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Britain in Wonderland - Fantastical Castles and Follies

Fantastical castles, towers and follies

Curious travellers seeking exotica and escapism need venture no further than these fair green isles, where mysterious dwellings hide down sweeping drives and await your grand arrival.

Time travel back to the era of English Romanticism, when creative spirit soared and formal traditions went by the wayside, and take up residence in a building designed for aesthetic pleasure. In this wonderland of eccentricity, ornamental 'follies' (a word stolen from the French language meaning 'foolishness') manifest as towers within the grounds of stately homes, or crumbling castles in miniature.

For those who seek historical grandeur, Britain's Napoleonic forts have been reimagined, Poldarkian stack houses and glamorous old castles breathed new life into. This may be the ultimate fairytale collection, but Arabian horses and shining knights can steer clear for there'll be no rescuing required here. In fact, you'll want to turn the lock and throw the key in the moat.

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Castle Trinity

Castle Trinity

Holywell Green, Yorkshire, UK

A luxury self-catering homestay for extended families and large parties, Castle Trinity is an exclusive kingdom of ritzy indulgence near the Peak District.

Sleeps: Sleeps up to 10 (+2)
From: £3,662 per week, £3,995 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 6 & Up to 2 guests
Pets: Two small well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Heated indoor swimming pool, steam room, wellness and yoga room, outdoor hot tub, gym, pool table and piano

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The Stack

The Stack

Trelion, Cornwall, UK

The Stack lies within a secluded valley overlooking the upper reaches of the magnificent Fal Valley. This 19th century engine house is sure to inspire those with a love for unique architecture, rough-luxe interiors and beautiful gardens.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
From: £2,150 per week, £1,595 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 4 & Up to 2 guests
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Sunken hot tub, cinema room, al fresco kitchen with pizza oven

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Found Tower

Found Tower

Bawdsey, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK

For a unique escape like no other, whisk the party away to this cutting-edge designed Martello tower house set on the shores of the Suffolk coast in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
From: £2,295 per week, £2,450 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 guests
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome on prior request
Features: Grand piano, firepit and rooftop terrace

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Castle on the Well

Castle on the Well

Charles, South Molton, Exmoor, Devon, UK

Fusing luxurious shooting lodge with a modern country twist, Castle on the Well hides within a patchwork of rolling Devonshire countryside, on the edge of Exmoor National Park.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
From: £1,795 per week, £1,350 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 4 guests
Pets: One small to medium well-behaved dog is welcome and two on prior request
Features: Fire pit

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The Summer Folly

The Summer Folly

Grimsthorpe, Bourne, Lincolnshire, UK

The final creation of architect Sir John Vanbrugh in the 1720s (who also built Blenheim Castle), The Summer Folly is a curious retreat in rural Lincolnshire.

Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
From: £1,750 per week, £1,350 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 guests
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Cinema snug, petanque lawn, croquet, badminton

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The Walled Garden

The Walled Garden

Dyrham, Bath, The Cotswolds, UK

Perhaps the most ornate vegetable store in the whole of England, The Walled Garden began life as a potato house for Dyrham Park. This romantic retreat sits on the western edge of the Cotswolds, not far from Bath and all its gleaming treasures.

Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
From: £1,295 per week, £995 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 guests
Pets: One small well-behaved dog is welcome
Features: Fire pit, use of the owners´ tennis court

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Thornemead Castle

Thornemead Castle

Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, UK

Be Lord of the Manor at this 240-year-old gothic castle set within manicured lawns and wildflower meadows within walking distance of the Somerset coast.

Sleeps: Up to 10 guests (+3 children)
From: £3,150 per week, £2,195 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 6 guests
Pets: Sorry, no pets
Features: Hot tub hire is available (please enquire for details), electric car charging point, football table, badminton, volley ball, games room, outdoor tennis table, croquet lawn, library and Kadai fire bowl

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Dragonwood Boat House

Dragonwood Boat House

Oakham, Rutland, UK

A boutique boat house designed with romance in mind, Dragonwood Boat House is a traditional Victorian bolthole with a modern Italian twist. This lakeside abode near Oakham, Rutland offers luxury self-catering breaks in the most magical of settings.

