Every time you think about going on vacation, you have to carefully plan out the things you want to see and experience, but most importantly where you want to stay. Whether at a hotel or a rental, you make sure that the accommodation is suitable for your needs. But, have you ever considered renting a castle? No, we don’t mean the types of castles rented by pop stars and billionaires, but the affordable ones that are available all over the UK. Yes, they do exist! And here are some examples:
Tawstock Castle (England)
The last castle to be built in England, Tawstock Castle was built in the 18th century by Sir Bourchier Wrey, overlooking the Taw Valley and Saunton Sands, which guarantees spectacular views to whoever stays there.
The castle accommodates up to eight people and features a main hall, kitchen, study, and four bedrooms, two of which are en suite and the other two bedrooms are in the tower with amazing views from the roof terrace and the tower lookout.
The estate even has a helipad, if you’re looking for somewhere to land your helicopter, that is.
The main hall is decked with a fireplace, a 42” TV with an accompanying PlayStation 3 and DVD player, a foosball table, and a dining area. The kitchen is equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer.
The Castle is located close to Barnstaple. North Devon is also close by, where you can find several shops, restaurants, pubs, and cafes, as well as nature reserves and three surfing beaches. Agatha Christie’s former home is also located in Devon.
If you enjoy history, the town of Barnstaple is full of landmarks, such as almshouses, a Norman castle mound, and a quayside merchant’s hall. Just outside of Barnstaple, you’ll find the National Trust Carriage Museum which houses more than 40 antique carriages, including lavish coaches for dignitaries and plain carriages for servants.
There is a three-night minimum for booking the castle at $59 per person per night. Keep in mind that children must be supervised in certain areas, such as the roof terrace and the tower lookout for their own safety. Pets are not permitted.
Your children can also enjoy the Exmoor Zoo close by.
At this cheap price and amazing accommodations, you and seven of your friends or family members can stay in an actual castle and experience what life in the 1800s was like, but with modern conveniences.
Kinnaird Castle – Macduff Tower (Scotland)
This 15th-century castle sleeps 4 to 6 people (up to 10 during Christmas and New Year) within two luxury apartments with wide panoramic views over the Park from the 2nd floor. It has plenty of space for entertaining a group or sitting by the log fire for a little peace, quiet, and relaxation.
Kinnaird Castle is a castle in Angus, Scotland. The castle had been home to the Carnegie family, the Earls of Southesk, for more than 600 years. It was rebuilt in 1921.
The main suite has a 4 poster bed and is decorated with beautiful portraits. It has a very spacious bathroom attached to it with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the park in two directions. The second bedroom has twin beds and overlooks the park as well.
The sitting room is spacious in case you would like to entertain a large gathering, and it leads on into the kitchen. The apartment is cozy and heated by a biomass boiler throughout the year.
The apartments can be rented for a minimum of two nights at £420 during the low season, from November to March, and £530 during the high season, from April to October.
Traquair House (Scotland)
If you’ve ever wondered how it would feel like to stay where Kings and Queens once dwelled, then we’ve got the place for you. Originally owned by the kings of Scotland, Traquair Castle later became the home of the Earls of Traquair and is still lived in by their descendants; the Maxwell Stuart family. The house once provided refuge for Catholic priests in times of terror, as the Stuarts of Traquair supported Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobite cause. Consequently, they were imprisoned, fined, and isolated.
Traquair provides a unique and intimate atmosphere for the entire family. It includes three large double bedrooms decked with antique furniture, canopied beds, private baths, and central heating. Breakfast is served every morning for the guests as well in the Still Room, after which they can stroll through the grounds right to the River Tweed where they can fish.
Honeymoon Couples are particularly welcome for overnight stays and receive a complimentary bottle of our own French sparkling wine.
The prices for one night start at £220.
Kilmartin Castle (Scotland)
Kilmartin is a 16th-century castle in Kilmartin, Scotland, that was built in 1550 for John Carswell, the Rector of Kilmartin Glen and Bishop of The Isles. He lived there for around 15 years before moving to his new residence at Carnasserie Castle, 1.5 miles north of Kilmartin. The castle was passed down to the Campbell Clan, one of the most powerful clans in the Highlands. Over the years, it was abandoned and fell to ruin. Kilmartin was restored and refurbished as a bed and breakfast in the 1990s and 2019, it opened its doors as a B&B.
