Neuschwanstein CastlePhoto by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Wanderlust has the potential to grab us in many different ways, and for many different reasons. Sometimes, it can come from simply sitting at home watching a movie and feeling inspired to get out there and see things for yourself, sometimes it can be wanting to scratch that itch of hopping on a plane and seeing a new landscape, and sometimes it can just come down to the pursuit of learning more and finding out more about the past, whether distant or not so distant.

The UK itself boasts some pretty awesome historic attractions including, of course, castles, but look further afield and you’ll come across some of the most mind-blowing and romantic castles you could hope to imagine. Try to visit some of these; there’s no question that they will make for lasting memories.

Neuschwanstein Castle: Not Just Disney Inspiration

Neuschwanstein Castle is best known for being the inspiration behind the famous Sleeping Beauty castle. However, there’s way more to it than that. Other intriguing facts about this castle include the fact that it was never actually finished, with only 14 of the planned 200 rooms completed. While Walt Disney was clearly inspired by the castle, the style and the beauty of it was superficial, and for this reason it is one of those places to visit where you can look from the outside. In this respect, it’s a similar sight to how most people visit the likes of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Colosseum in Rome.

Exploring the stunning Bavarian countryside is a happy byproduct of a trip here. This area is perhaps one of the most beautiful in the world, with stunning forest and wildlife, and is so often ignored compared to other parts of Germany, a country often pre-judged by travellers with certain stereotypes in their minds as to what Germans are like. Neuschwanstein castle shows once and for all that Germany is about far more than just bratwurst and beer and this castle. Created in part to pay homage to Wagner’s operas, as the New York Times wrote as far back as 1972, it is an awe-inspiring sight that highlights the incredible beauty that Germany has to offer as a tourist location.

Corvin Castle: Boasting Size and History

Some castles are fairly modern, with Neuschwanstein Castle actually a relatively recent one. However, Corvin Castle in Romania dates back to its formation as a 14th-century stone fortress. It even has a real drawbridge for you to cross in order to get over to the castle, which is pretty damn cool.

With no guided tours to force you to do one thing or another, Lonely Planet suggests you download an app to help you with a self-guided tour of the castle in order to get the most out of your visit. This will not only help you to enjoy the contrast between the historic sight and the modern day technology in the palm of your hand, but will also mean that switching to image apps like Instagram will be quick and easy, which is exactly what you’ll need when faced with such a wondrous sight. Happily, this clash of the modern and the old doesn’t have to end here.

A love of castles is of course not something that is just linked to visiting them. In recent times, castles have been brought smack-bang into pop culture. The Super Mario franchise (now having a bit of a comeback as Nintendo move towards mobile gaming) heavily featured castles as stages ever since the very first Super Mario instalment in 1985. Recently, the marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Windsor Castle also did plenty to help. Indeed, extending the clash between modern and medieval a little further, the Castle Builder II slot game available on Betway further shows how the castle is made relevant today. Such games can make you feel like Ioan of Hunedoara did when he decided to build Corvin Castle. And it’s not just royalty who’s after building castles either, with a farmer from Surrey trying to do exactly the same according to the Daily Mail.

The Tower of London: History and Superstition

Opt to visit the Tower of London and not only will you be visiting one of the most popular visitor destinations in London, with over 2 million visitors taking in the sights each year, but you will also have the opportunity to see if the Tower has a future depending on whether or not the ravens still choose to live here.

Sadly, as you may see, they have had their wings clipped so they aren’t going anywhere any time soon (perhaps those running the Tower were a little too frightened of superstition to chance them flying off!) but you can still take in some pretty incredible sights such as the United Kingdom’s crown jewels, the Norman part of the castle, and the famous Beefeaters who look after the Tower.

If you do visit the Tower of London, check out more London articles and guides to staying there and make sure you save up your money as this isn’t the cheapest of visitor attractions to head to. However, the chance to spend time in one of the stunning Norman creations of London that has such a history behind it (it was even a part of WW2 when German spies were interned there), shouldn’t be missed.

So, there you have it: three magical castles that will make you realise that sometimes, fairy tales have absolutely nothing on reality on this planet we live in!