Closest Castle Stays to London
When thinking of England, castles come to mind almost immediately, perhaps because of the country’s long association with the monarchy. Which is why, if you’re planning a visit to Great Britain, the question may arise: can you actually stay in a castle? And the answer, of course, is YES. But what are the closest castle stays to London? Since most international visitors fly in & out of the country’s capital, it’s helpful to know that there are several “Castle Hotels” within just two hours (or less!) of London.
If you’re wondering if there are any “castle hotels” right in London ~ the answer is yes & no. There are no true castle hotels in the city. The closest you can get to a palatial feel is The Royal Horseguards Hotel, which is located right on the River Thames….walkable to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, & the London Eye.
Overview of Castle Stays by London
- The Royal Horseguards Hotel ($316+/night), in London = Great for Business Travelers: If you don’t have time to leave London, this hotel’s iconic Victorian building (not an actual castle) will still make you feel like royalty ~ & it’s set in a fantastic location right in the heart of London, walkable to the city’s top sights.
- Hever Castle ($195+/night), 35 miles from London = Great for History & Garden Lovers: History buffs & those looking for a good haunting will love Hever Castle…as it’s the former home of English Queen Anne Boleyn. And yes, her spirit is rumored to haunt the halls & gardens here…
- Amberley Castle ($270+/night), 60 miles from London = Best for a Romantic Weekend: Set on twelve acres, this 900-year old castle features a luxury B&B on-site with elegant rooms, posh dining, Afternoon Tea, tennis courts, & an 18-hole putting green course. In other words: ideal for a romantic adult’s getaway.
- Warwick Castle’s Knight’s Village ($112+/night), 100 miles from London = Great for Families with Kids! Warwick is a phenomenal destination for kids, as it offers some of the most authentic “CASTLE” vibes. Staying at Knight’s Village gives you the option to stay in a medieval tent, wood cabins ~ or for more luxury: try their Regal Suites, in the castle’s 14th-cenutry tower.
- Thornbury Castle ($240+/night), 125 miles from London = Great for History & Opulence: King Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn once lived here together…so you’ve got another castle rich with Tudor history. Elegant rooms, in-room massages, walled gardens, & fine-dungeon dining make for another great adult’s getaway.
The Royal Horseguards Hotel
Closest Castle Stays to London
1. Hever Castle = 37 Miles South of London
Just 40 miles south of London lies Anne Boleyn’s former home: the 125-acre Hever Castle. Surrounded by a stately moat, the castle was built all the way back in 1270, & features lavish Tudor artwork & furnishings. Hever is known for its show-stopping gardens, which are a study in formal English garden design. There’s also an outdoor maze, swimming pool, & many outdoor seating areas to appreciate the scenery from. As this is the closest “true” castle to London, it’s a great choice for a British castle stay.
How to Get There: Rent a car in London & make the 45-minute drive, or take a train from London Victoria Station to Edenbridge Town Station ~ then taxi for three miles to the castle.
2. Amberley Castle = 60 Miles South of London
Amberley Castle is located just over an hour’s drive from London, & is close to England’s southern coast ~ about 30 minutes from the shores of Brighton. Amberley’s historic & ancient twelve-acres are an adult’s playground: stroll through gardens hidden behind high castle walls, or dine in their sumptuous restaurant with vaulted ceilings. Take photos of the resident peacocks & alpacas who wander the grounds, play a game of tennis, or enjoy their 18-hole putting green course.
Couples looking for a romantic retreat will feel right at home in this elegant Relais & Chateaux property…
How to Get There: Rent a car in London & make the hour drive, or take a train from London Victoria Station to Amberley Station.
Where to Stay in a Castle by London?
3. Warwick Castle Knight’s Village = 98 Miles North of London
If you’re traveling to England with kids: Warwick Castle’s Knight’s Village is an IDEAL family getaway. My friend Kathleen took her three children there & it’s no surprise that everyone loved it. Stay in medieval-themed tents, log cabins, or try out more luxurious digs in their Tower Rooms ~ but all rooms are close to the historic River Avon, & walkable to Warwick Train Station. Kids will love exploring *dangerous* dungeons, finding their way through obstacle-filled mazes, & playing fake-swords with knights!
**Note: Entry to Warwick Castle is included with every one-night stay.
How to Get There: Rent a car in London & head north for a couple hours, or take the train to Warwick Station.
4. Thornbury Castle = 125 Miles West of London
If you’re traveling to England’s renowned Cotswolds: consider staying at Thornbury Castle. Located two hours west of London & just outside of Bristol, this famous Tudor castle lies on the River Severn. King Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn stayed here on their honeymoon ~ & to mimic their romantic retreat, you can try your hand at archery, falconry, or play some croquet while staying at the castle. And make sure to check out stunning St. Mary Church, which is set right by the castle grounds.
How to Get There: Rent a car in London & head west, or take the train from London Paddington Station to Bristol Parkway ~ then taxi to the castle.
If you’re visiting the Cotswolds, read about great B&B’s in the region ~ or how to visit some of its most famous gardens, including King Charles’ former residence & amazing gardens at Highgrove.
Closest Castle Stays to London, England
For a quick recap: take the family to Warwick Castle Knight’s Village for medieval fun ~ or check into Thornbury or Amberley Castle for a romantic weekend. And if proximity to London is your biggest concern: head to Hever Castle, & give my regards to Anne Boleyn…
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Which castle do you think is more romantic: Thornbury or Amberley?
Hi Cullen ~ that’s a really tough question! Both are going to give more adult/romantic vibes, but I’d say Thornbury’s are slightly moodier, & with its older, more ornate furnishings: you’ll feel more transported back in time there. Amberley has a sunnier feel with more modern furnishings ~ so less 15th-century, & more upscale/contemporary. But the grounds of both will certainly give you that romantic castle feel! Hope that helps : )
My family is planning a trip to England for this summer, and our kids have been begging us to stay in an actual CASTLE! We don’t have a lot of time, so we really need a castle that’s as close to London as possible – but the Royal Horseguards seems to business-like. Hever Castle looks like our best bet, since it’s just 30 miles away. How hard do you think it will be to wrangle two kids (8 and 10) on the train to visit Hever? Thanks, Allison
Hi Allison! Sounds like you guys are planning a great trip. As long as you can get your family to London’s Victoria Station, then take the less-than-an-hour jourey to Edenbridge Station ~ I think you’ll be fine! If I was a kid, having a castle as the end destination would be a strong motivator for good behavior! Haha you can also call the castle in advance & ask them about any potential trouble-shooting, how easy it is to grab a taxi at the station, etc. Hope that helps & have a great trip! xoxo Noelia