Kilmartin Castle now has four en-suite bedrooms with antique furnishings, modern pieces, and original artworks, sleeping up to ten people.
Kilmartin Castle lies in a small village in Western Scotland that is known as the center of Kilmartin Glen, an area rife with prehistoric monuments and historical sites, including important Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age sites, so there is no shortage of sites to keep your inner history buff busy during your time at the castle. You can also explore Kilmartin Museum or Kilmartin Church nearby, which has a collection of sculptured stones ranging in date from 900 to the 1600s or visit the local pub in the evenings for a warm drink and a cozy meal.
Kilmartin Castle can be rented for £600 to £900, but the rates usually increase around Christmas time.
Scone Palace (Scotland)
One of the most iconic attractions in Scotland, Scone Palace opens its doors to guests and visitors alike. The Palace’s State Rooms open from April to October, and the Palace grounds, including the David Douglas Pinetum and a star-shaped maze, are open to the public. The Palace also hosts outdoor events and weddings.
Built in the 12th century, Scone was originally a church, and then it became an abbey. It was severely damaged in 1559 during the Scottish Reformation, but in 1600, it became a Lordship, thus becoming home to the Earls of Mansfield for over 400 years.
For nearly 1000 years, Scone was the crowning-place of Scottish kings, where Macbeth, Robert the Bruce, and Charles II were once crowned, and the home of the Stone of Scone. It was also visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the 1840s.
During the Second World War and immediately afterward, Scone Palace was transformed into Craigmount School, a private boarding school for girls.
Now, you can walk down the Long Galley where King Charles II marched to his coronation in 1661. During the Jacobite rebellion, the ‘Old Pretender’ (James Edward, the son of James II of England) spent three weeks here, and his son, Bonnie Prince Charlie, visited the castle in 1745.
Among the amazing historical antiques you’ll find the needlework of Mary Queen of Scots that she worked on while in prison on Loch Leven, the desk at which Queen Marie Antionette wrote her letters before her execution, or the State Rooms where Queen Victoria was entertained on her way to the Highlands in 1842, and the bedroom in which she slept, in addition to many significant paintings, porcelain, and other artworks.
Scone Palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens, perfect for a stroll or a picnic. There’s a great adventure playground for children, not to mention the unique ‘tartan’ maze in the shape of the heraldic Murray Star.
Hen Wrych Hall Tower (Wales)
Relax next to the open fire in this romantic castle tower for two in County Conwy’s astounding Gwrych Castle. These luxurious accommodations are on three floors dating back to around 1822. It was designed by Lord and Lady Bamford Hesketh and architect Thomas Rickman.
The cozy ground-floor has a country-style kitchen and a table for two where you can enjoy your meals. Then, you can curl up on the sofa in front of the television, as the log burner warms you up.
The hand-carved mahogany staircase takes you up to the first floor with the Victorian bathroom and the landing with an antique bookcase.
The second floor has the Master bedroom with its Elizabethan-style, four-poster bed.
Take a stroll through the peaceful gardens of the Castle, or tour the surrounding woodland and hillsides nearby, for a wonderful and enjoyable stay. Just one mile away, you’ll find several local pubs, restaurants, and shops.
You can stay at this fantastic home for £436 per week.
Lews Castle (Scotland)
Lews Castle is a Victorian-style castle in the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. It was built between 1844 and 1851 for Sir James Matheson, the owner of the island.
In 1918, it was bought by Lord Leverhulme who gave the castle to the people of Stornoway parish in 1923.
In the 1950s, the Castle was used for accommodation for students of Lews Castle College. Then, it fell to disuse for several decades.
The building is now owned by the local council, which converted it into accommodations for the guests who wish to explore the Scottish countryside.
The standard room costs £68 per night or you can spend £100 for a one-bed apartment or £102 for a two-bed apartment.
The castle also has a museum that offers an interactive explanation of the history and culture of the area along with an exhibition of unique objects dating from prehistory to the present day.
Eastnor Castle (England)
Located in the Malvern Hills, this magnificent fairytale castle has magnificent views of the surrounding Herefordshire countryside. It is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from London and can sleep up to 10 guests.
The castle is surrounded by a beautiful deer park, arboretum, and lake. It is an exclusive wedding venue and private party venue, and location filming set.
The estate was established in the late 16th century to the designs of Robert Smirke.
