Castle Hunters

Castle Hunters, Castle Hunters

“How strange and beautiful it looked in the late afternoon light! I can still recapture that first glimpse – see the sheer grey stone walls and towers against the pale yellow sky, the reflected castle stretching towards us on the brimming moat, the floating patches of emerald-green water-weed.”

Dodie smith on Castles

How We Became Castle Hunters

Our fascination and love of castles, in effect, started on our very first day in Ireland. It was the inspiration that led us to coin ourselves Castle Hunters. Simply put, it was love at first sight. We have never wavered since on that energy and passion we found at our first castle, Trim Castle in Ireland.

The privilege of exploring these magnificent architectural wonders is truly a gift. They capture your imagination in ways it is difficult to put into words. Fairy tales are based on these whimsical structures for that reason. The mighty walls of these majestic fortifications have stood proudly for centuries.

These epic structures transport you back to when life was simple yet harsh. Life was cold, dark, and austere, even in the most elaborate medieval structures. These were the fortified residences of royalty and nobility. Existence was difficult for these castle residents. Nonetheless, there is something so romantic and charming about them and their inhabitants.

Castle designs were about protecting their owners and kingdoms from their enemies. As a result, the Medieval castle was the core of military defense for a thousand years. They were fortresses that took horrific beatings; however, they remain standing today in all their glory.

Castle Hunters
Ryan was living the Castle Hunter dream at Lowther Castle, United Kingdom.

So you ask, are they not all the same?

To our surprise, the answer is no. These massive structures did not have modern machinery or highly educated engineers with computer models. Yet they remain standing, always captivating. They are iconic, a testament to time—many in extraordinary settings.

They are high atop mountains, deep in a forest, on beaches, or in the middle of a river. In the heart of a city or on treacherous precipices. Even a tiny backpack can prevent you from visiting some locations as the passages are extremely narrow. Despite this, our ancestors somehow built these structures without cranes, vehicles, or modern technology to carry the stones.

Each castle holds a unique character, style, stone, architecture, and magic. You sense its soul, its heartbeat, and you feel the life in it while you begin hearing the voices that once echoed through these huge stone chambers. Your imagination will transport you if you let it tell its story.

Even the simplest of ruins still capture our hearts. All of a sudden, in our minds, we can see it in all its glory.

Make no mistake about it. We love everything, castle. Without a doubt, it is a bit of an obsession.

Ed Sheeran’s song Castle on the Hill speaks to their presence to this day. There is nothing like spying on that castle on the Hill to make the heart happy.

To conclude, we hope our fascination with castles is contagious, and you find the magic “within their walls” as well. Once in a while, give them a try. They will steal your heart and imagination in time, and you can become part of the Castle Hunters tribe. Join us on the hunt!

Castle Hunters, Castle Hunters

Our Running Castle Hunters Count


Check out our master castle list HERE

Medieval castles

The Normans constructed the earliest Medieval Castles. These castles were built between the 5th and 15th centuries. Though records are poor, it is estimated that 75,000 to 100,00 Medieval castles in Western Europe were built during this period. There were three distinct styles.

1. Concentric Castle
A concentric castle has two or more concentric curtain walls, where the outer wall is lower than the inner and can be defended from it. These castles resemble one enclosure within another, generally without a central free-standing keep. There is often a strong tower projecting from within the inner Castle.
An example of a Concentric Castle is Harlech Castle in Wales, 1292.

2. Motte and Bailey Castle
A motte-and-bailey castle is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised area called a motte. A walled courtyard, or bailey, is surrounded by a protective ditch and a protective fence. It was the most common castle built in the 11th century.
An example of a Mote and Bailey Castle is Gravensteen Castle in Ghent, Belgium, 1180.

3. Stone Keep Castle
A stone keep was the central feature of this castle, with thick walls and few windows. The entrance to the keep was stone steps leading to the first floor. Keeps were foremost for the castle’s defense, a fortified tower built within the castle. It was the last refuge if the castle fell to an enemy.
An example of a Stone Keep Castle is Trim Castle in Ireland, our very first castle!

Castle Hunters, Castle Hunters
Gravensteen Castle, Ghent, Belgium

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Travel Insurance

Our favorite travel insurance site!

We could not be stronger advocates of being well-insured—not just for the little stuff but for the big things like medical emergencies. We never leave home without it. Our go-to place is Squaremouth.com. It does a fantastic job with its user-friendly interface and uses top-rated and reputable insurance carriers. They also mediate on your behalf if you have problems.

To empower you as a consumer, we suggest you read our blog post on the importance of travel insurance and how to get the best coverage from top-rated companies for an affordable price.

Medical transport back home from anywhere in the world

They are the premier global air medical transport. One caveat to travel insurance is that medical evacuation usually gets you to the closest facility to care for you. Medjet gets you back to the U.S. to the hospital of your choice once you are stable enough to fly. A Medjet membership is only for medical transport. Medjet Horizon offers expanded coverage. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for around $300. Most of their policies limit the age to 74.

To learn more about how Medical Evacuation membership with Medjet Assist works, check out our blog post for a more detailed review.  

Accommodations & Experiences

Expedia.com and VRBO
Hotels, home rentals, BNBs, flights, and other transportation & tours 

Expedia is a US-based company whose mission is to power global travel for everyone and everywhere. Wanderers Compass focuses on independent travel, and using sites like Expedia makes that possible. Every aspect of travel you need, from airfare, accommodations, rental car, and cruises to activities to do at your destination, can be booked on Expedia.  

Hotels, Home rentals, BNBs, Flights, and other Transportation & Tours 

Booking.com connects millions of travelers to memorable experiences, various transportation options, and incredible places to stay – from homes to hotels and much more. It is one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes. It is our preferred booking site.

The leading marketplace for travel experiences

Viator believes that making memories is what travel is all about. And with 300,000+ experiences to explore—everything from simple tours to extreme adventures (and all the niche, interesting stuff in between)—making memories that will last a lifetime has never been easier. We use them often during our travels and love their liberal cancellation policy.


Wanderers Compass Amazon Storefront
An excellent source for all travel essentials and guides

Amazon is one of the most comprehensive online shopping sources in the world. Teams worldwide provide lower prices, better selection, and rapid delivery on behalf of customers. They offer a vast inventory, and their 1.7 million small and medium businesses worldwide selling on Amazon.com offer extensive options to customers.


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