Notable castles to visit in UK

RAF MILDENHALL, England -- There are lots of castles to visit in the U.K. Many castles have woodland parks, restaurants, farm shops, safari parks or a hotel on the premises and grounds. Some have events calendars to include ghost hunts, Easter egg hunts, wedding fairs, open air theaters, country fairs and horse trails. Below is some information on 10 castles in England. For more information click on the hyperlinks.

1. Bovey Castle, Devon
This Edwardian mansion offers great outdoors as well as an equally lovely interior to include a golf course and spa. There are all sorts of ways to immerse oneself in the countryside, whether it's a falconry course, cider-making or fly-fishing. The castle is in the middle of the Dartmoor National Park. The wild moorlands contrast with the unabashed grandeur of the library and drawing rooms complete with vast fireplaces and wood paneling. Bovey Castle is perfect for families; stay in one of the lodges and the hotel will fill your fridge with your favorite food before you arrive and it will deliver food from its restaurants. http://www.boveycastle.com/  

2. Ryde Castle, Isle of Wight
King Henry VIII used this building to defend England from attack by the Spanish Armada during his daughter's reign. Today, this ivy-clad building is devoted to gentler pastimes. It's just 100 meters from a gorgeous sandy beach and boasts comfortable rooms, a smart restaurant as well as a relaxed pub. Originally a large and spacious Victorian family home, the castle overlooks the Ryde Esplanade and Harbor on the Isle of Wight with stunning views across the Solent. http://www.oldenglishinns.co.uk/ryde/

3. Augill Castle, Cumbria
Real passion has gone into restoring this Lake District castle which has been transformed into a supremely comfortable, family-friendly boutique hotel with 14 bedrooms. The library, stuffed with valuable books, doubles as a bar. The castle was built in 1837 by John Bagot Pearson, a solicitor from Kirkby Lonsdale, near Kendal in Cumbria. It was modeled on the much larger Lowther Castle near Penrith and shares the same symmetry and arrangement of central tower and turrets in Victorian gothic revival style. The castle has four-poster beds, antiques and decanters of sherry in the bedrooms and extravagant bathrooms. Augill Castle is romantic and quirky, with a teddy bear on every bed. http://www.stayinacastle.com/  

4. Hazlewood Castle Hotel, North Yorkshire
Although battles once took place on the front lawn of this castle, today it showcases history in its sleekest form. The castle has 25 bedrooms, seven acres of grounds and some of Yorkshire's most stunning historic sights. These sights include Castle Howard and Rievaulx Abbey which are a short drive away. The hotel has sophisticated food at Restaurant Anise as well as a cookery master class. Also, there are rumored to be the occasional ghost wandering around the castle! http://www.hazlewood-castle.co.uk/  

5. Tregenna Castle, Cornwall
This ivy-clad hotel has sea-view rooms with fantastic views of the Cornish coast, and lodges dot the grounds if one prefers a self-catering option. The woodland extends to 72 acres for visitors to explore and indoor and outdoor swimming pools are also available. Tregenna is close to St. Ives, which is filled with art galleries, including a branch of the famous Tate Modern gallery and exhibition center in London. http://www.tregenna-castle.co.uk/  

6. Dover Castle, Kent
Spectacularly situated above the White Cliffs of Dover, this magnificent castle has guarded British shores from invasion for 20 centuries. You can enjoy a great family day out with a visit to the "Key to England." Dover Castle was garrisoned uninterruptedly until 1958, a continuous nine-century span equaled only by the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. The stronghold hosted royal visits from Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Charles I's Queen Henrietta Maria. From 1740 until 1945, the castle's defenses were successively updated in response to every European war involving Britain. An action-packed day awaits visitors with exciting exhibitions, winding tunnels to explore, rumored ghosts to hunt out, restaurants, shops and space for youngsters to run around.

7. The Castle at Taunton, Somerset
This wisteria-clad hotel has been run by the Chapman family for more than 60 years. It is in the center of this delightful market town in Somerset. In a building where parts date back to the 13th century, there are 44 luxurious bedrooms and suites. There is also a penthouse for total privacy which comes with its own dumbwaiter, allowing food to be delivered straight to the suite. Since 1951, the castle has been featured in the Good Food Guide and there is Castle Bow Bar and Grill, a fine dining restaurant as well as Brazz, a casual brasserie. http://www.the-castle-hotel.com/index.php  

8. Tiverton Castle, Devon
This castle was once home of the powerful medieval Earls of Devon and of a Plantagenet Princess. There are romantic ruins, beautiful gardens and a building dating back more than 900 years. There are four apartments in the castle available to rent as well as a lodge at the gate of the castle. Families and groups can enjoy games of croquet, barbecues and fishing on the banks of the River Exe. http://www.tivertoncastle.com/

9. Langley Castle Hotel, Hexham
Langley Castle Hotel, a medieval castle in Northumbria, revels in its past. Built in 1350, it has an intimate feel to it with just 27 bedrooms. Four-poster beds hung with extravagant fabrics contrast with the ancient walls, and some of the walls are 7-feet thick. Castle view rooms are a recent, luxurious conversion and have been adapted with less able-bodied visitors in mind. http://www.langleycastle.com/  

10. Carr Hall Castle, Leeds
This ancient-looking building lies between Leeds and Manchester and mixes history with plenty of contemporary style. The castle was built in 1860 for a local landowner who decided that he wanted a medieval-style castle to look at. There is a lot of luxury behind the battlements and arched windows, with cool, modern interiors with vast sofas. You will find a wonderful indoor swimming pool and gym in the converted stable block. In the grounds there is a lake with a rowing boat. http://www.carrhallcastle.co.uk/

The castles listed above are in England; there are many more in Wales, Scotland and Ireland for you to enjoy. More information on castles and other noteworthy, historic homes can be found at the National Trust website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/places/houses-and-buildings/view-page/item469683/.