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Our little black book of enchanting places


Five of the best castle hotel rooms

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

What could be more romantic than staying in a historic castle hotel? What a shame so many are let down by their bland bedrooms and tired bathrooms. But here are five castle hotel rooms that won’t disappoint.

Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed at this 500-year-old castle, above,  on the edge of the Cotswolds during their honeymoon tour.The 26 bedrooms are all pleasingly Tudor in look and feel, though they’re not entirely authentic – they’re a lot warmer than they would have been in Henry VIII’s time, for one thing, and goodness knows what Anne Boleyn would have made of the 21st-century bathrooms. The Tower bedchamber, reached by a stone spiral staircase, is the one to go for. Bed and breakfast from £195-£500 per night.Dalhousie Castle, Edinburgh

Scotland’s castle hotels can be a bit hit and miss, but this one just outside Edinburgh is the Real McCoy. It was refurbished in 2012 by new owners Robert and Gina Parker and most of the 29 rooms have an authentic castle theme, with rich tapestries on the bare stone walls and antique rugs on the floors. No self-respecting castle hotel would be complete without a ghost and Dalhousie has several, including the Grey Lady, seen in the turrets and dungeon. Romantic Castle Break package, £375 per night, to include dinner, breakfast and spa treatment. Langley Castle, Northumberland

Langley is a 14th-century fortified castle near Hexham, South Tyne. It has 27 guest rooms but for maximum authenticity, go for one of the five feature rooms which have four-poster beds, exposed stonework and pretty window seats set in the 7ft walls. Our favourite is the Tower Room, reached by 101 (count them) stone steps, with magnificent views over the valley. Dinner, bed and breakfast from £290 per night; Tower Room from £378. Amberley Castle, Sussex

Built around 900 years ago, Amberley is one of the country’s oldest privately owned castle hotels, and one of its most luxurious, its 19 rooms designed to reflect the castle’s long history. The premier deluxe rooms, Chichester, Arundel, Amberley, Lewes and Herstmonceux, have the strongest castle vibe – the latter also has access to the castle’s battlements, said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl. Taste of Amberley Castle package £380 per night, to include cream tea on arrival, tasting menu and full English breakfast.Ashford Castle, County Mayo

Filled with works of art, antique furniture, bespoke beds and custom-designed carpets, the castle’s 82 rooms and suites are closer to palace boudoirs than castle bedchambers – and not a trouser press in sight. Gorgeous. Dinner, bed and breakfast from £442.19 per night. 


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