whatever your fancy, the area south of the old Roman frontier and North of England’s gentle pastures will be sure to fascinate and captivate. If you want to stay in a castle in England, you are spoilt for choice!