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Great Britain's and Ireland's Top 5 Interesting Castle Hotels

Hundreds of massive medieval fortresses, elegant Renaissance and Baroque mansions and impressive royal palaces are scattered across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Some of them defended the country from invaders, while others were used to please the most intricate fancies of their rulers. Today the castles not only radiate romance and the spirit of old times, but also tell stories of the past. Great Britain and Ireland‘s castle hotels are deemed to be the finest in Europe, and we invite you to take a tour of the top 5.

1. Thornbury Castle, England

The Castle seen from the top of St Mary’s Church tower
Photo taken by Arpingstone /  The Castle seen from the top of St Mary’s Church tower

The Thornbury Castle hotel is situated in South West England‘s Bristol. King Henry VIII with his wife Anne Boleyn once stayed there, and the castle, on the outskirts of Thornbury, is an example of the Tudor architecture style. Nowadays, it functions as a hotel. Surrounded by magnificent gardens, picturesque vineyards, medieval walls and statues in knights‘ armour, you will feel like an English lord. A stay in the Thornbury Castle will cost you around €450 per night. You can even stay in the room is the one where the king once stayed, although, of course, it's the most expensive.

2. Ashford Castle, Ireland

Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland
Photo taken by Ericci8996 /  Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland

The Ashford Castle, built at the beginning of the 13th century, is now considered to be one of Ireland‘s best and most luxurious hotels. This medieval castle providing five-star service is situated in the western part of the country, on the shores of the Lake Lough Corrib. A private falconry school is open on the castle‘s premises, where guests are invited to learn more about the art of falcon domestication and care. In the nearby bar you can enjoy traditional Irish music, performed by famous bands and singers.

3. Ruthin Castle, Wales

The new Castell Rhuthun hotel attached to the old castle
Photo taken by Llywelyn2000 /  The new Castell Rhuthun hotel attached to the old castle

The Ruthin Castle, built in the 13th century of red bricks, was for a long time a residence of the English monarchs, and used to defend the country from enemy invaders. Today, on the castle‘s premises you will find a luxurious hotel with rather affordable prices – a one-night stay in a double room can cost as little as €90. The castle is famous for its picturesque surroundings, and the city of Chester, the Snowdonia National Park and the Gwydir Forest can all be reached in 40 minutes.

4. Dalhousie Castle, Scotland

West front of Dalhousie Castle
Photo taken by Roger W Haworth /  West front of Dalhousie Castle

27 rooms, 14 of which recreate medieval ambience, a dining hall in an old prison chamber, a falconry school and a modern spa centre can be found in the Dalhousie Castle hotel. Close to the impressive fortification stands a cosy forest cabin, which can accommodate up to five people. It is like an actual fairy tale house from a Disney cartoon. The Dalhousie Castle is on the list of historical buildings, and also supposedly haunted by a lost spirit of a nobleman.

5. Glengarry Castle, Scotland

Glengarry Castle Hotel
Photo taken by Glengarry Castle Hotel.  Glengarry Castle Hotel

The Glengarry Castle, built in 1869 according to the project of architect David Bruce, is situated only 11 kilometres from Scotland‘s famous lake Loch Ness. The castle hotel is located on the shore of another lake, Loch Oich. Boat tours are organised, and in the evening couples can go for a romantic row. Hotel rooms decorated in a traditional fashion, magnificent gardens and unique Scottish meals are just a few reasons this hotel is well-known. Only here you can try an onion omelette with local salmon, smoked on oak coals, and cherry pie with almonds and cherry ice-cream. This hotel is a feast to remember.

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