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With staycations in full swing, we've been on the hunt for the most unique, interesting holiday properties out there, and you don't get much more unique than a castle.
A stay in a castle will transport you back in time and give you a taste of royal life, whether you're after the uber-luxe variety or more of a rustic stay.
From eating like kings and queens in a restored vaulted-dining room to looking out over your kingdom from atop gothic turrets, our fair isle is home to some of the most enchanting castles, all with a rich history and an enchanting feel to them.
So, if you thought you had to wait to marry a prince or princess to step foot inside a castle, think again, here are our pick of the best castle holiday destinations out there.
10 castle stays to enchant your inner royalty
The Pele Tower, Northumberland
Perched in the middle of Whittingham Vale, this castle boasts a log burning stove, snooker room, fully modernised kitchen and a barrel-vaulted basement.
Originally a fortified village refuge, built in around AD1250, this beautiful Grade II* historically listed tower has been recently brought up-to-date, while retaining its historic charm.
Price: From £199 per night | Book now
Duchray Castle, Loch Lomond
You don't get much more dramatic - or beautiful - than Trossachs National Park, and nestled at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Forest, this 500 year old tower house makes for a once-in-a-lifetime staycation.
Each of the four bedrooms boasts an ensuite and guests can enjoy the breathtaking estate, curl up with a book (historical fiction, of course) by the roaring fire and enjoy hearty meals in the atmospheric vaulted dining room.
Price: From £525 per night | Book here
Manorbier Castle, Pembrokeshire
Command your subjects as you wish from your very own twelfth century Norman castle, nestled in the picturesque village of Manorbier.
Manorbier Castle enjoys a rich historical tapestry, and a stay in the cottage residence within the castle walls promises to be an unforgettable experience.
Immerse yourself in the romance and mystery of ancient Welsh folklore and crusading knights, perched on the cliffs at the head of the valley looking out across Manorbier bay.
Price: From £540 per night | Book now
Upton Castle, Pembrokeshire
Now a private family home, this grand castle dates back to the thirteenth century. It’s not open to the public but you can stay in a room in the west wing for a few nights. You'll also have access to the listed historic gardens and woodlands which surround the castle, so you can head out on your own noble quest.
Price: From £90 per night | Book now
Breezeway, North Yorkshire
Not all castles are sprawling, palatial structures, some are quirky and compact, just like this one, perched in-between the well-loved North and South bays.
The beach is just a short stroll away (not an accolade many castles can claim) and the miniature castle boasts stunning views across the coastline.
Price: From £170 a night | Book now
The Tudor Crest, West Midlands
We umm'ed and ahh'ed about whether you could call this a castle, but we decided - due to the inclusion of its very own Gatehouse, Moat House and Coach House, (not to mention its Tudor turrets and red-brick charm) - that this property deserves to make the list.
It's nothing short of opulent and provides acres of space to escape the hustle and bustle of normal life.
So summon your court to this countryside retreat, meander through the manicured gardens, doze in a four-poster bed and play hide and seek up and down the multiple stone spiral staircases.
Price: From £1,138 a night | Book now
Victorian Hunting Lodge, Shropshire
Enjoy a romantic getaway for two at this regal bolt hole, with panoramic views over the surrounding historic parkland from the top floor.
Set on the far side of the Weston Park Estate, The Knoll Tower benefits from the 1,000 acres of Capability Brown Parkland, a stately home, events venue and visitor attractions on its doorstep, as well as grand privacy within.
Price: From £146 a night | Book now
Astley Castle, Warwickshire
This sixteenth-century manor house was left a ruin in the 1970s after a fire, before being lovingly brought back to life with some Riba-award-winning architecture that adds modern design to the original walls.
The combination of new and old creates a truly captivating staycation property, surrounded by its own moat, that will undoubtably enchant all who visit.
Price: From £309 a night | Book here
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