If you’ve ever wanted to live the life of a Downton Abbey character, then England‘s incredible castle hotels were made for you. Surround yourself with regal luxury in a turreted Victorian mansion, or take a step back in time with a stay in a restored medieval castle. Whatever your style, you’ll find an English castle to fall in love with!
England’s best castle hotels are the stuff of legends. Packed with history, bursting with heritage, and brimming with character, historic castles across the country have been revamped into luxury spa hotels, repurposed into boutique retreats, or reimagined as unique bed and breakfasts.
The coolest castle hotels in England span century after century of history. Old Norman castles have stood guard over towns and villages for almost 1,000 years, while grand Tudor mansions are complete with medieval furnishings, crumbling walls, and even the odd moat and drawbridge.
Head into the English countryside, and you’ll also find the landscaped gardens and palatial facades of Victorian-era country homes. These vast estates were designed to romanticize English castles of old but were very much built for the comfort of the elite.
England’s best castle hotels are the perfect place to stay if you love history, enjoy one-of-a-kind accommodation, or if you’re just an unabashed fan of luxury. There are so many incredible castle hotels in this corner of the world that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best castle hotels in England to help you plan your perfect getaway!
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Where are the Best Castle Hotels in England?
You’ll love how many of England’s most beautiful castle hotels are found in equally beautiful settings.
Aristocratic castles and country homes are often found in the English countryside, surrounded by vast estates that cover acre upon acre of land in Kent, Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Cornwall, and the Cotswolds. Old family homes – formerly in the hands of royalty or aristocracy for generations – have now been transformed into spa retreats and five-star hotels.
Travel north to the Scottish border or west toward Wales, and castles take on a more rugged and utilitarian look. Medieval towers stand tall on lonely hilltops, overlooking what was once a battleground between English and Scottish kings or the contested borderlands between England and Wales. Entrepreneurial owners have refurbished crumbling English strongholds, creating remote havens of luxury far from the nearest towns.
Whichever English castle you pick for your next getaway, you’ll appreciate the peace, the quiet, and the beauty of the English countryside. Get ready to be inspired as we count down the most unique castle hotels in England!
The 12 Best Castle Hotels in England
1. Hever Castle
Book a stay at Hever Castle and you’ll be sleeping in the same rooms as English royalty, including some of the Tudor-era’s most infamous historical characters. Hever Castle was originally built in the 13th century, and during the reign of King Henry VIII in the 15th century, it became the family home of Anne Boleyn, the king’s short-lived second wife.
Henry VIII himself spent many a night at the castle, and when he had Anne Boleyn beheaded, Hever Castle was handed over to Anne of Cleves, another of the tyrant’s six wives. There’s no doubt you’ll be immersed in history at this medieval castle, but you’ll also be happy knowing you’ll be immersed in luxury, too!
There are 28 boutique rooms spread across the Astor and Anne Boleyn Wings, and while the style, designs, and furnishings are all mock-Tudor, these are very much luxury suites. Each room is unique. Some have oaken four-poster beds, while others are furnished with antique writing tables and log fireplaces.
Spend the day exploring Hever Castle, where you’ll find historic paintings and portraits hanging in the corridors, Anne Boleyn’s personal prayer books displayed in the library, and the bedroom of Henry VIII made up as it looked hundreds of years ago!
The grounds are extensive, and you’ll have 125 acres of landscaped gardens on your doorstep. There’s a double moat, a vast boating lake, and countless floral arrangements and sculpture gardens to discover in the Kent countryside – and it’s all just 90 minutes away from London!
You’ll arrive in awe as you stroll along the rolling driveway that leads to the ancient gates of Amberley Castle. Surrounded by lush green lawns, twin medieval towers rise sharply above the gardens as you walk under the castle’s working portcullis.
This is everything you ever imagined an English castle to be! The fortified walls, gates, and towers date back to the 14th century. However, they did lose much of their height when Amberley Castle was besieged during the English Civil War.
The castle facade might be a relic of centuries past, but you’ll absolutely love how the old rooms have been transformed into luxurious, modern dwellings that continue to draw on the heritage of Amberley. You can have your pick of 19 individually styled rooms!
