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Three Northumberland castles named among England's best

Bamburgh is among more than 70 castle sites in Northumberland. Photo: PA

Three Northumberland castles have been named among the 15 best in England.

Travel publisher Rough Guides has chosen "15 of the most impressive castles in England" - and Alnwick, Bamburgh and Warkworth have made its list.

Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England - a legacy of its turbulent past as a border territory.

There are other 70 castle sites - some are ruins, others fully restored.

Alnwick Castle combines dramatic medieval architecture with Italianate state rooms. Credit: PA

Rough Guides describes ALNWICK CASTLE as "undoubtedly one of the finest in the country."

It has been home to the Duke of Northumberland's family, the Percys, for more than 700 years.

In recent years, Alnwick Castle has starred as Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films.

Bamburgh Castle towers 150 foot above the sea. Credit: PA

Rough Guides says BAMBURGH CASTLE is "most formidable when seen from the beach, where acres of sky, sea and dunes lead up to the castle’s dramatic setting atop a rocky basalt crag."

The castle was once the royal seat of the Kings of Northumbria. It was restored by Victorian inventor Lord Armstrong in the 19th century.

Warkworth Castle's cross-shaped keep stands on a hilltop above the River Coquet. Credit: PA

Rough Guides recommends visitors take in the view of WARKWORTH CASTLE from the village of the same name, "from where the grey stone terraces of the long main street slope up towards the commanding remains of the Castle."

The castle has Norman origins, but the main building was constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries.

The castle was also owned by the Percy family.

Others on the list include Windsor Castles in Berkshire, which is used by the royal family, and Highclere Castle in Hampshire, where ITV drama Downton Abbey was filmed.