08/15/2011 05:45 pm ET Updated Oct 15, 2011

5 Amazing Castles To Visit In The United Kingdom (PHOTOS)

Hundreds of years ago and across the pond, an English man's home was his castle, literally. There were enough royals, bishops and conquerors in the United Kingdom once that the country is now dotted with lavish castle estates and expansive gardens. It's the stuff of fairy tales.

Deciding which castles to visit can be an overwhelming task. The country boasts well over 3000 castles, ranging from historic ruins to medieval strongholds to Victorian beauties.

We've highlighted five noteworthy castles spread across Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. A visit to any of these will leave tourists with a good sense of what it was like to live in a more romantic, if less sanitary (bubonic plague anyone?), time.