Homemade biscuits and a seriously comfortable Vispring bed topped with plush pillows are waiting for you on arrival, but you might be too distracted to notice the luxury features as you look out over the estate from the original 14th-century Lancet windows.
Upgrade to a Junior Suite and you’ll enjoy access to the 14th-century tower, while the Gatehouse Suites, featuring elegant four-poster beds, are found in the renovated 17th-century dairy house.
Amberley Castle is located in the quaint Sussex village of Amberley. You’ll be staying super close to South Downs National Park and the south coast of England. And London is a scenic two-hour drive away.
For a taste of medieval life, Langley Castle is one of the best castle hotels in England for a weekend away. Four tall towers guard a central square, and you’ll quickly realize that these solid stone walls weren’t built to look pretty!
Take a tour of the castle and you’ll discover that it was originally built in the 14th century. Langley Castle is located in the far north of England, and in the medieval era, this was a turbulent place to live. The castle was destroyed by Henry IV and lay in ruins until it was restored many hundreds of years later in the 19th century.
The restoration couldn’t have been better, and you’ll appreciate the modern addition of a covered and heated outdoor dining pavilion and the lovely spa baths in the luxurious bedrooms.
The nine grandest rooms at the Langley Hotel are found within the medieval towers themselves. These rooms feature beautiful four-poster beds, regal linens in romantic shades of red, and antique wooden wardrobes, tables, and chairs. A further 18 luxury rooms offer views of the castle from the impeccably maintained grounds of the estate.
Sleep like a medieval lord or lady and dine like one too! The Langley Castle restaurant has an aristocratic menu that’s strong on game dishes, and you’ll be hard-pressed to choose between the pigeon breast, pork terrine, or wild sea bass for dinner.
If you’re looking to stay in a romantic fairytale castle, then Thornbury Castle is one of the most unique castle hotels in England.
You’ll quickly fall for the rounded tower-house, elegant stone archways, and authentic Tudor architecture. But wait until you make your way inside the castle itself. Step inside, and you’ll be awed by romantic spiral staircases, medieval-style open hearths, and gorgeous Victorian windows.
Thornbury Castle’s claim to fame is that Henry VIII once spent a night here, and the luxury renovations are certainly good enough for any royal. Lie back in your plush four-poster bed, surrounded by unique antique furnishings, such as golden globes and Georgian portraits. Tower rooms have arrow-slit windows, while suites evoke the history and heritage of the castle with names such as the Anne of Cleves or Mary Queen of Scots.
The dining at Thornbury Castle is as fit for royalty as the bed chambers are. You’ll enjoy the hotel’s seasonal, five-course tasting menu, which brings local ingredients from the surrounding West Country to the dinner table. Revel in farm-fresh dishes like wild garlic risotto, mushroom linguine, and braised pork belly.
Yorkshire locals will tell you that their county is “God’s own country,” and you’ll likely fall in love with Yorkshire yourself when you stay at the Hazlewood Castle & Spa. This historic castle hotel is surrounded by 77 acres of glorious countryside in the heart of Yorkshire. It won’t take long for you to be charmed by the quiet pastures, long country walks, and peacefulness of its rural location.
The rooms at this 13th-century castle are decidedly plush, with individual bedding and decor in each of the suites, and unique paintings and portraits from across Yorkshire adorning the walls. If the location alone isn’t relaxing enough, then book a day at Imagine Spa, where you can enjoy a mud bath, manicure, massage, and more while treating yourself to champagne and afternoon tea.
Dinner is served at the hotel’s Vavasour Restaurant, where the menu includes hog roast pork, roasted rack of lamb, seared sea bass, and grilled sirloin steak. Alternately, you can book a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience in the 1086 private dining cellar! You’ll be served a selection of canapes, followed by a three-course gourmet meal with wine pairings.
6. Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle is one of the finest castles in the southeast of England. It’s difficult for you to imagine a more picture-perfect castle than this because Leeds Castle is beautifully situated on a small, green island in the middle of a small lake!
