Best Loved Hotels

Here at Best Loved, we're all about taking the time to enjoy a little bit of luxury, be that with a delicious meal, an oh-so deserved night away, or even just by taking some all-important me-time every once in a while.

That's why we spend so much time seeking out some of the very best places to stay in the UK and Ireland. This month, we wanted to share some top tips on the best castles to visit, for an awe-inspiring day out, followed by a stay at one of our lovely hotels, of course!

Blarney Castle & Blarney House,

Blarney Castle & Blarney House, Ireland

A trip to Ireland would not be complete without visiting a historic castle. Blarney Castle was build 600 years ago and retains the famous Blarney Stone: Visitors are invited to climb the steps of the castle to get to the Stone at the top, which must be kissed whilst upside-down in order to receive the gift of eloquence. Luckily visitors are no longer held by the ankles and lowered toward the stone - today all that is required is a more health-and-safety conscious backwards lean to ensure that you'll never be lost for wards again! In addition to the Stone, there are also Gardens, Rock Close, and Blarney House, all open to enjoy.

Where to stay: Just 10 minutes away is the Great National The Commons Hotel, perfectly situated for exploring Cork City, Blarney Castle and all the local attractions for great value and no hassle.

Skipton Castle,
North Yorkshire

Skipton Castle, North Yorkshire

Skipton Castle is 900 years old and is located in Skipton, North Yorkshire. The impressive structure withheld a three-year siege during the Civil War, and is preserved enough that you can explore from the depths of the Dungeon to the height of the Watch Tower. The castle was originally built in 1090 as a wooden fort by Robert de Romille, a Norman baron. However, the timber frame did little to stop rampaging Scots during their frequent raids into northern England, and so it was replaced with a stone castle in later years. In addition to the Castle, you can spent some time exploring Skipton Woods and walking along the beautiful valley of the Eller Beck

Where to stay: Located on the Duke of Devonshire's 30,000 acre Bolton Abbey Estate are two wonderful accommodation options, The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa, or The Devonshire Fell.

Edinburgh Castle,

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress, which dominates the skyline of the city. Research suggests that the Castle has weathered 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world". Visitors to the Castle can enjoy the Great Hall, the Royal Palace, the oldest crown jewels in the British Isles, Mons Meg (one of the greatest guns from medieval Europe), and the Stone of Destiny - as well as much more. There is also the National War Museum, the Scottish National War Museum, and the Regimental Museums - a great day out for historians.

Where to stay: From viewing one castle to residing in another! Dalhousie Castle and Spa provides accommodation in a 13th-century Castle Near and even has a State-Of-The-Art Spa.

Conwy Castle,

Conwy Castle, Wales

Conwy is one of the most impressive of all the Welsh castles: Designed by Edward I's master castle builder, James of St. George, Conwy Castle boasts eight massive towers and a high curtain, making it more impressive than others. The Castle was built in the late 13th century and is reputed to be haunted by a past resident. Conwy Castle gives visitors the opportunity to walk top portions of the curtain wall, and ascend higher to the tops of the towers. From these vantage points you can view the Inner Ward, Great Hall and Cellars, and King's Hall.

Where to stay: After a day enjoying one impressive structure, retire to another by staying at The Imperial Hotel in Llandudno, with an impressive Victorian façade, and views over Llandudno Bay.

Windsor Castle,

Windsor Castle, Berkshire

The venue for the recent Royal Wedding has been the family home to British kings and queens for over 1,000 years, and is the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world. It was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 39 monarchs. So stunning, this castle is where Her Majesty The Queen chooses to spend most of her private weekends. If the Royal Standard flag is flying from the Castle's Round Tower, the Queen is in residence.

Where to stay: Extend your visit with a luxury overnight break at one of two hotels nearby: Taplow House Hotel is a stunning Georgian retreat and peaceful haven, or Fredrick's Hotel Restaurant & Spa is the Perfect Thames Valley Spa Escape.


Congratulations to last week's competition winners, Lucy Hay from Kingston St. Mary who won two nights B&B with dinner on one evening at Town Hall Hotel in London and Keeley Mounfield from Glossop who won two nights B&B with dinner on one evening at Mar Hall Golf and Spa Resort in Renfrewshire.


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