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A complimentary bottle of Castle wine; plus an upgrade if available.

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Thornbury Castle - Review

CASTLES IN THE AIR? Why bother, when Thornbury delivers such magnificent earthly pleasures. This Tudor castle-palace has a compelling royal past: Henry VIII stayed with his queen Ann Boleyn, while his daughter Mary Tudor later lived here. You can almost hear the rustle of courtiers and ladies-in-waiting as you walk through those ancient studded oak doors.

This turreted castle for kings, mistresses and today's well-heeled weekenders is just as you might imagine, and then some. Outside it’s castellated, all thick stone walls, flagged courtyards and towers. There are manicured lawns with parterres and England’s oldest Tudor garden, plus a vineyard which produces the castle’s own wine. Now go inside for a taste of grand oak furniture, panelling, chandeliers, tapestries, old Masters and vast fireplaces.

Bedrooms? No, these are bedchambers – with enough space for a bevy of page boys. This is the place for sumptuous living, with staff on hand to cosset you around the clock. Careful restoration has preserved the good things of the past, and matched them with 21st century comforts.

Taste of Olde England

Dining here is akin to banqueting, though on a more intimate scale. Three panelled dining rooms (one is in an octagonal tower) hold tables formally laid for English inspired modern cuisine. There’s roast beef of Olde England on Sundays, and the signature treacle tart is wicked.

Four-poster and coronet beds, stone walls, tapestries and ornate carved ceilings characterise the bedchambers. The Tudor room even has slit-arrow windows while another with a canopied four-poster lights up at the flick of a switch with the moons and stars. Others peep out through oriel windows at the Privy garden or gaze across to the River Severn.

Stroll through the Castle’s splendid and historic ten acres (though don't lose your head, as Ann Boleyn did), take a hot-air balloon ride, play golf or explore the Cotswolds on your doorstep.

Thornbury Castle was reviewed for Room for Romance by Sian Davies

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