A Castle to Yourself: 10 Famous British Places to Book a Holiday Stay | Public Holidays in UK

Manorbier Castle, Pembrokeshire

Just five miles from Tenby, this 11th-century Norman castle commands a commanding position overlooking the beautiful beach of Manorbier, with the village beyond. It’s a glorious mix of ruins and a fully furnished fortress. It’s usually open to the public during the day, but if you stay here you can have it all to yourself. There are three cottages whilst Castle House sleeps 12 in great comfort and guests have their own walled garden. The setting for the 2003 film, I conquer the castleit is only a short walk to the pretty beach and village pub.
From £650 per night, manorbiercastle.co.uk

Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Bamburg Castle
Photo: Britpix/Alamy

Wales’ most otherworldly destination has a beach and 70 acres of subtropical forest, along with a quirky car-free village with cafes and artisanal gelatoria to complement the Italian style. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 and is now owned by a charitable trust. It has been the setting for numerous films and television shows. If you want to stay longer, there are two hotels and 13 self-catering cottages on the estate, all with access to an outdoor pool and a gentle golden sandy beach along an estuary of the River Dwyryd.
Double B&B from £249, portmeirion.wales

Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion

Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion

Overlooking the River Teifi in Wales, Cardigan Castle is a lovely place to stay when there are no more visitors. Much contested in the past, it is now a community project steeped in history, with medieval battlements and Regency gardens to explore. There is a choice of self-catering apartments, but also some B&B rooms. Head to the Gardener’s Cottage, which offers antiques and atmosphere, or the comfortable apartments in the Georgian East Wing of the castle.
Four nights from £612, cardigancastle.com

Brantwood, Lake District

Brantwood, Cumbria
Photo: Getty Images

Brantwood was built by art critic and social reformer John Ruskin on Coniston Water. Day visitors can tour his home and collections, including 2,000 museum-worthy mineral specimens newly presented here. There are eight gardens to explore (and a pretty good cafe), but for a more exclusive visit, try one of the three cottages for 24-hour views that Ruskin thought were the best in Britain, plus access to the lake .
Two nights self catering at The Eyrie starts from £350 in high season, brantwood.org.uk

Rievaulx Abbey, North York Moors

Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire
Photo: Jo Denison

English Heritage has holiday rentals on 20 of its properties, from Osborne on the Isle of Wight to Audley End in Essex. At the Refectory Cottage at Rievaulx Abbey there is a welcome hamper and a powerful torch to help you wander around one of England’s most important and impressive monasteries before Henry VIII dissolved it in 1538. This cottage sleeps four people in two bedrooms built on a more modest scale but the setting is nonetheless spectacular.
Three nights from £710english-heritage.org.uk

The Georgian House, Hampton Court Palace, London

The Georgian House, Hampton Court Palace
Photo: John Miller

This stately 18th-century building, full of antique furniture, was once the kitchen and is still the heart of the palace. As well as the real tennis court used by Henry VIII, there is a walled garden for your exclusive use, and the attic bedrooms have lovely views over the ancient rooftops and courtyard. The property sleeps eight people and also offers free entry to the palace during opening hours and to the grounds outside of opening hours.
Four nights from £1,031, Landmarktrust.org.uk

Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire

Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire
Photo: Fred Cholmeley

Come to this garden near Grantham in Lincolnshire in May to see the fruit trees in bloom, or in June when Easton’s famous sweet peas begin to bloom – more than 50 different varieties can be scented throughout the garden’s 12 acres. Late summer brings dahlias and fall fruit. There are three cottages on the estate (plus two more in nearby villages) giving you space to immerse yourself in the gardens early in the morning and evening as well as during the day, as well as a tea room and spa.
Two nights from £450, eastonholidaycottages.co.uk

Tiverton Castle, Devon

Tiverton Castle, Devon
Photo: Lesley Pardoe/Alamy

Built in 1106, Tiverton Castle was besieged by Parliamentarians in 1645 and is now a mix of romantic ruins, walled gardens and a castle that is still privately owned. A tour takes you into the secret passages, medieval toilets and a look at the armor of the Civil War. Walks take you through woodland to the River Exe. It’s even more fun to stay when the tourists leave. Choose from five holiday apartments around the castle, all of which ooze with antique charm.
Three nights from £350, tivertoncastle.com

The Round House, Suffolk

The Round House, Suffolk
Photo: Mike Henton

Ickworth is one of the National Trust’s most extravagant properties – an Italianate-style rotunda with paintings by Velásquez, Titian and Gainsborough. The parkland surrounding it has whimsy, monuments and sheep. You’ll also find the Round House, which has the same curved walls, plus three bedrooms and a wood-burning stove – and deer graze nearby. Guests benefit from free entry to Ickworth House.
Three nights from £974, nationaltrust.org.uk

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Bamburgh has three self catering properties.
Photo: Tracey Bloxham

Perched on its own volcanic outcrop, this is one of Britain’s most iconic buildings. It has Anglo-Saxon foundations, a Norman keep and is a survivor of almost total destruction during the War of the Roses. What is less well known is that the castle has three self-catering accommodation units. The newest, in the Clocktower, has sweeping views of Bamburgh Sands and the Castle’s cricket ground and sleeps five, complete with a corner of the battlements that doubles as your own private patio.
A week starts at £3,140, crabtreeandcrabtree.com

Leave a Comment