Best castle hotels in the UK for a fairy tale getaway in 2022

Escape to one of the best castle hotels in the UK for a historic holiday that's steeped in grandeur

Collage image of the best castle hotels in the UK showing Warwick Castle Suites, Mingary Castle and Star Castle
(Image credit: Future/Warwick Castle Suites/Mingary Castle/Star Castle)

The best castle hotels in the UK combine gothic architecture with all the luxuries of a modern hotel. In our round-up, you'll find centuries-old castles, many dating back to the Medieval era, that offer grand interiors, gourmet restaurants and a warm welcome. 

Spiraling staircases, gothic turrets, huge four-poster beds and cozy nooks and crannies are just some of the hallmarks of a castle hotel. Tucked away in quiet corners of the English countryside or standing proud in historic towns and cities, these magnificent buildings offer an atmospheric UK city break. From the best castles in Scotland that offer an insight into its tumultuous history, to iconic English landmarks that were once home to kings and queens, the best castle hotels in the UK all have a story to tell.

In this guide, you'll find our edit of the best castle hotels in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, showing only the top-rated castle hotels on Tripadvisor across the country. As well as offering majestic dining spaces and sprawling grounds to explore, many of the castle hotels on our list also house luxurious spas - offering some of the best spa breaks in the UK. Relax and unwind at these luxurious UK castles - with many offering guided tours of the building and the grounds so you can fully absorb their rich history.

Best castle hotels in the UK in 2022

1. Killeavy Castle Estate, Northern Ireland

Killeavy Castle Estate grounds, one of the best castle hotels in the uk

(Image credit: Killeavy Castle Estate)

Prices from: £230 per night

Expert rating: 9/10

Killeavy Castle Estate is a firm favorite among visitors and it's easy to see why - this beautifully-restored Medieval castle has it all - elegant decor, luxurious bedrooms, a spacious, floodlit spa with epic countryside views and 350 acres of sprawling grounds and gardens straight out of a fairy tale. 

While you can stay in the castle itself, the majority of the guest rooms are situated in what was once a mill and coach house on the grounds, now transformed into a family-owned hotel that offers Irish hospitality in abundance. Venture to Killeavy Castle across the grounds to explore its enchanting circular library and sumptuous lounge areas.

Rural Ireland, with its lush green landscapes, spectacular cliffs and huge national parks is known for its rugged beauty, and Killeavy Castle Estate makes the perfect base for exploring all the Emerald Isle has to offer.

What's nearby? Killeavy Castle Estate is situated in the Ring of Gullion, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it the ideal location for scenic country walks. Slieve Gullion Forest Park is just 10 minutes away and offers the chance to try the mindful practice of Forest Bathing on one of the many woodland trails and an adventure park for the kids to enjoy.

Why guests love it: Guests praise the attentive and friendly staff who make staying at the hotel a seamless experience and the beautiful surrounding areas.

Don't leave without: Trying the seven-course tasting menu that celebrates seasonal, Irish produce, washed down with a signature cocktail in the hotel's cozy-yet-lavish bar.

2. Amberley Castle, Sussex

Amberley Castle grounds, one of the best castle hotels in the uk

(Image credit: Amberley Castle)

Prices from: £475 per night

Expert rating: 9/10

Nestled in the picturesque South Downs near the charming village of Amberley, this luxurious castle manages to retain its Medieval mysticism, largely due to the fact that it's enclosed by a 60-foot curtain wall and portcullis, which dates back 900 years.

Privately owned by Andrew and Christina Brownsword, Amberley Castle is legendary in the local area for providing top-notch service, the old-fashioned way. Indulge in a spot of afternoon tea on the lawn, or sample local delicacies by the fire in the hotel's ambient Queen's Room restaurant under its barrel-vaulted ceiling. The rooms are cozy, yet spacious, each one unique in design and furnished with antiques from a bygone era.

What's nearby? During your stay, a visit to the pretty town of Amberley is a must-do. Here you'll find traditional tearooms and local shops selling local goods and trinkets to take home. Venture further to historic market town Arundel and you'll find some exciting independent restaurants - The Parson's Table is a favorite with both locals and visitors and comes Michelin-recommended. Arundel Castle and Gardens are just a short drive away.

