Deep in the south of Gloucestershire, not a million miles from the Bristol Channel, Thornbury Castle is the real deal, a sixteenth-century castle that makes the most of its historical connections. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed here during a tour of the West Country, and this fabulous old building offers the chance to really live it up in Tudor style in a location that feels a million miles from anywhere. As you might expect, the 26 bedrooms – quaintly but rather fittingly known as bedchambers – come in all shapes and sizes: you can stay in the same room that the King and his soon-to-be-beheaded wife slept, the Duke's Bedchamber, while the landmark Tower Suite boasts what they claim is the largest bed in Britain (10-foot across). You may however prefer the simpler comforts and lower prices of their classic and de-luxe rooms, which are just as sumptuously and traditionally furnished, and come with the same nice touches, like a decanter of sherry on arrival just to get you into the Falstaffian mood. Mod cons are here too, but well hidden so as not to dispel the historical ambience, and there's a nice, not horribly priced restaurant downstairs too, as well as lovely grounds, making Thornbury Castle a place you don't need to want to leave. Just don't forget your doublet and hose.
Double rooms from around £170.
Open all year.
Thornbury Castle, Castle St Thornbury Gloucestershire B35 1HH
Just a short drive from junction 16 on the M5.
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