A castle just for you: 10 famous properties in the UK to book a holiday stay | UK bank holidays

Manorbier Castle, Pembrokeshire

Just eight kilometers from Tenby, this 11th century Norman castle occupies a commanding position overlooking the beautiful beach of Manorbier with the village tucked away behind. It is a glorious mix of ruins and fully furnished fortifications. It’s usually open to the public during the day, but you can have it all to yourself if you stay here. There are three gites, while Castle House sleeps 12 in great comfort and guests have their own enclosed garden. The setting of the 2003 film, I capture the castleit’s a short walk to the pretty beach and village pub.
From £650 a night, manorbiercastle.co.uk

Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Photography: Britpix/Alamy

Wales’ most otherworldly destination has a beach and 70 acres of subtropical woodland, plus a whimsical car-free village with cafes and artisan gelatorias to complement the Italianate style. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 and is now owned by a charity. It has been the location of many movies and TV shows. If you want to linger longer, there are two hotels and 13 self-contained cottages on the estate, all with access to an outdoor swimming pool and a soft stretch of golden sand along an estuary of the River Dwyryd.
B&B doubles from £249, portmeirion.wales

Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion

Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion

Overlooking the River Teifi in Wales, Cardigan Castle is pleasant to visit once it’s emptied of visitors. Much disputed in the past, it is now a community project steeped in history with medieval ramparts and Regency gardens to explore. There is a selection of self-catering apartments, as well as guest rooms. Head to Gardener’s Cottage which has antiques and atmosphere, or their cozy apartments in the Georgian east wing of the castle.
Four nights from £612, cardigancastle.com

Brantwood, Lake District

Brantwood, Cumbria
Photograph: Getty Images

Brantwood was built on Coniston Water by art critic and social reformer John Ruskin. Day visitors can view his home and collections, including 2,000 museum-worthy mineral specimens, newly displayed here. There are eight gardens to explore (and a pretty good cafe), but for a more exclusive visit, try one of the three holiday cottages to allow round-the-clock appreciation of a view that Ruskin considered the best in Great Britain, as well as access to the lake.
Two nights self catering at The Eyrie from £350 in high season, brantwood.org.uk

Rievaulx Abbey, North York Moors

Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire
Photography: Jo Denison

English Heritage offers holiday rentals at 20 of its properties, from Osborne on the Isle of Wight to Audley End in Essex. At Rievaulx Abbey’s Refectory Cottage there is a welcome hamper as well as a powerful torch so you can wander around what was one of the most important and impressive monasteries in England before Henry VIII did not dissolve it in 1538. Accommodating four people in two bedrooms, this cottage could be built on a more modest scale, but the setting is still spectacular.
Three nights from £710english-heritage.org.uk

The Georgian House, Hampton Court Palace, London

The Georgian House, Hampton Court Palace
Photography: John Miller

This majestic 18th century building, full of antique furniture, was once the kitchens and is still the heart of the palace. Next to the real tennis court used by Henry VIII, there is an enclosed garden that belongs only to you and the attic rooms offer beautiful views over the old roofs and the courtyard. Sleeping eight people, accommodation also includes free entry to the palace during opening hours and the park after hours.
Four nights from £1,031, landmarktrust.org.uk

Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire

Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire
Photography: Fred Cholmeley

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

Tiverton Castle, Devon

Tiverton Castle, Devon
Photograph: Lesley Pardoe/Alamy

Besieged by Parliamentarians in 1645, Tiverton Castle, built in 1106, is today a mix of romantic ruins, walled gardens and a castle that is still privately owned. A visit will show you its secret passageways, medieval toilets and a glimpse of Civil War armour. Walks take you through the woods to the River Exe. It’s even more fun to stay when the tourists leave. Choose from five holiday rentals around the castle, all with old world charm.
Three nights from £350, tivertoncastle.com

The Round House, Suffolk

The Round House, Suffolk
Photography: Mike Henton

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

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Bamburgh has three independent properties.
Photography: Tracey Bloxham

Perched on its own volcanic outcrop, it is one of the UK’s most famous buildings. It has Anglo-Saxon foundations, a Norman keep and is a survivor of near destruction during the Wars of the Roses. What is less known is that the castle has three independent properties. The newest, in the clock tower, has stunning views over the Bamburgh sands and the castle cricket ground, and sleeps five, with a corner of the ramparts to serve as a private terrace.
A week starts at £3,140, crabtreeandcrabtree.com

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