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Our little black book of enchanting places

Great Tudor escapes

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Image: National Trust

After a brief dalliance with the Victorians, our love for the Tudors was rekindled late last by Dr Lucy Worsley’s three-part BBC series, Six Wives. The programmes were partly shot in Barrington Court, above, a restored Tudor mansion in Somerset, now owned by the National Trust. And not only can you visit Barrington Court and soak up all that Tudor atmosphere, you can stay in the three-bedroom converted stable block next to it. Three nights from £686 in late May. Tower Suite, Thornbury Castle

If you’d prefer a genuine Tudor bedchamber then how about Thornbury Castle, in Gloucestershire? The castle once belonged to Henry VIII and he and Anne Boleyn stayed here for 10 days during their honeymoon tour. It’s now a hotel run by the Luxury Family Hotels group and, despite the contemporary comforts, it retains more than a whiff of its regal past; it even has a dungeon dining room. The room to go for is this suite at the top of the tower in the South Wing which, as well as Tudor furnishings and silk wall hangings, boasts the largest four-poster bed to be found in a UK hotel. From around £180 per night; Tower suite from £450 per night.Sudeley CastleImage: Sudeley Castle

Not far away, near Winchcombe, is Sudeley Castle, the former home and final resting place of Henry’s sixth wife, Katherine Parr. You can visit her tomb in the beautifully restored castle church; there’s also a Katherine Parr Exhibition where you can read the love letters she wrote to Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, whom she married after Henry’s death. You can’t stay in the castle itself but there are cottages of varying sizes to rent in the grounds. Three nights in a cottage sleeping six from £501 in June. Anne Boleyn's bedroom, Hever CastleHever Castle in Kent was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home – you can view what is thought to have been her bedroom – and was given to Henry’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleeves, as part of her divorce settlement. Hever was bought in the early 20th century by William Waldorf Astor and he was he who built the castle’s Astor and Anne Boleyn wings which today house the castle’s 28 luxurious bedrooms. One of the treats of staying here is that B&B guests have access to the castle gardens after they have closed to visitors. From £140-£275 per night. Littlecote House Hotel & ResortHenry VIII courted his third wife, the mild-mannered Jane Seymour, at Littlecote House, in Berkshire. The Grade I listed 16th-century house (with later additions) was bought by Warner Holidays in 1996 and is now run as a country house hotel and resort. It even has a selection of ghosts to choose from, though sadly none are said to be Jane herself. Historic Rooms in the original Tudor mansion are the ones to go for. Three nights from around £300 per person in May.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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