3rd March, 2018
It has long been said that an Englishman’s home is his castle, and for some that is quite true. Many of these ancient royal homes have been converted, so that you too can make them your home for a night or two. Here are our picks of the best in the UK; from grand to small, from hotel to private – all are historic buildings just waiting for you to visit.
Thornbury Castle near Bristol, on the edge of the Cotswolds, is a Tudor hall converted to a hotel. It was built in 1511 for the Duke of Buckingham, and was intended as a fortress for his safety. Henry the VIII stayed in the castle for a short time in 1535, with his then wife, Anne Boleyn. It comes with a vineyard, kitchen garden and dungeon dining if that's your thing.
Eastnor Castle is a 19th century revival building near Hereford, is lived in by the current owner and is gothic, grand and imposing. It has 12 bedrooms but only serves corporate, wedding or private stays. The grand state bedroom is just that, otherwise try the turret suite. The deer park also hosts two music festivals, Lakefest and the Big Chill.
In Sussex, you will find Amberley Castle, a 12th century fortification. This is a traditional medieval castle, with two towers and a great gateway. It was attacked during the Civil War by the parliamentarians, and lost nearly 20 feet off of the walls. The Castle was restored and is now a luxury hotel, with 19 wonderful historic rooms.
The northern Langley Castle, near to Hadrian’s Wall, is the ultimate fairy-tale castle. Built in the 14th century, with four proud turrets and ten acres of parkland, there aren’t many hotels like this one. Live like a King in the luxury rooms, decorated in a traditional English style. This grand Castle is where our guests stay on the Hadrian’s Wall walk, which takes you through some of England’s most ancient heritage.
Fonab Castle in Pitlochry is where our luxury Lochs and Glens cycling holiday guests stay. It is an ancient castle converted into a hotel with a contemporary twist. Set in the Scottish Highlands, on the lochside, views from Fonab are quite phenomenal.
Inverlochy Castle, Fort William, is a 19th century baronial mansion two miles from the ruined 13th century original. Queen Victoria famously remarked ‘I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’, and that definitely still applies today. This is where our West Highland Way walkers stay, and our Coast to Coast cyclists.
Glengorm Castle, on the Isle of Mull, (pictured above) is still lived in by the family. It’s a remaining example of the Island’s long history, and the lifestyle of the people who used to rule over the area. Stay in the tower rooms, and have breakfast served in the castle dining room.
The 12th century Roch Castle in Wales is small and authentic. It was converted to a six-bedroom luxury hotel in 2008, and has been named the best 5-star hotel in Wales. Did you know, there are more castles per square mile in Wales than anywhere else in the UK?
Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara, where you stay on our Jolly around Connemara trip, is one of Ireland’s greatest. Set on the shores of a lake, between mountains and forests, the views are beyond compare. It was built in the 17th century, and is today a fine hotel.
Rincolisky Castle in County Cork dates back to 1495, and is set on a bay on the wild Irish coast. Rincolisky is a little different to other castle retreats, and is self-catered. If you want the chance to escape the rat race and experience life in medieval Ireland, then this is it!