It’s always a pleasure to stay in a hotel with a bit of history behind it and in the British Isles, namely the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles, there are plenty to choose from. The region is rich in historic buildings – castles and mansions abound. Once family homes, in the modern era, their upkeep became too costly and the solution was to turn them into hotels. Whether you dream of being a prince or princess in a castle or the Lord and Lady of the Manor step into one of these luxurious historic hotels and your dreams can come true.

Here are 10 of our favourite historic hotels in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales from the Boutique Travel Blog team and friends.

Bodysgallen Hall and Spa, Llandudno, Wales

By Kathryn Burrington, Travel With Kat and Sussex Bloggers
Photography courtesy of Bodysgallen Hall and Spa

Set in over 200 acres of parkland with captivating views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle, this Grade 1 listed country house is believed to date back to the 13th century. Originally a watch tower for Cowy Castle it evolved over the centuries to become a fine country house estate. The house itself dates back to the 17th century. It was restored and converted to a hotel in the 1980s and given to the National Trust in 2008.

Bodysgallen Hall and Spa, beautiful historic hotel in wales

Today Bodysgallen Hall and Spa offers guest accommodation in both the main house as well as a number of cosy cottages throughout the grounds. All the rooms are comfortably furnished in keeping with the history of the house. The grounds are stunning, the staff extremely helpful and the spa first rate. It’s the perfect place to escape to for a relaxing break.

One of the cosy cottages at Bodysgallen Hall and Spa, a beautiful historic hotel in Wales

 Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

 

Ackergill Tower, near Wick, Scotland

By Natasha & Cameron, The World Pursuit
Photography courtesy of Ackergill Tower

Ackergill Tower is a luxury hotel in the Scottish highlands.  We had the chance to stay here in this 600-year old castle perched on the edge of a cliff, while on our North Coast 500 trip earlier this year. It’s a fabulous road trip dubbed ‘Scotland’s Route 66’.

Ackergill Tower, a fabulous historic hotel in Scotland

The castle is stunning and plays host to many weddings and other celebrations. Although it is old it has all the modern luxuries to make a stay comfortable. They also have an award-winning restaurant serving delicious three-course meals with Scottish flair. We really felt at home at this grand castle. The best thing about staying here is that it’s actually affordable!

Ackergill Tower, a fabulous historic hotel in Scotland

Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

 

Vanbrugh House Hotel, Oxford, England

By Heather Cowper, Heather On Her Travels

Sir John Vanbrugh was the famous 18th-century architect that created Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, and if you’re inspired by its Georgian grandeur you can stay in the heart of Oxford at Vanbrugh House Hotel, also designed by Vanbrugh.

Vanbrugh House Hotel, Oxford, England

The Georgian townhouse and the adjoining vicarage have been made into a luxurious 22 room boutique hotel with original panelling, fireplaces and wooden beams in many of the rooms.

Vanbrugh House Hotel, Oxford, England

Vanbrugh House Hotel, Oxford, England

Expect to find stylish furnishings in muted shades, roll top baths, power showers, crisp Egyptian cotton bedlinen and complimentary snacks in the fridge. The hotel is centrally located in Oxford close to the colleges and museums and ideal for those who want a convenient base for sightseeing.

Read Heather’s full review on her blog, Vanbrugh House Hotel. Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

 

The Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry, Northern Ireland

By Sara Dobak, Travel Continuum
Photography courtesy of The Bishop’s Gate Hotel

Snuggled in the heart of the city of Derry within easy walking distance of the city’s main attractions, The Bishop’s Gate Hotel holds a fascinating legacy within its walls. Once a gathering place for local gentry who had served in the Crimean War, the original venue has since been expanded and tastefully restored to reflect the unique history of the area.

The Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry, Northern Ireland

The Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry, Northern Ireland

The 30 rooms and suites are beautifully decorated in elegant colours and rich, velvety textures, combining the best of heritage opulence with contemporary comfort. Throughout the hotel, restored features such as the building’s original fireplace create an ambience which echoes the charm of yesteryear, but with the benefit of first-class modern amenities and service.

With a reputation for outstanding, welcoming staff and an equally excellent restaurant, a stay at The Bishop’s Gate Hotel is hard to beat.

Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

 

The Malmaison Oxford, England

By Lucy Dodsworth, On the Luce

Also set in the centre of the historic university town, The Malmaison Oxford is your chance to spend the night locked up in luxury. The building started life as Oxford’s Castle before being used as a prison right up until 1996. Today there are modern rooms and suites in an adjoining building, but for the real prison experience, you’ll want to bed down in A-wing. Each room is made up of three of the original cells knocked together. One cell makes up the bedroom (complete with ‘steal me’ toiletries) and the other two are the bedroom. Thick walls and iron doors that kept prisoners in do a good job of keeping the noise out, making for a restful night behind bars.

