Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, UK
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Approximately 4½ Hours
Amazing Carisbrooke Castle, of Saxon origin, was built as one of the fortified camps intended to defend England against the Vikings.
The Normans, in turn, came along looking for a spot on which to establish their own stronghold. They found that the stone-faced Saxon fortifications provided them with an excellent ready-made type of defense system -- perfect for when one is conquering a bitter and resentful local population. For more than 800 years, the living heart of the castle was enclosed within the Norman curtain walls with a gatehouse. The castle was comprised of internal domestic buildings and the outer bailey.
Today, you'll explore this romantic castle and its Edwardian-style garden, taking in the panoramic views from atop the high castle walls. Place yourself at the very heart of the Isle of Wight's history in Carisbrooke's Princess Beatrice Garden -- recently awarded first place in the category of Best Small Tourist Attraction by Isle of Wight in Bloom.
Please note: Wear sturdy non-skid walking shoes.