One of the most important factors when planning for a trip is where you are going to sleep – it’s kind of a big deal. You can do it the cheap way and stay in the most economic hostel you can find, you can splurge and stay in a ritzy hotel with every amenity known to man or you can look for some alternative to those opposite ends of the accommodation spectrum. Why not make it memorable? Why not stay in a castle?
You could be living it up like some noble of days gone by as lord of your manor (or at least with the others who are doing the same thing) and answer to no one. Wouldn’t that be the life? There’s nothing like living the life of 13th century luxury!
Of course, you’ll need to pick a vacation spot that has castles – going to Australia or the U.S.A. doesn’t really provide you with many castling options, but bonnie Scotland has an abundance of them and many are available for overnight occupancy. The problem with relatively young countries is they didn’t have a medieval period and thus never built such grand structures, or in the case of some older countries, they’ve been either destroyed, fallen into disrepair or are still lived in.
Some basic things to consider when deciding on in a castle is right for you.
1. Modern Amenities
Many of these old fortresses have been updated to suit the needs of the modern guest but part of their charm is making do in the old style, so decide whether you want to rough it in a chamber pot or if WiFi is more to your taste.
2. Climate Control
Medieval buildings, particularly those built out of stone, were lacking in things we take for granted today, like central heating and cooling or insulation. If you are planning a trip in the dead of winter, be aware that while you likely won’t freeze to death in these establishments, it’s likely a bit cooler than you are used to there isn’t much that can be done aside from heaping on the blankets.
The Middle Ages were not kind to those with disabilities or difficulties getting around, so while many castles may have been refurbished to host a variety of needs, they may still not be the most ideal destination for someone in a wheelchair or who cannot climb stairs well. Make sure you check thoroughly before booking to ensure your castle is to your needs – not to mention some countries have different rules relating to how accessible a building must be.
Many of these castles are in the middle of nowhere and thus need to be driven to – any modern castles in a city centre are unlikely to double as hotels, so be aware!