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Castle for the Knight?

· Travel

Last weeks article received some fun feedback on our old (14th century) home. This prompted me to look for the oldest buildings you can possibly stay in and led me to the surprisingly wide range of castles you can enjoy for a (k)night or a week. The majority of course are spread throughout Europe, with Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland and Scotland leading the way.
Here are J5Travel's Top 5 Castles you can stay in.

Top 5 Castles for the (K)night

1. Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland (above)
Not only a spectacular castle and estate dating back to 1228, but one of Europe's absolute best luxury hotels. 82 gorgeous rooms and suites, and activities galore on site including falconry, archery, clay pigeon shooting and zip-lining.

2. Dornröschenschloss Sababurg, Germany (below)
A majestic 14th century castle, and for fairy-tale fans, this is the real thing. Back in the 1800's the Brothers Grimm were frequent guests, and they modeled the castle in their story of Sleeping Beauty from Sababurg. Now a 4-star hotel and a great value at only $200 a night for a true castle experience.

3. L'Abbaye de la Bussiere, Burgundy, France (below)
Yes, not strictly a castle, but an authentic Cistercian abbey founded in 1131 by Etienne Harding, third abbot of Cîteaux, the mother church of the religious order that was to extend its influence over all of Europe. Now an 18 room Relais and Chateaux luxury property and a wonderful calm location from which to explore the Burgundy wine region.

4. Château de Jannée, Pessoux-Ciney, Belgium (above)
A wonderful bed and breakfast with just 5 rooms, this "castle" was rebuilt in the 17th century. Located in the heart of belgium to the SE of Brussels this is perfect for a great value, yet authentic chateau experience. Surrounded by a 35 acre deer park where peacocks roam freely with the deer.

5. Inverlochy Castle, Torlundy, Scotland (below)
Much like Ashford Castle at the top, this is a superb luxury hotel. Not quite as much as history in this 19th century castle, but that is made up for with the outstanding scenery surrounding the estate. Set in the foothills of Ben Nevis, this is Scotland's finest country house hotel. Fishing can be enjoyed on Loch Na Marag in the Castle grounds or alternatively, hire a ghillie and go further afield with a boat on a loch and fish for salmon or trout.

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