You’ll be amazed at the location and just as astounded to learn that there’s been a castle here since the year 1119 when a Norman lord made claim to the land. Leeds Castle’s prestigious history continued over the centuries, as it was upgraded, renovated, and beautified to make it comfortable for English royalty. King Edward I lived here before Henry VIII turned Leeds Castle into a glamorous palace for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Leeds Castle is surrounded by 500 acres of gardens and grounds, and you’ll find self-catering holiday cottages hidden away in the estate that offer the perfect escape for couples and families. The Stable Courtyard development, located right next to the castle itself, offers traditional bed and breakfast-style accommodation to visitors, with a full English menu served daily in Castle View Restaurant.
For something truly unique, you can make advanced reservations for croquet, archery, and clay pigeon shooting!
Otterburn Castle is widely regarded as one of the best castle hotels in England. This is definitely one for history lovers because this vast country estate dates back to the time of William the Conqueror.
Otterburn Castle started out as a simple medieval tower watching over the Scottish borders. You’ll be fascinated to discover how countless battles between the Scottish and English took place on the grounds, including the nation-shaping Battle of Otterburn, which took place here in the 14th century.
After centuries of war, the tower got an upgrade. And in the Victorian era, it was transformed into the picturesque country castle you see today. Otterburn Castle was then redesigned as a luxury hotel, and you’re sure to be impressed by the results!
There are just 17 boutique rooms at Otterburn Castle. Rooms feature period-furnishings, fine linens, and elegant bathrooms. Upgrade to the Otterburn Castle Select Rooms and you’ll sleep like royalty in a four-poster bed with a beautiful wooden headboard next to an original open-hearth fireplace.
A freshly cooked full English breakfast is served to you every morning in the Morning Breakfast Room, while the Oak Room Restaurant serves a three-course dinner featuring fried goat’s cheese, Scottish salmon, and crème brûlée. After dinner, enjoy the views over the landscaped Deer Gardens from the outdoor terrace or sit back in a cozy armchair next to the cozy log fire in the living room.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the Norman conquests of England, then book a stay at Appleby Castle. This is not only a high-end, luxury hotel, but you’ll be able to take a tour through the historic 11th-century Norman castle and delve into history at the Norman Centre.
You’ll be living the high life of a Norman lord at Appleby Castle. There are just 12 medieval-style bedchambers, with the best boasting wooden four-poster beds, high ceilings and chandeliers, and beautiful tapestries and paintings.
Dinner is served in a medieval great hall, where long wood tables are surrounded by suits of shining armor and historic full-length portraits of the castle’s prior occupants. The menu is ever-changing, and you’ll enjoy pre-dinner cocktails as you select your dishes before taking your seat at the lavish candlelit banquet table.
Appleby Castle overlooks the Eden River, and you’ll love how this luxury hotel serves as the gateway to Eden Valley, one of Cumbria’s most impressive natural areas. Enjoy long walks along the river and into the valley, or take a day trip to nearby Lake Windermere, the heart of northern England’s famed Lake District.
Discover the legends of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table when you stay at the Camelot Castle Hotel in Cornwall.
You’ll love the location of this romanticized Victorian hotel. Perched on a wild, windswept headland on the north coast of Cornwall, Camelot Castle Hotel overlooks the ancient ruins of Tintagel Castle.
The hotel was built to offer luxury to travelers in search of the real-life stories behind King Arthur. Tintagel Castle has stood on a tidal island since the Roman era. Its remoteness and mystery led early British chroniclers to believe that this was once the home of King Arthur and his wily wizard Merlin!
From the grand Victorian windows of your Camelot Castle Hotel room, you’ll see and hear the roar of the waves below. Standard rooms have colorful decor and often feature small fireplaces, while the swankiest suites have marvelous four-poster beds carved from English oak.
You’ll appreciate the mock round table, a tribute to Arthurian stories, that’s placed in the reception hall, while the Victorian dining hall looks like it’s been stolen from an episode of Downton Abbey. A full English breakfast is served at Irina’s Restaurant in the mornings. If the weather cooperates, you can enjoy your breakfast on the Camelot Terrace while taking in sweeping views over the cliff’s edge.
