Can’t decide where to stay during your next trip to Britain? Why not live out your ultimate royal fantasy (and trace your Canadian heritage) at some of the most historic places of all — castles!
Bovey Castle in Devon, England
Nestled in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle has every amenity you need, plus a few more you probably didn’t even know you’d want. Featuring a range of athletic activities, including tennis courts, archery and rifle-shooting targets, falconry, fly-fishing, and gin-making, it’s the perfect retreat for outdoor enthusiasts. If walking around in wellies isn’t your style, rest assured, the castle also offers top-of-the-line spa treatments, delicious dining, and even hot air balloon rides launched directly from the property. When it comes time to lay your head down to rest, choose from a room inside the castle, one of the three-storey lodges, or the rose cottage—all of which offer views of the beautifully landscaped grounds.
Hever Castle in Kent, England
Dating back to the 13th century, Hever Castle served as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Mother of Elizabeth I. And today, guests can stay in this stunning double-moated palace and experience 700 years of history for themselves! Outfitted with antique furniture, tapestries, royal memorabilia, and one of the best collections of Tudor portraits in Britain, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to historic England… with all the comforts of modern living, like free WIFI. Spend the night in one of the castle’s 28 bed and breakfast suites, or for larger groups, consider renting the luxurious holiday cottage, which sleeps up to eight.
Warwick Castle in Warwickshire, England
Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape, a family-friendly getaway, or an outdoor adventure, you’re guaranteed to find it at Warwick Castle. Offering three unique styles of guest accommodation: themed woodland lodges and medieval glamping on the riverbank for the kids, and private-floor suites in the 14th century Caesar’s Tower for the adults. Due to overwhelming popularity within the warmer months (it’s one of the most-visited historical attractions in England), it’s best to book early to make sure you get your accommodation of choice.
Martello Tower in Suffolk, England
Standing at the foot of the Orford Ness peninsula, this quatrefoil-shaped castle is the perfect place to brush up on your British history (the structure was originally built to keep Napoleon away) and enjoy spectacular seaside views. Featuring soaring ceilings and an open, lofted floor plan, it’s an ideal pick for families or groups of friends travelling together—and bonus, it’s even pet-friendly to boot. Be sure to head to the roof during sunset to admire the stunning sky and watch the boats sail by from the nearby club.
Fort Clonque in Alderney, Channel Islands
Perched on a group of large rocks surrounded by the waves, there’s only one way to reach this Victorian fort… and that’s by drawbridge. At high tide, the fort is cut off from the rest of the island, but that’s okay, because there are six other buildings to explore throughout the property. Talk about a killer game of hide and seek! Best of all, the fort sleeps 13 comfortably, so there’s plenty of room for all of your pals.
Culzean Castle in Maybole, Scotland
For the ultimate storybook experience, look no further than this palatial palace in Scotland. Perched on the edge of cliff with views sweeping across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran, it’s hard not to feel captivated by the breath-taking view. Spend some time strolling along the property’s three miles of sandy coastline and ducking into sea caves, or brush up on your British history at the on-site museum. Though you can’t go wrong no matter which room you choose to stay in, history buffs are sure to enjoy the Eisenhower suite, which served as a home away from home for the former US president.
Château Rhianfa in Anglesey, Wales
Constructed in 1849 on the edge of the Menai Strait, this French-inspired castle is truly a treat for all the senses. Offering 30 stylish rooms, each fusing classic furniture with modern colors, plus five-star dining and lush gardens, it’s the perfect place to go and get away from it all (or perhaps throw the wedding of your dreams). Should you fancy a bit of adventure during your trip, you’re in luck – from sea kayaking to zip-lining, there’s a slew of adrenaline-pumping activities right outside your doorstep.