Watermouth Castle (England)
Watermouth Castle is in North Devon, England. It was designed by George Wightwick as a residence for the Bassett family in the mid-19th century as a country house until they left the castle in 1945.
The castle houses a collection of Victorian antiques, including domestic tools and amusement machines, a family theme park, and holiday apartments.
The castle is open to the public with many areas set up for entertainment, including The Watershow Extravaganza, Dungeon Labyrinths, and Castle Treasure, as well as several rides like Merry go Land, Adventure Land, and Gnome Land.
The castle accepts guests within its two apartments, two bathrooms, and sleeping six people maximum for £895.
With its incredible theme park, it will surely be an enjoyable stay for the entire family.
Ludlow Castle Lodgings (England)
Ludlow Castle is a medieval castle in the Shropshire countryside of England. You can walk through the Castle grounds and explore the ancient houses where royalty and nobility resided.
The Castle used to be a Norman Fortress and over the centuries it was transformed into a fortified Royal Palace. It was originally built to hold back unconquered Welsh, passing down through generations of the de Lacy and Mortimer families to Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. It became Crown property in 1461 but fell into ruin after being abandoned in 1689.
The castle has been owned by the Earls of Powis since 1811 and it was he who decided to open it to the public. Nowadays, the Castle hosts Ludlow’s major festivals throughout the year.
The Castle is surrounded by many shops and restaurants, along the medieval streets.
The castle houses three renovated apartments for four people, with a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms for prices between £895 and £1,230.
Rowton Castle Hotel (England)
Located in the center of the Shropshire countryside, and surrounded by 17 acres of lush gardens, Rowton Castle was built in the 17th century, but it also has a history going back to 1234. It was converted into a hotel by its present owners, and now offers luxurious accommodation and extensive wedding and conference facilities in a magical historic setting.
You can stay at Rowton Castle Hotel if you’re looking for a romantic escape, a weekend break or simply exploring the Shropshire countryside. The castle provides a perfect backdrop for any wedding with its charming English gardens.
The facilities also offer other activities, such as go-karting, falconry, Murder Mystery Dinners, and Casino evening, and many others.
You can book one of its rooms or suites for around £150, depending on your choice of room.
Glenapp Castle (Scotland)
Located about 2.4 km southeast of Ballantrae, South Ayrshire in Scotland, Glenapp Castle, formerly the family seat of the Earl of Inchcape, has joined the list of castles transformed into luxury hotels.
The castle was designed in the Scottish Baronial style and was finished in 1870. The castle was owned by the Inchcape family from 1917 until the 1980s. Famous aviator Elsie Mackay, who was the daughter of the first Earl of Inchcape, lived at the castle until her tragic death in 1928 as she attempted to fly across the Atlantic.
The Castle opened as a hotel in 2000, and you can only enter if you have a reservation at the hotel or the restaurant.
Glenapp Castle overlooks several islands, including Ailsa Craig, Arran, and Mull of Kintyre. It is also close to Galloway Forest Park, Culzean Castle, and several botanical gardens. The castle is almost a mile away from the electronically gated entrance, so keep that in mind as you arrive.
The castle has 17 bedrooms at Glenapp Castle each with individual designs and lavish furnishings. Many of the rooms have superb sea views.
Delgatie Castle – Symbister Suite (Scotland)
Delgatie Castle is located near Turriff, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The castle has been in place since 1030 AD, although it has gone through several renovations and restorations and the current castle is said to have been built between 1570 and 1579, and additional wings and a chapel were added in 1743.
Mary, Queen of Scots, once stayed as a guest at the castle in 1562 after the Battle of Corrichie.
Like many castles in the UK, Delgatie is rumored to be haunted. Several reports by soldiers posted there during the Second World War stated that they saw a ghostly red-haired figure, supposedly one Alexander Hay.
The castle, grounds, and café are open to the public throughout the summer months, and suites within the castle itself and several cottages the estate are available to rent. There is also a popular fishing site at the river passing through the estate.
Which Castle Piqued Your Interest?
Staying at a regular hotel seems to have lost its luster after we’ve explored these charming and enchanting castles that once belonged to royalty and nobility and are now open to the public so that you can enjoy a stay at a historical landmark and experience what it would have been to live in these times, while also surrounded by modern conveniences. Which of these castle hotels would you choose to stay at? You can alway check out our collection to stay in Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast 🙂 Happy vacation!