Have you ever dreamed of staying in a real-life castle?
When planning our road trip through England, I made it my mission to include spending the night in a castle. What little girl wouldn’t want to be a Princess for a day? Okay, and maybe her mom too! It’s like a fairytale come true! During an extensive search on where to stay in a castle in England, I stumbled upon the Thornbury Castle England Hotel and knew it was the perfect place for my family. We chose to spend two nights here. I wanted us to experience everything the castle had to offer without being rushed for time.
Driving up, the entire family was alive with nervous anticipation. Even my moody preteen had a hard time containing his excitement. Coming through the gates and around the bend, the imposing castle loomed into view. You can almost imagine what it was like for the noblemen and commoners of the 1500’s. It’s astonishing to think that a Duke built this as his home.
In addition to checking the big castle box, Thornbury Castle is an ideal luxury hotel for families. It boasts 15 acres of grounds and gardens, perfect for kids to run around. Youngsters can even try their hand at archery or croquet. Mine had a blast with the bow and arrow in the company of two other kids also staying at the castle. K had done a bit of archery in cub scouts, so he hit the mark every time, once he got warmed up. Simply ask at reception to have the games set up. The staff was more than happy to accommodate the kids needs.
K & Lucy loved running around and playing hide & seek in the walled garden. The Yew trees made ideal hiding places. Had it not been so chilly at the time of our visit, the gardens would have been the perfect place to have a picnic. While in the gardens, take a moment to look for the holes in the stone wall. Bees used to be kept here as honey was the main source of sugar.
Our guest room, the Portleathen, was a quintessential castle retreat. The bedchamber included a massive four-poster bed – fit for a queen. I could have spent an entire day just lounging around in it. I almost did, until Derrick forced me to get up, so we could explore. The brute! The bed enveloped you like a cocoon with a downy soft mattress and fluffy pillows. The master also included a flat-screen TV, plenty of closet space, and a dressing table. Our window looked right out to the incredible ORIGINAL Tudor chimneys. They are over 12 ft high, still in working order AND said to be the finest in the world.
The bathroom was large and included a great tub that Lucy took full advantage of both nights. The provided shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion were lovely. I would have liked a bit more water pressure in the shower, but getting to look at the lovely old faucet made up for it. The bathroom had an old-world feel with modern conveniences.