Hogwarts tops list of castles kids most want to visit

Not a single 'real' castle made it into the top four

Rob Knight
Thursday 05 July 2018 00:04 BST

Hogwarts has topped a list of castles kids most want to visit, but not a single "real" castle made it into the top four.

The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from JK Rowling OBE’s Harry Potter books and movies topped the poll of 1,000 children aged six to 16 – despite not actually existing.

Cinderella's Castle came second in the poll, ahead of other Disney favourites including Elsa's Ice Palace from Frozen and Beast's Castle from Beauty and the Beast.

The study was commissioned by English Heritage ahead of its forthcoming #LoveCastles season, which aims to encourage families to take a trip to one of the nation’s forts.

Orphaned ducklings 'adopted' by resident dog at Essex castle

Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage, said: “We are in danger of creating an ‘iCastle Generation’ of kids who have only ever seen a castle on a screen.

“Most of us can remember our first trip to a castle – whether on a day out with the family or a school trip.

“But today’s children are increasingly likely to catch their first glimpse via TV or film rather than in real life.”

The research also found 60 per cent of kids' earliest memories of castles were through TV, film and books – while 43 per cent revealed they are more familiar with fictional forts than real-life ones.

In fact, fictional castles dominated their bucket lists - although landmarks such as Dover Castle, Edinburgh Castle and Windsor Castle all featured in the top 10.

It also emerged two thirds enjoy visiting castles and half of kids "love" castles.

But 37 per cent haven’t visited one for more than a year and 50 per cent wished their parents took them to see castles more often.

In fact, 41 per cent wished they lived in a castle.

A panoramic view of Dover Castle

Seven in 10 also said it’s important to see such buildings in person - in order to learn more about the history of the UK.

A separate poll of 1,000 adults found more than half are more familiar with real castles than those from TV, books and films.

Tintagel Castle on Cornwall's rugged north coast is known for its links to the legend of King Arthur

And in contrast to the kids' survey findings, the top 10 castles grown-ups would most like to visit were dominated by real-life forts - including Tintagel Castle in Cornwall and Dover Castle on the Kent coast.

Amid this, seven in 10 adults said they enjoy visiting castles – but 38 per cent haven’t been to one within the past two years.

Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Garden

English Heritage is hosting a range of events and activities this summer across its 66 castles in England – including jousts, trails, sandcastle-building workshops and Minecraft workshops.

Kate Mavor added: “We’re calling on families up and down the country to reverse the ‘iCastle Generation’ trend - and take a day out to a real-life castle.

“In our castles kids can run around in the sunshine, watch gallant knights jousting, build a sandcastle or - for those who just can’t give up the screen - build a castle in a special Minecraft workshop.”

Top 10 castles kids want to visit:

  1. Hogwarts, Harry Potter
  2. Cinderella's Castle
  3. Elsa's Ice Palace, Frozen
  4. Beast's Castle, Beauty and the Beast
  5. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
  6. Castle Doom, Marvel Comics
  7. Far Far Away Castle, Shrek
  8. Windsor Castle, Berkshire
  9. Dover Castle, Kent
  10. Sleeping Beauty's Castle


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