Why guests love it: Guests rave about the incredible food on offer in the hotel's two restaurants, the Queen's Room and The Great Room, both boasting majestic 12th-Century architecture. They also loved the sumptuous, cozy beds and the tranquil atmosphere that makes for the perfect night's slumber.

Don't leave without: Sampling the lavish afternoon tea. Guests loved the attention to detail during this three-course affair, which includes delicate finger sandwiches, an assortment of sweet treats and freshly-baked scones. Nyetimber Manor Vineyard, one of the leading UK vineyards, is also within easy reach

3. Warwick Castle Tower Suites, Warwick

Warwick Castle Tower Suites, one of the best castle hotels in the uk

(Image credit: Warwick Castle)

Prices from: £152

Expert rating: 7/10

A visit to historic Warwick can be made all the more memorable by staying in one of the iconic Tower Suites. Located in the Castle's 14th century Caesar's Tower, the Tower Suites feature lavish interiors, each of the two suites - the Peacock Suite and the Rose Suite - has its own unique character. 

A stay at the Warwick Tower Suites has some attractive added extras, including champagne on arrival and two-day entrance to Warwick Castle. You'll also enjoy a hearty breakfast after your stay in the State Room - where Queen Victoria herself used to stay when visiting Warwick.

What's nearby: The bustling town of Warwick is right on your doorstep, with historic attractions as well as the beautiful Mill Garden nearby. 

Why guests love it: The exceptional service begins before you even reach the building, with the concierge calling ahead of time to make necessary preparations for a seamless visit. Guests were impressed by the delicious breakfast and grand surroundings in the Tower Turrets, as well as the opportunity to beat the crowds and experience a VIP service at Warwick Castle.

Don't leave without: Popping over to the conservatory gardens to observe the resident peacocks - you're most likely to see them roaming early in the morning or at sunset.

4. Mingary Castle, Scotland

Mingary Castle exterior, one of the best castle hotels in the uk

(Image credit: Mingary Castle)

Prices from: £437 per night

Expert rating: 8/10

If you truly want to escape the stresses of day-to-day life, Mingary Castle in the Highlands offers the kind of wild landscapes that are unique to Scotland. This 13th-Century castle sits on the coastal fringes of the 12,000 hectare Ardnamurchan Estate overlooking the Sound Of Mull and retains much of its original architecture, with opulent bedrooms featuring four-poster beds and roll-top baths.

You may need to travel by car (and ferry!) to reach this remote location, but it's certainly worth the trip. The surrounding scenery is what makes this Scottish castle truly special, with stunning coastal views. Planning a tour of Scotland? Look at our guide to the best lodges with hot tubs in Scotland to complete the experience. And, if you want to make the most of your Scotland break, be sure to read our guide to the most scenic Scottish road trips, and the best lochs.

What's nearby? Don't forget to pack your best hiking boots. The castle is an ideal base to explore the Ardnamurchan peninsula, with wild highland trails and coastal walks on your doorstep. Traditional fish and chip shops and ice cream vans are also within easy reach to complete the seaside experience. 

Why guests love it: Visitors praised the castle's staff for their local knowledge and fascinating insights into the history of the castle and surrounding estate, saying that the staff will happily give a guided tour to those who want to find out more. The tasting menu is also described as an 'adventure' through Scottish cuisine. 

Don't leave without: The restaurant at Mingary Castle is described as Michelin-worthy by guests and not to be missed, with a daily changing six-course menu making it one of the best castle hotels in the UK for dining. Drawing on local traditions and produce, dining here is a lesson in Scottish culture. To begin your culinary experience, cocktails are served each afternoon in the atmospheric drawing room.

5. Bovey Castle, Devon

Bovey Castle grounds, one of the best castle hotels in the uk

(Image credit: Bovey Castle)

Prices from: £252

Expert rating: 8/10

Situated next to the breath-taking Dartmoor National Park, this Victorian-style castle is a gothic architecture-lover's dream, with a dramatic and opulent feel. Roam out into the neighbouring woodlands to breathe in some forest air before unwinding in one of the property's many cozy corners - roaring log fires throughout the winter completing the experience. 

As well as the 60 tastefully-decorated bedrooms within the main house there are 22 granite lodges if your party requires a little more space. There's also an impressive 18-hole golf course that surrounds the historic manor house, hiking trails, an on-site gym and an award-winning spa to enjoy, making it one of the best castle hotels in the UK for couples, whatever your interests.

