Best castles for sale to live in your own fairytale
Dream of living in a castle? Being monarch of your own glen? From medieval turrets to Victorian Gothic, there's plenty of choice for those seeking a fairytale home
It's fair to say we at YHS spend a lot of time talking about property and interiors, from the best colours for a kitchen to our latest upcycling projects (we are a sucker for a good upcycling project) but inevitably the chatter often turns to what sort of house we would buy if money was no object.
When Escape To The Chateau was on, we were inspired by Dick and Angel Strawbridge's adventures, we spent hours trawling the web for the best French chateaus for sale - but now our attention has turned to castles! From small fortified keeps and peel towers to palatial turreted palaces built to impress, we choose our favourite castles for sale in the UK.
And why not savour the Downton experience for real and rent out one of our favourite dreamy stately home holiday lets - perfect for a large group of family and friends
Best castles for sale in UK
Earlshall Castle near St Andrews, Scotland
Chosen by Debbie Graham, senior digital editor for YourHomeStyle
Price: on application (so a lot!)
Standout features: romantic grandeur and period charm
Who could resist the fairytale turrets of the 16th century Earlshall Castle near St Andrews in Scotland? It may not be the biggest castle featured but it has got all the character and charm you would expect from a Scottish castle and is definitely fit for an aspiring Scottish laird. And in its past it has even hosted royalty - as both Mary Queen of Scots and James VI of Scotland (also James I of England) have stayed here.
There are 10 bedrooms and 8 reception rooms, all filled with amazing period features to feast your eyes on, from royal coats of arms decorating a vaulted ceiling and an arched gatehouse to beautiful wooden panelling and period fireplaces.
And there's plenty of space outside too. The 54 acres include thee cottages, renowned walled gardens, a 125-year-old topiary lawn, outbuildings and 34 acres of grazing and woodland.
Showing item 1 of 5
Brechin Castle in Angus
Chosen by Rebecca Messina, digital editor for YourHomeStyle.uk
Price: offers over £3,000,000
Standout feature: trout and salmon fishing in the Castle Pool
There has been a castle on this site overlooking the River South Esk since the 12th century, when it became the seat of Clan Maule, although most of the current building dates from an extensive remodelling in the 18th century. Historic attractions on the Brechin Castle estate include a renowned walled garden, and the Castle Pool, which draws its water from the well-stocked river.
Inside this Category A listed building, you'll find a host of stunning period features, including 18th century columns and wall panelling, and a staircase with balustrades dating from 1659. There's even a vaulted space, now used as an intimate dining room, which is thought to belong to the original 12th century manor.
With eight reception rooms and 16 bedrooms within the castle walls and a further five cottages on the 70 acre grounds, there's obvious commercial potential in the site, but it would be the ultimate country estate for entertaining legions of family and friends.
Showing item 1 of 5
Fa’side Castle, Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland
Chosen by Thomas Poad, Section Editor for Your Home magazine
Price: Offers over £1.7 million
Standout feature: Great Hall with original stone-built fireplace
Perched upon the east Scottish coastline is this impressive 14th-century stone castle and two two-storey cottages in its 2.35-acre grounds. Consisting of five floors, Fa'Side Castle is bursting with historic features, including vaulted and wood-panelled ceilings; flagstone flooring; spiral staircase and the magnificent Great Hall.
Cosy up in the deep window sills with a good book and take in the panoramic views across the Firth of Forth or soak up the sun in the internal courtyard or walled garden that’s sheltered by a beech hedge. This property has been lovingly tended to, so is ready to move straight into for you to rule over your own slice of Scotland. Limewash cream, rosy red and emerald green set the traditional tone, which you can complete with dark wooden furniture, woollen accessories and earthen dinnerware. Its six bedrooms and three bathrooms offer plenty of space for guests to stay, too!
More like this
Showing item 1 of 5
Embleton Tower, Alnwick, near Newcastle Upon Tyne
Chosen by Katie Dutton, staff writer for HomeStyle & YourHomeStyle
Price: Offers over £1,400,000
Standout feature: with some TLC, the Arts and Crafts-style conservatory would make a magnificent entertaining space
Agent: Galbraith Group
Embleton Tower is much statelier than its name might imply. The ‘tower’ offers seven reception rooms, including a library and characterful conservatory, and eight bedrooms – more than enough space for us and our pals to enjoy a weekend of high society and fun! Or for the perfect Cluedo murder to take place...
Dating back to the 14th century, Embleton sits within nearly four acres of gardens and grounds on the dramatic north east coast of England. The building undoubtedly needs work in some areas, but the light filled rooms and period features, such as large sash windows, ceiling roses and decorative plasterwork, make this the perfect property to make your mark on for the centuries to come.
Showing item 1 of 5
Orchardton Castle in Auchencairn
Chosen by Sophie Ellis, editorial assistant for Your Home
Price: over £1,700,000
Agent: Fine and Country
Standout feature: recently renovated with period charm
You’ll feel like the monarch of the glen when stepping into Orchardton Castle – although it’s actually closer to Gretna Green than it is to the Highlands. This 20-bedroom property, designed in the Scottish Baronial style, is set within 5 acres of lawns and woodland, and has access to a private beach by footpath. (It’s rumoured that a former owner built a tunnel to the beach for smuggling.)
While the décor does need an update, the property has plenty of charm with period features such as fireplaces and ornate plasterwork. Bigger expenses such as central heating, a new roof and an electrical rewire have been recently carried out, which will save you plenty of time and money.
There’s potential to create several self-contained apartments, creating scope for lots of business ideas. However, I’d be just as tempted to create a library, cinema, garden room and so on…
Showing item 1 of 5
Glandyfi Castle in Powys
Chosen by Thea Jeffreys, digital writer for YourHomeStyle.uk
Agent: Strutt and Parker
Standout feature: views of the RSPB Ynyshir Bird Reserve
You really can’t beat Wales when it comes to awe inspiring natural beauty, and Glandyfi Castle’s grounds have it in abundance. Set on top of a rolling hillside, the newly restored Regency Castle looks over the Dovey Estuary and to the Mountains of Snowdonia – all it takes is one glance out of the beautiful mullion windows, and you’ll feel as though you’re in the setting of a Dylan Thomas poem.
Inside, it gets better. Not only are there ten double bedrooms, ten bathrooms, and an atrium living area, but there’s also a fully functioning library with a pink marble fireplace… (!) We don't think it gets any better than that, so you'll find us there with a cup of tea and book in hand...
Since choosing this castle it has now sold (and we are very jealous of the new owners!) but you can see plenty more similar properties at struttandparker.com
Showing item 1 of 14
Debbie Graham is the senior digital editor for YourHomeStyle, and is passionate about vintage interiors. In her free time she loves nothing better than scouring second-hand and vintage shops for bargains and upcycling projects. Her home is a Victorian house that is a bit of a project and when she's not putting buckets under leaks you can find her painting and patching