We’re fortunate here in Britain. Not only do we live in a rich country with lots of beautiful locations, but we also have thousands of years of history right on our doorstep. While Britain wasn’t a big shot in the era of the Roman Empire, it grew to prominence throughout the middle ages, ushering in an era of unprecedented castle building all over the country.
Today, those castles are not for the defense of the realm but for people like you and me to go on vacation. Here are some of the best castles to stay in anywhere in the country.
Lumley Castle is one of the most bombastic castles in the country, thanks to its oversized medieval-sized towers and inner courtyard.
The castle is a hybrid between a fortification and a stately home. It has the unusual distinction of having been constructed by a knight instead of a member of the aristocracy, making it something of a rarity. Despite being held in high regard, most knights did not have the coin to construct a property of this grandeur.
The castle is one of the most exciting places to stay in the UK, thanks partly to the setting, but also the quality of the dining. Every evening, guests gather in the great hall, decked on either side with heraldric flower arrangements.
Star Castle gets its name from the strange star-shaped nature of its battlements. The castle emerged in the era after the cannon during which designers had to come up with a way of defending against this devastating weapon. The answer was to build castles in a new shape that would deflect the incoming rounds.
While Star Castle might be a little unusual, it is still a product of the medieval era (though only just), being built in 1593. The castle provides views out to sea and once protected the Isles of Scilly from attacks from Spain and other European powers. Every room is full of history, from the Jacobean chairs to the Persian rugs that sit atop the castle carpet.
Cumbria is home to many incredible destinations, including the legendary Lake District. It is, however, also the place where you’ll find Augill Castle – one of the most beautiful residences in the country.
Augill has been described as a “triumph of vanity over common sense,” and when you first clap eyes on the place, it is not hard to see why. It was built by a gentleman of leisure called John Bagot Pearson. He wanted to create a castle that would out-compete that of his brother and spared no expense when it came to the design and construction.
Today, the castle is home to mahogany staircases, faux-turrets, a riding stables, swimming pool, and on-site sloe gin making facilities. It was one of the best places to relax and unwind in the 1840s when it was constructed and maintains that tradition to this very day. The groundskeepers do a fabulous job of keeping the castle in excellent condition.