What's nearby? As well Dartmoor National Park, which provides ample opportunity to explore woodlands, open moorlands and deep river valleys, the surrounding villages are populated with family-run restaurants and tearooms where you can enjoy some traditional Devonshire scones. 

Why guests love it: This dog friendly hotel is the perfect place for a getaway with your pooch, with attentive staff that will make sure your canine companion feels as pampered as you do during your stay. Guests also praised the fairytale-like architecture and proximity to nature. 

Don't leave without: The Tasting Room at the hotel offers a seven-course menu curated by head chef Mark Budd, with the resident sommelier on hand to talk guests through a selection of fine wines that complement each course.

6. Star Castle, Isles of Scilly

Star Castle, one of the best castle hotels in the uk

(Image credit: Star Castle)

Prices from: £343 per night

Expert rating: 9/10

The Isles of Scilly are at the southernmost tip of England, just off the coast of Cornwall. Visiting the Isles is particularly pleasant in the summer months, as the islands are in the pathway of the Gulf Stream meaning they boast their own microclimate of warmer weathers and waters. This may be one of the best castle hotels in the UK, but once you're there you'd be forgiven for thinking you're further afield - a holiday here feels as if you've reached a sub-tropical island.

The 16th-Century Star Castle on St Mary's is within easy reach of the harbour and offers up both exceptional views and service, nestled within four acres of lush gardens. There are two award-winning restaurants in the hotel, specialising in fresh lobster and crab. The Isles are famous for their abundance of wildflowers, as one of the leading suppliers to the rest of the UK, so simply strolling around the surrounding area is a joy in itself.

What's nearby? St Mary's is the biggest of the archipelago and the gateway to the other Isles, if you want to explore the area further. The Isles are all small enough to explore by foot, with tropical gardens and Island life creates a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, with locals happy to share tips on the best places to eat and enjoy some sundowners. Naturally, fresh fish and seafood is the leading cuisine. 

Why guests love it: The views are said to be almost otherworldly, with the hotel situated on a steep hill overlooking the harbour and out to sea. Breakfast in the Orangery was cited as another highlight, as a relaxing way to start a day of exploring. Dogs are also welcomed here and provided with treats, bowls and towels to make their stay as comfortable as yours. 

Don't leave without: The Conservatory restaurant offers fine dining in an idyllic setting, with views out to sea and a winding roof vine adding to the atmosphere. We'd also recommend trying a glass of the castle's own wine, with an on-site vineyard among the subtropical gardens.

7. Swinton Park Hotel, Yorkshire

Swinton Park Hotel grounds

(Image credit: Swinton Park Hotel)

Prices from: £245 per night

Expert rating: 8/10

God's Own Country has one of the richest histories of an English county, so a castle stay in Yorkshire feels particularly apt. Swinton Park Hotel is housed within a majestic castle set within 200 acres of parkland and is home to the Cunliffe-Lister family and the ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton. The hotel prides itself in using local produce for an unforgettable dining experience. There's also a cookery school within the hotel where you can learn more about foraging for food and the produce that's grown on the estate and within the four-acre walled garden. 

There's also a world-class spa to enjoy after a day's exploring, with a natural outdoor pool, alfresco hot tub and log fires for warming up during the winter months. The spa gardens provide the opportunity to relax and recharge with outdoor yoga and meditation sessions. 

What's nearby? Nothing quite beats a good old-fashioned Yorkshire pub, and there are plenty within walking distance of Swinton Park Hotel. The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park - inspired by the landscapes of the Himalayas - is also within easy reach by car and well worth a visit. 

Why guests love it: Guests loved the proximity to Yorkshire's stunning countryside and lakes and discovering the local wildlife. The award-winning spa is also a highlight, with guests praising the relaxing treatments.

Don't leave without: Swinton Park Hotel has a purpose-built jetty so that guests can embrace their inner daredevil and try swimming in the wild, reaping all the health benefits of cold-water swimming during their stay.

For more brilliant hotel recommendations by our travel experts, see our guides to the best spa hotels in London, the best spa hotels in Scotland and affordable luxury hotels in London that cost under £200 per night.

Lauren Hughes

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.