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castles in the air

8 insanely beautiful castles you can dream about living in

Everyone wants to live in a castle.

WE’RE NOT PAYING the central heating bill for you, mind.

1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Rob Faulkner Rob Faulkner

Originally built as a personal retreat for Ludwig II of Bavaria – well for some, eh? – the soaring turrets of Neuschwanstein were reputedly the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

It was planned with more than 200 rooms including several halls – around 65,000 square feet of space in total.

2. Stalker Castle, Scotland

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Built around 1320 by Clan MacDougall, Stalker Castle is a comparatively modest four-storey tower house. But it’s surrounded by the incredibly picturesque Loch Laich, and has a history full of murders and drunken bets that would be great for dinner parties.

3. Swallow’s Nest Palace, Ukraine

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Built for a German oil millionaire in 1912, the Swallow’s Nest measures a cosy 20m by 10m and has just two bedrooms. But it’s perched on top of a 40m cliff overlooking the Black Sea, and features a handy observation deck for evening cocktails.

4. Dar Al Hajar, Yemen

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A traditional Yemeni building perched on top of a rock, built as a summer residence for the country’s leading imam in the 1930s. It has five storeys and the sunshine is great. Sadly, the country is quite dangerous at the moment.

5. Chateau de Peyrelade, France

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With a keep more than 50m high, constructed on a pinnacle of rock in the 12th century and originally only accessible from a single round tower attached to the rock face. Stunning views over the Gorges du Tarn.

6. Gwalior Fort, India

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There has been a castle at Gwalior for around 1,500 years. Today it has two palaces, a number of temples, and a great location perched on a dramatic sandstone outcrop.

7. Het Oude Loo, Netherlands

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Built as a hunting lodge in the 15th century, Het Oude Loo is surrounded by a moat that on a still day reflects the castle’s image almost perfectly. It is currently used by the Dutch royal family as a country house, and has a real, actual drawbridge.

8. Alcázar de Segovia, Spain

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Built in the 12th century, the Alcázar de Segovia was the residence of King Alfonso VIII in the 12th century. It’s a giant rock fortification which also happens to be located next to a beautiful mediaeval city. Best of both worlds, eh?

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