What better way can you think of spending Christmas in the U.K. than at a castle? At Castle Tourist, we are experts in U.K. castles and have a perfect list for the festive season.
Christmas is an occasion to make beautiful memories and stories passed on to generations to come within your family. An alternative way of spending Christmas but a popular one within the U.K. is spending the Christmas break in a castle.
If this tickles your fancy, then you may be spoilt for choice as the U.K. has over 1,500 castles! To save you the hassle, we’ve composed a list of what we feel are the best castles to stay at. This list is diverse and has castles located in England, Ireland and Scotland!
To give you a better idea, read on for a list of dreamy castle destinations!
What are the best U.K. castles to stay in at Christmas?
If you want to celebrate the festive season amongst lots of history, we would recommend Howsham Hall. This castle is located in Howsham, North Yorkshire and originates from the 16th century.
We say it’s full of history because many people from earls to dukes have lived here. In 1956 it was refurbished, and Howsham Hall became a boys school. Today Howsham Halls Jacobsen architecture serves as a popular wedding venue and a place for functions.
They also offer a package where you can stay there over Christmas and enjoy delicious mince pies, wine and enjoy a butler. Finally, on Christmas day you can eat Christmas breakfast and Christmas lunch.
Howsham Hall is a trendy destination for Christmas and the demand to stay there is relatively high; often people book a year or two in advance. We cannot give you the exact price of what it costs to stay at Howsham Hall. Therefore we recommend visiting their website to know more.
Langley Castle is a stunning 14th-century castle located in the North East of England, in Hexham, Northumberland. It has been attacked in the war, used as an army barracks and later as a school for girls.
Today, Langley Castle has been turned into a boutique hotel and offers Christmas packages. You can choose to stay there over Christmas over a 2 or 3 day period. The 2-day package costs £374+ and offers Christmas treats, cocktails, Northumbrian breakfast, Christmas lunch and a cosy stay.
Moreover, the 3-day package includes cocktails, Christmas breakfast, Christmas dinner and boxing day dinner; it costs over £457.00 per person. To know more about this, visit Langley Castle’s website.
Swinton Park Castle
Swinton Park Castle is in the North of England, in Masham, Yorkshire. Every year Swinton Park Estate hosts a Christmas stay. The castle sat on 200 acres of land and was built in 1882 and previously owned by Swinton’s Earls.
Today the castle serves as a 32 bedroom hotel and has gorgeous scenery surrounding it. If you were to stay here, such scenery would be reservoirs, rivers, dates, moorland, and countryside surrounding the Yorkshire Dales.
This castle also offers a brilliant Christmas package, where you can stay for 2-3 days and enjoy mass, mince pies, Christmas lunch, a private screening of the queen’s speech, cooking classes, practice at falconry and many more activities!
If you like medieval buildings, then you’d love Warwick Castle! This castle is located in the south of England and was built in 1068 by William the Conqueror. Since its construction, it’s had 36 different owners and seven of which have been monarchs.
This stunning castle has had many renovations from mud, stone, timber, stone towers, and much more throughout the centuries.
After being owned by royals and aristocrats, it was opened to the public in 1978 as a tourist attraction. Many visitors flock to Warwick Castle each year, and it’s incredibly popular around the Christmas period.
The month of December has an abundance of Christmas filled activities such as winter markets, ice skating and visiting Santa. While you can’t stay on Christmas eve or Christmas day itself, you can book to have a Santa Sleepover during specific Saturdays in December.
If you experience the Santa Sleepover, you will stay in a hotel close to the castle or woodland lodges and have a 2-day visit. During your time you will benefit from breakfasts, shows, visits from Mr Claus himself and much more. For this, the prices vary and can be extremely popular, so we recommend contacting Warwick Castle to book in advance.
If you want to spend Christmas in the South West of England, you should check out Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire. This is a typical Tudor style castle built in 1511. At first, it was another residence for Edward Stafford a Duke of Buckingham and has had many dukes live here, including stays from Henry the VII. After the Civil war renovations began and ownership came into the Howard family’s hands. Today, this castle serves as a hotel with 26 rooms.
This magical castle also offers Christmas packages where you can stay over Christmas eve, Christmas day and boxing day. These packages allow you to enjoy a cream tea, a champagne reception, carol singers, lavish dinners, buffets, falconry display, wine tasting and much more.
Similarly, if you choose to visit in December, you can benefit from wreath making, bread making, canape classes, gardening and more. The prices for these events and the package above can vary each year and circumstances can change, so we suggest checking out their website before visiting.
Belvoir Castle is in Leicestershire in the East Midlands. The castle appeared after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Since its early construction, it’s been rebuilt around three times and is now a grade I listed building.
It has an estate of around 15,000 acres and stunning landscapes surrounding it. Belvoir Castle is in many iconic films such as The Da Vinci Code, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sherlock Holmes and series such as The Crown.
Belvoir Castle also offers Christmas events, not packages, where you can participate in Christmas events in the evenings. Such events you can join in Belvoir involve visiting Santa’s grotto, eat tasty treats and sip mulled wine at the Christmas markets. To know more about the castle’s Christmas events, you can check out their website.
Raby Castle is in Durham, in the North East of England. This medieval castle was built around the dates of 1367-1390 and had 200 acres of gardens!
Baron John Neville and Ling Edward IV build the castle where Richard III’s mum, Cecilia Neville, was born.
If you visit Raby Castle, you may be amazed by its nine towers, moat, four stories and more. Inside Raby castle, many sought artworks from artists like Sir Joshua Reynolds, Giordano Van Dyck, Sir Alfred Munnings and many more.
During the Christmas period, Raby castle is full of visitors for its festive occasions. The castle has an enchanted forest; they offer Christmas tree collections and meetings with Santa Claus. Similarly, the entrance of Raby castle has a gorgeous Christmas tree, lights and aromas. To know more about Raby castle at Christmas, check out their website.
Walworth Castle is in Darlington in the North of England. The castle was built in 1600 and had gorgeous Tudor style architecture. Throughout the centuries, the castle has been a home for many families and even a prisoner of war camp.
If you visit Walworth Castle in December, you can enjoy wreath making, festive afternoon tea, Christmas day lunch, new years eve dinner and more. Similarly, if you wish to stay over at Walworth castle, they offer Christmas packages with wrapped selection boxes, dinner, hot chocolate, mince pies and more. To know more about staying at Walworth Castle you can visit their website.
Other Castles to visit at Christmas
Even though we’ve mentioned castles above, the U.K. has some more cool castles. If you want to explore more options at Christmas or find a few of them fully booked, you can always check out Leeds castle, Hever castle, Kilmartin castle, Rochester castle, Cardiff castle and more.
Most of the time, castles all over the U.K. have festive events for the whole month of December. So if you cannot get space to say in a castle over Christmas, you can always take part in the fun, festive events leading up to the new year.
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