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Venture into the forests that inspired The Brothers Grimm or make like Rapunzel in turrets on the shores of the Atlantic at these castle hotels.
Surrounded by emerald-green forestry on the famous Marchen Strasse (“fairytale road”) is this medieval marvel that will make you feel like you stepped into the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Wander the enchanting rose gardens or follow in Aurora’s footsteps and hunt down the fated spinning wheel. Exquisite period furnishing, spiral staircases and turret rooms complete the storybook stay.
A weekend at the sprawling 800-year-old estate and former home of the Guinness family is a particularly decadent affair. Opulently furnished with crystal chandeliers and antique artwork, the magnificent 82 rooms and suites feature the finest bed linen, designer toiletries and roaring log fires. The crown jewel has got to be the spa (housed in a bronze conservatory) though the well-stocked wine cellar (with over 600 varieties) is also impressive.
“I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot” wrote Queen Victoria in her diary after spending a week sketching and painting at Inverlochy. Located at the bottom of Ben Nevis, picturesque surrounds include the falls at Glen Nevis, the monument at Glenfinnan and the mountains of Glencoe. Arrive at the idyllic spot in style with a Rolls Royce transfer from the airport, with a wholesome weekend fishing, golfing and white-water rafting ahead of you.
Set in valleys carpeted in olive trees, Castello del Nero screams Tuscan summer dreams. Antique fireplaces, honey-stone floors and ceiling murals restored by the Italian Fine Art Commission set the scene for a Michelin-starred restaurant and wine supplied from neighbouring vineyards. Spend days picnicking in the 740 acres or lounging by the inviting pool.
Overlooking the Dordogne Valley, this 14th-century property marries intricate gothic woodwork with modern amenities such as hi-tech jacuzzi baths. If you’re feeling flush, admire your kingdom from above with a hot-air balloon ride.
The Emerald Isle is home to over 4000 castles, but Ballynahinch is one of the finest, boasting views of a glassy loch from four-poster beds. Perched over a salmon fishery, activities include woodcock shooting and fly-fishing – though you may prefer to hunker down in a Chesterfield by the fire the on-site pub.
This quintessential British stay calls for a waxed jacket and wellington boots to armour you against the elements when rambling across the moors. Expansive bedrooms are completed by sumptuous sitting rooms and large balconies with unbeatable views.
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