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Monday 7 October 2013

Sluttery Travels: The best castle hotels in the UK

There aren't many travel experiences quite as exciting as staying in a castle. My dream castle is actually in Sicily, perched in the mountains, I visited once but I've never been lucky enough to stay (am open to offers, FYI). If you're looking for something a little closer to home, you're in luck. If there's one thing we do well in the UK it's a castle. We're brilliant at them. We've actually featured a lot of castles over the years. Lumley and Forter Castle have been on our travel wishlist for years. And Augill Castle in Cumbria always looks appealing (even if they've put their prices up since we wrote about them).

Does the Witchery by the Castle count? Probably not, but it's so beautiful we'll let it slide. We also have a very soft spot for Amberley Castle in Sussex as well as Leeds Castle in Kent. Their glamping was a new discovery this year.

If you spotted our feature on Saddell Bay in Scotland and all of the lovely places you can stay, you might recall Saddell Castle where 8 people can sleep for a week for less than £700. And it's an excellent option since the newly refurbished Astley Castle is fully booked until JANUARY 2016. Keen beans, those Landmark Trust fans. Or you could just stay in Hampton Court Palace and play knights and jousting with us. The Irish Landmark's Barbican looks gorgeous, and so does Clomantagh Castle.

We're always going to be a little in love with The Scilly Isles and the Star Castle is very much the jewel in their crown.

I've always, always wanted to spend New Year's Eve at Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire. I have no idea why, it just looks like the perfect place to spend a wintry evening. There will probably be a snooty lady in a silky red dress and Poirot will pop in to solve a murder.

Landmark Trust have castles coming out of their ears (there's an unusual image), and my favourite is Kingswear in Devon. It's right on the sea! It sleeps four, but it's around a grand for three nights. Still, it looks brilliant. There's some availability in February of next year. Check out Morpeth Castle as well, it's rather cute.

Tulloch Castle near Inverness dates back to the 12th Century and claims to be haunted. They have a spooky Halloween offer - £240 for 2, for two nights.

Not to be outdone, Wales have some grand castles to play in. The view from Ruthin Castle is gorgeous. Roch Castle mixes medieval and modern brilliantly. It's only a small hotel so they don't do dinner or room service but it's only £100 a night. Craig Y Nos in the Brecon Beacons also allows dogs (and you know how much we love a dog friendly hotel).

Dalhousie Castle in Edinburgh ticks all of the castle boxes and the restaurant is in the dungeon! It's swanky - there's a spa and people get hitched here a lot, but the rooms start at £120 for a double.

Fort Clonque! Oh, to spend a weekend here telling ghost stories. It's off the coast of Alderney, built to protect the Channel Islands from the French. Make sure you pack everything you need and lots of sandwiches - at high tide, the fort is cut off from the island and you're basically buggered if you need a pint of milk. It's surprisingly cost effective to stay here - 13 people can stay for three nights for around £900 this month. That's roughly £23 per person per night.

Can someone lend us a horse? If we're going to do this, we're doing to do it right.

Want some more holiday inspiration? Check out our boutique hotel map. Click the area you fancy and go exploring!


  1. Did a double take re Augill castle in Leeds. But it's not in Leeds, it's in Cumbria. Doh. Jane from Leeds :(

    1. Whoops! You would have noticed a massive castle on your doorstep, wouldn't you?

  2. Replies
    1. I'd opt for Kingswear - the right-on-the-rocks location is beautiful.

  3. Ooops afraid to say that Ruthin Castle isn't on a seaside harbour, the nearest seaside is about 40 minutes away. It is beautiful nonetheless :)

    1. Then what is the gorgeous bay that can be seen in the images on their website? Where's that?

  4. This castle type hotels looks awesome and I have previously stayed in one such type of hotel and it was really a great experience living over there.
    Honeymoon Hotel Packages South Goa


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