We started to “chase castles” after we visited Sudeley Castle in the middle of 2017. We realised almost immediately that we would like to turn this experience into some sort of blog, but it took us few more weeks and a few more castles and stately homes before we finally realised what this blog should be all about.

Plenty of websites tell the stories of castles and stately homes in Britain, but none of them discusses the experience of actually visiting them. While some castles or houses have great stories and heritage to share, they may be presented to visitors in such a way that the visit becomes dull and unrewarding.

Visiting castles takes a lot of effort, and sometimes it’s not a cheap hobby, but when you visit a castle or a stately home that is properly managed, this could become a fantastic day out for all the family.

After we had visited a few dozen castles and stately homes around the country, we decided we would like to give some sort of mark to the best ones. We decided to treat castles in the same way the Michelin Guide handles restaurants; ranking the best of the best with one to three stars.

An interesting fact about the Michelin Guide is that most of the restaurants that appear in the guide don’t have stars at all; in fact, only 10% of the restaurants get stars. So what do those stars mean? According to the guide, one star signifies “an excellent restaurant,” two stars are for “excellent cooking that is worth a detour,” and three stars mean “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”

In the world of castles, this means that if you are looking to explore a castle or stately home in your area, you should probably visit those with one star. If you are planning a trip somewhere around the country, you might change your course a bit to visit a two-star place, and castles or houses with 3 stars? Well, they deserve your visit no matter where they are located.

Below, you can find a list of the castles that we decided to rank with stars. This list will be updated all the time as we see more places, so feel free to recheck it every few months.

3 stars castles

Alnwick Castle, Raby Castle, Blenheim Palace

2 stars Castles

Sudeley Castle, Berkeley Castle, Hever Castle, Waddesdon Manor, Leeds Castle, Kenilworth Castle, Plas Newydd, Castle Howard, Chirk Castle, Chatsworth House, Walmer Castle

1 star Castles

Caernarfon Castle, Croome Court, St Michael’s Castle, Dyrham Park, Lanhydrock, Bowood House, Witley Court, Penrhyn Castle, Carisbrooke Castle, Lyme, Bolton Castle, Kensington Palace, Syon House, Arundel Castle, Powderham Castle, Dover Castle, Longleat, Cardiff Castle, Bolsover Castle

If you enjoyed this story, why not share and let your friends enjoy it too? Help spread the news. 

Want to read more? Click here to discover the top 20 stories we discovered so far.