While you may not be able to buy your own castle, that doesn’t mean you can enjoy the experience temporarily. There are many castles across the United Kingdom that now serve as hotels for making that fantasy come true.
What are the best castles you can stay at in the United Kingdom?
If you’re looking to stay in a hotel castle in the U.K., check out one of these:
- Kincraig Castle – Invergordon, Scotland
- Glengorm Castle – Isle of Mull, Scotland
- Inverlochy Castle – Fort William, Scotland
- Tulloch Castle – Dingwall, Scotland
- Thornbury Castle – Bristol, England
- Langley Castle – Hexham, England
- Swinton Park – Ripon, England
- Amberley Castle – Arundel, England
- Ruthin Castle – Ruthin, Wales
- Roch Castle – Haverford West, Wales
- Ballygally Castle – Larne, Northern Ireland
Whether you’re looking for the ultimate place to honeymoon or simply enjoy accommodation that feels like you’re living a fairytale, these enchanting castle stays are sure to fit the bill.
Kincraig Castle Hotel – Invergordon, Scotland
Just 20 minutes from Inverness, Kincraig Castle Hotel was originally built in 1800 but a century or so later it was transformed into a Scottish baronial house.
Today it provides guests with many luxuries and spectacular views looking out to the Black Isle and Cromarty Firth from its elevated position. A stay begins with a welcome dram of Dalmore single malt whisky at check-in, while rooms are lavish, all individual in style but with a traditional Highland theme.
They include flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, with options that boast four-poster beds and water views. There’s an upscale restaurant that serves contemporary Scottish fare on-site, along with a whisky bar, garden, and a 4-hole pitch and putt golf course.
Glengorm Castle – Isle of Mull, Scotland
Set at the northern tip of the Isle of Mull, an unspoiled paradise home to Fingal’s Cave and abundant wildlife, Glengorm Castle is a Brontë-esque structure with towers and turrets. Built in 1860, it offers accommodation in B&B rooms, flats and cottages with historic features and modern amenities.
The 5,000-acre estate is magnificent, complete with blackface sheep and highland cattle. Guests enjoy picturesque views of Ardnamurcha and the Sound of Mull along with complimentary whisky in the very well-stocked library that has an open fire to cozy up to.
Inverlochy Castle – Fort William, Scotland
Built in 1863, Inverlochy Castle is located near the 13th-century Old Inverlochy Castle just outside of Fort William in the Highlands.
A former baronial mansion, Queen Victoria stayed here soon after it opened, exclaiming that she’d never laid eyes on a “lovelier or more romantic spot.” Guests who stay here can enjoy clay pigeon shooting on the castle grounds and a wealth of outdoor activities nearby, from water sports on Loch Oich to golfing at Fort William Golf Course.
Rooms all showcase glorious views of the grounds and surrounding mountains, although each have their own distinct, traditional design combined with high-tech amenities.
Tulloch Castle Hotel – Dingwall, Scotland
Tulloch is a unique castle with a long history dating back over 900 years. Not surprisingly, it’s often listed among one of Scotland’s most haunted hotels, with a resident ghost referred to as the Green Lady.
The castle bar was named after her and you’ll see a portrait of Elizabeth Davidson, the woman believed to be the spirit who lingers here, hanging in the 250-year-old Great Hall. The hotel has managed to retain many period features, including the fine ornate ceilings and restored original fireplaces.
The Turrets restaurant offers fine dining fit for royalty, with dishes featuring local Highland produce. The traditional rooms, which overlook the Black Isle and Cromarty Firth, feature antique furnishings and some have four-poster beds.
Thornbury Castle Hotel – Bristol, England
The main part of the castle was built in the early 16th century for Edward, the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and even played host to King Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn on their honeymoon. It’s the world’s only Tudor castle that’s been opened as a hotel.
The luxurious rooms with features like exposed stone walls, aged tapestries, and canopy beds will make you feel as if you really are a king, or queen. Dining can be enjoyed at the elegant restaurant on-site, with gourmet dishes featuring fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, including some right from the castle’s own kitchen garden.
Langley Castle – Hexham, England
Just south of Northumberland National Park not far from the Scottish border, you’ll find Langley, with its stone battlements and seven-foot-thick walls built during the reign of Edward III. While the exterior is certainly impressive, the interiors may be even more so.
A restoration included a modern addition with a heated, covered outdoor dining pavilion and the fabulous spa baths in the luxurious rooms, each of which is more magnificent than the next with features like suits of armor, wrought-iron candelabras, and massive gilt-framed portraits.
Some have four-poster beds and fireplaces. World-class dining can be enjoyed at the award-winning restaurant on-site, Josephine’s.
Swinton Park Hotel – Ripon, England
While Swinton Park has been a family home since the late 19th century, the earliest part of this castle dates back 200 years earlier.
Now a luxury 31-bedroom hotel, complete with turrets, long corridors, and spectacular staircases that lead to large, individually designed bedrooms, it’s nestled among 200 acres of parkland with swans and roaming reindeer.
The opulent rooms feature scenic views of the grounds, antique furnishings, stone fireplaces and oil paintings along with modern comforts like flat-screen TVs, and Wi-Fi. Three- and four-bedroom cottages with kitchens are available as well.
Guests can also enjoy the cedar hot tub for a relaxing soak, decadent treatments at the spa, and an aviary. There’s even a cooking school for those with culinary interests.
Amberley Castle – Arundel, England
Amberley is a medieval castle in West Sussex with a history that dates to the time of Henry I in the early 12th century. It comes complete with high current walls, battlement towers, and a working portcullis, which have managed to weather the ravages of time and enemy attacks.
Guests can look forward to marveling at many ancient artifacts while staying in gorgeous rooms with four-poster beds and views of the Sussex countryside.
The grounds include alpacas and peacocks along with many facilities, like a restaurant with a 12th-century barrel-vaulted ceiling, afternoon tea, an 18-hole putting green, tennis courts, and a croquet lawn.
Ruthin Castle – Ruthin, Wales
Nestled in the Vale of Clywd among expansive woodlands and parkland, Ruthin Castle is the place to live out King Arthur fantasies.
It has an interesting if gory history that can be glimpse in the whipping pit, drowning pool, and dungeon, but you’ll find plenty of luxuries too. Medieval banquets are hosted for feasting just like Henry VIII once did right here when he owned the castle in the 16th century.
Of course, Henry didn’t get to enjoy its spa, a more recent addition with woodland hot tubs, healing salts, and therapeutic mud baths worthy royalty.
Roch Castle – Haverford West, Wales
The 12th-century Roch Castle is located at the edge of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, offering an intimate stay on 12 acres of gardens and woodland close to beautiful beaches and scenic hiking trails.
While elements of the medieval castle have been retained, the grand spiral staircases, arched doorways, and noble dining hall, there are many modern, luxury features.
Some of the six rooms offer views of St. Brides Bay and all come with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, and large tubs. There’s a self-service bar offering a good section of wines and a full breakfast is included too.
Ballygally Castle Hotel – Larne, Northern Ireland
Set along the Antrim Coast about 25 miles north of Belfast, Ballygally Castle Hotel sits within a 17th-century castle overlooking Ballygally Bay and the Irish Sea.
An ideal base for exploring the Causeway Coastal Route and famous attractions like Giants Causeway and Dunluce Castle, it includes a bistro restaurant for enjoying British dishes and a garden view. Game of Thrones-themed afternoon tea can be enjoyed with a view of the countryside where some of the hit series was filmed. Rooms are all elegantly decorated, and many include original beams and sea views.
The highlight may be the haunted bedroom in the oldest part of the castle where a ghost called “Elizabeth” is said to reside.