Lunch and dinner are also served at Irina’s Restaurant, where the chefs love to focus on seasonal, locally sourced Cornish produce. Venison stew, vegan Cornish pasties, sea bass fillets, and more are just waiting to be ordered.
10. Bovey Castle
You’ll quickly fall in love with Bovey Castle’s exceptional location in the heart of Dartmoor National Park. This Edwardian-era mansion is both remote and accessible because Bovey Castle is just a short drive along country lanes from southwest England’s busy A30 highway. As soon as you enter the grounds of this vast country estate, you’ll feel as if you’re a million miles away!
Bovey Castle was first built in 1907, but just a few decades later the estate was converted into a luxury hotel catering to a new wave of modern tourists escaping to the English countryside. Since the 1930s, Bovey Castle has been highly regarded for offering supreme luxury in a dramatic, Dartmoor setting. You can spend days hiking trails that traverse the hotel’s 275 acres of gardens and grounds or head off deeper into the wild moors and woodlands of one of Britain’s most beautiful national parks.
Golfers can perfect their handicap on the 18-hole golf course, a championship-level course that was designed many years ago by the renowned golfing architect J. F. Abercrombie. After a round of golf, head to the hotel’s spa, where you can swim laps in an art-deco swimming pool and enjoy exceptional views over Dartmoor.
After a hard day walking, golfing, or relaxing in the spa, you’ll find that Bovey Castle’s 60 hotel rooms offer unrivaled comfort and an excellent night’s sleep. Rooms feature floral bed linens, spacious king beds, and boutique ESPA branded toiletries in the ensuites. Before snuggling up in bed, enjoy a fine dining dinner at Smith’s Brasserie or a hearty meal at the Great Western Grill.
Warwick Castle Knight’s Village is the perfect place for fun-loving kids and adults who want to learn more about medieval chivalry. This unique “village” is located within the grounds of Warwick Castle, one of England’s most famous fortifications. You’ll love how you’re instantly immersed in medieval action and activities!
You can stay in a spacious, family-orientated Woodland Lodge with space for five or seven, depending on the size. You’ll have a lovely wooden terrace to relax on, bunk beds for the kids, and doubles for the adults. Woodland Lodges have replica swords and shields hanging on the walls and mock medieval chandeliers lighting up the rooms.
If you’re after more authenticity, then book one of the glamping tents for the family instead. Hidden among the woodland are knights’ tents fit for a camping king! Tents sleep up to four people and include a treasure chest for valuables and thrones for lounging.
During your stay at this themed castle accommodation, you’ll have the chance to explore Warwick Castle, practice archery, and perhaps even watch a jousting tournament! If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly stay, this is definitely one of the best castle hotels in England!
12. Star Castle
Escape the mainland when you check into Star Castle, a boutique bed and breakfast on the Scilly Islands. This is the westernmost destination in England, and you’ll need to catch a ferry over from Penzance in Cornwall. Or, better yet, fly out on a small prop plane or helicopter!
Star Castle overlooks the roaring Atlantic Ocean on the main island of St Mary’s. While it’s now a luxury hotel, it was originally constructed to keep marauding Spanish ships at bay during the Elizabethan era.
You’ll love how Star Castle is very much a local and family-run hotel. There are 38 cozy but bright bedrooms, and while you’re enjoying a full English breakfast, the hotel’s personal boat crews help you to organize your island-hopping itinerary for the day!
On your return, you’ll find that Star Castle’s owner has been busy all day catching fresh fish and lobster on the hotel’s fishing boat. Your lavish meal is served in the Castle Dining Room alongside fresh vegetables from the castle garden and homegrown wines from the vineyard.
There’s an indoor swimming pool for you to enjoy in your downtime at Star Castle. Or, you can spend the evening sampling local wines and ales in the Dungeon Bar, a former prison where notorious criminals exiled from England were once held.
That completes our list of the 12 best castle hotels in England! Did we miss any cool castle hotels in England? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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