The Malmaison Oxford, England

The Malmaison Oxford, England

The hotel’s communal areas are bursting with character and quirky details, centred around a vast, three-storey atrium which still has the original wrought-iron walkways and staircases. The old visitors’ lounge is now a cocktail bar and there’s a bistro restaurant in the cellars of what was the prison’s solitary confinement wing. And don’t miss the original cell down in the basement, kept just as it would’ve been when the last prisoners were resident.

Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

 

Solis Lough Eske Castle & Spa, Donegal, The Republic of Ireland

By Ashley Hubbard, A Southern Gypsy

Solis Lough Eske Castle and Spa is nestled in the forest beside Lough Eske in Donegal County only a few kilometres from Donegal town. As you turn down the drive, it feels like a legit fairytale with lush forests on both sides and the lake peeking through the trees to your right. As the forest clears, you’re greeted by the castle itself  –  an absolutely stunning sight.

Solis Lough Eske Castle and Spa, a fabulous historic hotel in Ireland

The castle was the victim of fire back in the late 1930s and then was left to deteriorate but someone came along, bought it and rose it from the ashes to what it is today. You’ll find it has an elegant early 20th century feel to it, a wonderful spa, luxurious and spacious rooms and a fantastic on-site restaurant.

Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor. Read Ashley’s full review Lough Eske Castle & Spa.

 

Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara, The Republic of Ireland

By Alison Abbott, Green With Renvy

There is much to love throughout Ireland, but I fell deeply for the area of Connemara, Galway, where dreams do come true.

Ireland's Ballynahinich Castle, Connemara

Doesn’t every little girl have the fantasy of sleeping in a castle at least once in her life? In a beautifully appointed room overlooking the river and surrounding woodlands, this luxurious and unpretentious Castle Hotel checks all the boxes. Spend the day walking the miles of trails with a backdrop of the Twelve Ben’s Mountain range. Warm yourself by one of the many log burning fires before indulging in a special meal of local salmon soaked in Pernod and Irish whiskey, topped with trout caviar, pea tendrils and lemon aioli with a hint of saffron. The ambience is warm, cosy and as perfect a stay as I had dreamt of so many years ago.

Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

 

Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire, England

By Anna Parker, Travel with Penelope and Parker

Cliveden House is a magical place to stay. Such decadence and loveliness. You’ll be captivated as you sweep up the driveway through National Trust gardens. What the house must have seen through the scandalous days of the 1960’s Profumo affair must be fascinating.

Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire, England

Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire, England

The original house was built in 1666 but, having burnt down twice, the current Cliveden House dates back to the 1850s. And it is positively dripping with opulence, tapestries, history and attentive staff. The rooms are so impressive that even the staff coo. The house has been recently restored. We stayed in the Prince of Wales suite and it was stunning, immense and luxuriously furnished. One of the master suites, it has fabulous garden views through 6 windows! The spa is recently re-opened and the two Andre Garrett restaurants are reassuringly excellent. The gardens are divine. Staying somewhere like Cliveden is a unique privilege.

Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

 

Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Fort William, Scotland

Located just outside of Fort William, the award-wining historic Inverlochy Castle Hotel offers a charming and luxurious base from which to explore the nearby Scottish highlands. The castle is so beautiful than even Queen Victoria remarked on it in 1873, saying that she “never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot.”
Inverlochy Castle Scotland
Inverlochy Castle Hotel is as beautiful and romantic today as it was then. The hotel’s location at the foot of Ben Nevis makes it a popular destination for walkers while foodies will be enamoured by the 3 AA Red Rosette restaurant.
Best suited to luxury seekers as opposed to the budget conscious, those who do splash out won’t be disappointed as the hotel offers an excellent range of leisure activities that includes clay pigeon shooting and tennis. Service levels are of an exceptional standard as well: in winter the valet will happily de-ice your car before your head out for a day’s sightseeing or, if you want to avoid driving altogether, the hotel will pick you up in a Rolls Royce.
Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

 

Amberley Castle, Amberley, West Sussex, England

By Kathryn Burrington, Travel With Kat and Sussex Bloggers

Another magnificent castle that has been reinvented and is now a luxury hotel is Amberley Castle in the charming little village of Amberley in the South Downs National Park. A beautiful driveway leads through the grounds and expansive lawns and inside the castle walls via the portcullis to a wonderful hotel, once a hunting lodge, dating back 900 years.

Amberley Castle, Amberley, West Sussex, England

Amberley Castle, Amberley, West Sussex, England

Each of the 19 bedrooms is uniquely designed and furnished with antiques and fine fabrics. Dripping with luxury and history, the hotel remains unpretentious and the staff are simply superb, as is the restaurant where the food is as beautifully presented as it is tasty. And the gardens and grounds are a joy to explore – keep an eye out for the magnificent resident white peacocks.

As I can vouch for myself, it’s a fabulous setting for a wedding and what girl doesn’t want to feel like a princess on her wedding day and, like Alison’s younger self, dreams of spending a night in a castle.

Read Kathryn’s review of Afternoon Tea at Amberley Castle. Read the latest reviews and find the lowest prices on TripAdvisor.

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Top 10 historic hotels in the British Isles (Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales)

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From the team of Boutique Travel Blog.
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