We can all use a little magic in our lives. Find it when you stay in a vacation castle. Whether you want to be the Duchess of Cambridge, Anna or Elsa, or even Cinderella looking for her Prince Charming, these places will make you feel like a princess.
Who says you can’t live like a princess when vacation castles actually exist? Helen’s Tower evokes thoughts of Rapunzel with its tall, narrow shape, and was named for Lady Helen Blackwood in the mid 1800s. This historical landmark is snuggled into the rolling hills of Bangor, Northern Ireland. A number of poems were inspired by the tower, and it was used during the First World War by soldiers before going to the front. The 3-storey tower overlooks the Clandeboye Estate and houses 2 guests at a cost of about $165 per night.
Located in North Yorkshire, England, this fairy tale castle comes complete with swans! Not only that, they offer a number of vouchers, discounts and exclusive offers so you might be able to fit it in even on a tight travel budget. It offers 30 bedrooms and access to rivers, lakes, gardens, reservoirs and a beautiful countryside. Begun in 1695, the buildings have been built and rebuilt several time but they retain their gothic flavor. Still, it’s thoroughly modern and also thoroughly accessible. People who have difficulty moving freely may access lift and ramps to enjoy the stay.
Although you have to stay a minimum of seven nights, you’ll wish this fairy tale lasted a little longer. Resting on a nearly 300’ tall rocky crag above most other buildings, this castle is accessible via a stone causeway or elevator. Located in Ischia, Italy, it sits on a little island just off the coast and boasts a colorful history that began as early as 474 BC, a history you can feel around every corner. A week’s stay can cost as much as $2500, so save up-but it’s well worth it.
On a cliff top just 48 miles from Glasgow, Scotland, sits a regal castle owned by the National Trust for Scotland, and it offers romantic views of the sea along with lovely features like a grand oval staircase. The uppermost apartment was built for and enjoyed by President Eisenhower in recognition of his role in WWII. The location and elegance makes it a favorite destination for weddings and honeymooners, but if you stay there, you might not be alone; it is reputed to be the home of at least seven different ghosts.
If your idea of a fairy tale is to lounge in a claw-foot bathtub, to retreat to a glorious Victorian glass greenhouse, or wander around the peaceful wooded grounds surrounding a magnificent castle, then your fairy tale can be found at Glenapp Castle, located at Ballantrae, Scotland. Once dilapidated, the owners completely restored the castle inside and out, opening it to guests in 2000. Overlooking several Scottish islands, this retreat is a favorite for romantics, and can only be accessed with a reservation.
Located just 1-1/2 miles from Coulounieix, this 17th century restored French manor sits on a hill overlooking a scenic valley. Although steeped in the elegance of the period, it’s full of modern features, including a heated swimming pool, satellite TV, tennis courts and a fully equipped kitchen. The nearby town of Coulounieix, accessible via a hiking trail, offers a bakery, a small café and a farmer’s market on Sundays. Périgueux, only a short 4-1/2 miles away, is known for its Roman relics. Long term stays are possible and children are welcome, however pets are accepted on a case by case basis.
This medieval Irish castle sits near the village of Quin on Ireland’s west coast. Dating back to the 15th century, this mostly vertical structure retains its ancient look but is thoroughly modern and comfortable. Rent either the castle, which sleeps up to 10, or the Coach House, which sleeps up to 15-or if your party is large, rent both! Nearby, there are other ancient buildings and ruins to visit, including Knappogue Castle and Quin Abbey. Quin itself is a small peaceful village that deserves a visit as well.
Its name may not sound very romantic but the building and setting makes up for that. Standing proud in the beauteous rolling wine country of Burgundy in central France, the yellow stone chateau has grand ceilings, large fireplaces and spiral staircases – perfect for sweeping down elegantly. Accommodation is in the three towers so you can play a damsel in distress, drape your hair out of the window and call for your shining knight if you so desire.
Less than a mile from Dairsie, Scotland, is a restored tower that has seen an astounding history. First sited in the late 1200s, this has been the location of monarchs on the run, military sieges, and secret governments. Overlooking the River Eden, the grounds are stunning, and there is a path that leads down to the river. Inside there is a great hall and even a gallery. There are lots of things to see nearby, including an aquarium, adventure park and deer park. It is self-catered and can accommodate up to 13 in its 6 bedrooms, and the minimum stay is one week.
I want to take a magical vacation and be a princess for a while. Who’s coming with me?
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