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Visit some of the UK's best historical landmarks

Visit some of the UK's best historical landmarks

This year's Riba Stirling Prize for architecture has been awarded to a holiday home that actually sits in the walls of an ancient castle.

The Royal Institute of British Architects' highest accolade was awarded to Astley Castle, which was chosen from six shortlisted buildings.

Despite its age, the castle has proven that it has lost none of its appeal and appears as useful today as it was when it was first constructed.

Reflecting on the news, Stephen Hodder, the Riba president, called the refurbished castle "a real labour of love".

"Astley Castle is an exceptional example of how modern architecture can revive an ancient monument," he remarked.

Impressively, the castle actually achieved 27 per cent of the overall vote, thereby beating the likes of Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland to the prestigious gong.

Other shortlisted designs include the University of Limerick Medical Centre and Bishop Edward King Chapel in Oxfordshire, among others.

Mr Hodder, however, was keen to dwell on the imagination behind the Astley Castle renovation, saying: "Rather than a conventional restoration project, the architects have designed an incredibly powerful contemporary house which is expertly and intricately intertwined with 800 years of history."

He added: "Every detail has been carefully considered, from a specific brick pattern to the exact angle of a view, resulting in a sensually rich experience for all who visit. It was realised in true collaboration between a visionary client, designer and contractors."

If you're keen on historical landmarks, why not take a trip to some of the other impressive-looking castles that are dotted around the country?

Windsor Castle, for instance, is a spectacular sight and it’s worth making the trip just to enjoy your lunch in the shadow of the royal residence.

Other recommended attractions include Lumley Castle in the north-east and Arundel Castle in Sussex.

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