Sleeps: Up to 2 guests
From: £1,095 per week, £795 per short break
Pets: Sorry, no pets
Features: Guests have access to kayaks on the lakes

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Florin

Florin

Aberaeron, Ceredigion, Wales, UK

A beautifully-appointed stylish large country house set in five acres of magical gardens near Aberaeron, Ceredigion. A luxury home for family celebrations with plenty of space for several generations to unwind. 

Sleeps: Up to 14 guests
From: £2,995 per week, £2,195 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 10 guests
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Hot tub, treehouse for children, library with pool table, modern garden house with pizza oven

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Elissa

Elissa

Cirencester, Gloucestershire, The Cotswolds, UK

Surrounded by miles of undulating countryside, this luxury self-catering home is all about life’s simple pleasures; drawn-out pub lunches, rural rambles and evenings in the hot tub.

Sleeps: Up to 4 guests (2 adults and 2 children)
From: £1,750 per week, £1,295 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 guests
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Hot tub

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Cadence

Cadence

Petworth, West Sussex, UK

A 70’s sci-fi film was the unlikely inspiration for this playful modern retreat. Award-winning for its design and settled within poetic South Downs scenery; this architect's private home is a fine example of the new English country house.

Sleeps: Up to 10 guests
From: £5,850 per week
Pets: Two well-behaved pets are welcome

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St Quentin´s

St Quentin´s

Lutterworth, Leicestershire, UK

In the same family since 1697, this Grade I listed manor is anything but ordinary. Quintessential in form but sidestepping conventionality through its conservation projects, St Quentin's challenges all preconceptions of the English stately home.

Sleeps: Up to 9 guests (plus 2 children at an additional cost and on prior request)
From: £7,195 per week, £5,750 per short break
Pets: Sorry, no pets
Features: Lakeside yurt, wild swimming lakes, treehouse, fire bowls, croquet, badminton, snooker room, table tennis

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Rhapsody

Rhapsody

Haslemere, Surrey, UK

A utopia of surreal garden sculptures, topsy-turvy architecture and glass-like pools, Rhapsody has fallen head first through the rabbit hole and landed in the heart of Wonderland.

Sleeps: Up to 12 (10 adults and 2 children)
From: £11,995 per week
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Outdoor heated swimming pool (May - September), with jet stream, sunken hot tub, yoga studio, glass reading room overhanging the pond and cinema room

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Avalon Manor

Avalon Manor

Upton Scudamore, Wiltshire, UK

Superb 14th century large self-catering Manor House in Wiltshire. Stylish and historic, it's the perfect luxury country house.

Sleeps: Up to 12 guests (+ 2 children)
From: £3,550 per week, £2,595 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 6 guests
Pets: Sorry, no pets
Features: Games room, mini gym and tree house for children. A cedar hot tub and outdoor, woodfired BBQ and pizza oven.

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The Lost Music Hall

The Lost Music Hall

Ipplepen, Totnes, Devon, UK

Created by a London dandy to serve as his secret retreat from society, this former music hall has been restored in all its Arts and Crafts glory to offer unique escapes in a hidden valley of Devon's South Hams AONB.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
From: £1,795 per week, £1,350 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 & Up to 12 guests
Pets: Two pets are welcome
Features: Heated outdoor swimming pool (May-September) and games room with table tennis and darts

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The Signal Station

The Signal Station

The Lizard, Cornwall, UK

Journey to the end of the earth to this iconic maritime home settled high on the cliffs of Cornwall’s wild Lizard Peninsula.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
From: £2,150 per week, £1,595 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 4 & Up to 2 guests
Pets: Two small well-behaved dogs are welcome

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