3rd April 2011
You don’t have to be born into royalty to party in princely style. Rent your very own castle and raise hell like a Royal!
Nestled in the Malvern Hills, Eastnor Castle is the castle you dreamt of as a child, with turrets, lakes and suits of armour to boot. Every year, their Deer Park plays host to the Big Chill Festival (6th to 8th August this year) so you can bop along to Massive Attack, M.I.A and Lilly Allen by day, and retreat to your very own fiefdom by night.
One of the finest Regency Castles in Scotland, Blairquhan Castle, was home to a Queen…well, Helen Mirren playing the Queen! Its romantic setting has made it popular for weddings and The Independent once voted it the 14th most romantic place in the world to tie the knot. With acres of gardens and a three-mile riverside sweep up to the house, it’s not hard to see why.
Let your hair down like a modern day Louis XIV and skip over the Channel to take your hedonistic pleasures. Long known for its grapes, the Burgundy countryside also boasts the Chateau des Villes, a honey-coloured paradise set in over 1500 acres of gardens, woodland, fields, streams and several large lakes. It’s impeccably decorated in the traditional French style and sleeps 18 of your most distinguished friends.
Set in the Euganean hills south west of Padua, the Villa Emo Capodilista might look like an enchanted palace, but was in fact the hunting lodge of the aristocratic Capodilista family. Built in the 1500s, its raised formal gardens are reminiscent of an opera set – in fact it was the setting of the 2004 film The Merchant of Venice, starring Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino and Joseph Fiennes.
Limavady Park in County Derry, Northern Island, offers the perfect setting for an intimate gathering or group getaway. The 19th century county house offers historic beauty with those luxurious additions that make all the difference; you can sip Pimms while playing on your very own private cricket pitch, snuggle up in the cinema room or float about in the indoor pool. Utter bliss.