News and articles from our featured castles.

Who Made Your Bed Tonight?



As the dawn comes up and rays of light enter the room through heavy curtains allowing me to slowly pick out details in this wonderful castle bedchamber, for some reason my mind starts to wander. I think about the creativity within the room, the beautiful décor, the soft luxurious furnishings and this absolutely huge elaborate four poster bed. I start to pick up some amazing detail in the woodwork, I wonder where the creativity comes from, how the bed was made, was it carved from one piece of wood, the simple logistics of how they got it into the room and how many people were involved? As the soft furnishings that surround this wonderful masterpiece turn from dark into textured colour and the detailed carvings on the roof of my 4 poster become defined, my mind wanders even more… it’s not a team of people who create these remarkable pieces of furniture…. perhaps you knew that anyway.


A masterpiece like this comes from the heart and passion of one man, Steve Edgar, a master craftsman next to none. Steve views these rooms as his very own stage and he wants to add theatre to the experience that he creates. When you come to a castle hotel, you do not want to feel as if you are at home; you want something that is different and memorable.You may expect someone with Steve’s talent to have studied and have been taught by another master craftsman, but you would be wrong. He is self-taught; where he is unique is that he researches every piece he carves in detail.This all started with an interest in woodwork at school and, needless to say, he was not encouraged to follow this interest. But instead he was steered down an engineering route. However, 25 years ago he was asked to make a bed for Thornbury Castle, near Bristol in the beautiful village of Thornbury and, as they say, the rest is history.



Then room by room, Steve has transformed the Duke of Buckingham’s former stomping ground, allowing him to release the most amazing creative talent that has been stored up and hidden for decades. “I was told I’d never make any money with woodwork. It’s true. I’m not ever going to be a millionaire, but I love what I do and the satisfaction I get from building pieces of beautiful furniture is priceless. I would not want to do anything else.” he says. “All my time is taken up with this job. I’ve tried other interests in my spare time, but my mind just drifts back to it.” Would I call Steve a perfectionist? Definitely, and this is what makes the difference with his furniture. He uses the techniques that would have been used in the period he is working on. He does use modern machinery, however, it looks too perfect, so he then finishes everything by hand; it is important for Steve that the piece he is making looks like it’s been there for 200 or 300 years.



Steve works very fast in line with his passion for the furniture he makes - four weeks from start to finish for an ostentatious four poster bed. The 70 elaborate wooden chairs he built for the castle were carved at a rate of more than one a day. Steve’s skills are in high demand and he has been headhunted to work on the private dwellings of the rich and famous. Another one of his favourite projects was the Tudor makeover of the Ladies Cloakroom at Thornbury - in fact if you stay at the castle, you will see this man’s exceptional talent everywhere. He basically camped out at the hotel for over eight years and, as well as designing, making and fitting all the panelling, a fantastic staircase and landing in the main part of the castle and the reception area, his also likes to leave his mark in others ways. Thornbury Castle’s secret panelling is a little bit of fun.  Fans of children’s adventure stories should search the panelling for a knot, press it and an entire panel opens to reveal a small hideyhole containing a safe and a jar of sweets to sample as a reward.  For children this is absolute magic!



I am very lucky to sleep in lots of amazing bedchambers and to have met this master craftsman has been a delight. Now I appreciate the research, the passion and the detail that Steve Edgar puts into his furniture, the true sign of a master craftsman.

You can see more of Stephen’s work at: www.edgarfurniture.co.uk

Bedrooms shown in this article can booked at Thornbury Castle: www.celticcastles.com/castles/thornbury
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Elegant Exclusive Use in Ireland

Are you looking for a little elegance from your exclusive use let in Ireland?

Why not add to the experience for this Irish castle option offered on a self-catering (or vacation rental) basis and hire a local caterer to cook for you?


You can then choose the extent to which you require the services of the chef - whether it be the night of your arrival, allowing you to rest after your journey, or a meal to celebrate a special occasion during your stay - or why not push the boat out and have a fully catered option throughout your stay?

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Enhance Your Edinburgh Fesival Experience

Since the Edinburgh International Festival burst onto the scene in 1947 to engender 'a flowering of the human spirit', Edinburgh has been synonymous with festivals. The city presents an unforgettable mix of cultural experiences in an iconic and beautiful city.

Key Festival Dates in August:

  • Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival: 15 - 24 July 2016
  • Edinburgh Art Festival: 28 July 2016 - 28 August 2016
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe: 5 - 29 August 2016
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo: 5 - 27 August 2016
  • Edinburgh International Festival: 5 - 29 August 2016
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival: 13 - 29 August 2016

For tickets to the above festivals, visit the link below:

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Summer is Here - Bovey Castle, Dartmoor...


Summer at Bovey Castle is an experience to remember. This stunning English castle hotel is located in the heart of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, which is perfect for a lovely morning or afternoon walk, making the best of British summertime, as you explore one of the most beautiful national parks in the country.


Although the castle is a very luxurious one, the atmosphere in it is very relaxed. It is a very welcoming place for both couples and families and offers a wide range of activities both on and off-site.


Such activities include Golf, Tennis, Archery and Air Riffle Shooting, Falconry and even Hot Air Ballooning. Can you imagine the breath-taking views of the beautiful park from up high in a balloon?

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Book Individual Rooms for the Edinburgh Festival 2016

Offering modern luxury in a traditional setting, and located just outside Edinburgh, Carlowrie Castle can accommodate up to 18 guests for exclusive hire. Full housekeeping is provided and upon request, the discreet private butler will ensure no detail is overlooked, making your stay truly luxurious. Spend the night in one of nine luxurious bedrooms, individually styled, spacious and with breathtaking views of the 32 acre grounds. The ensuite bathrooms feature hand made, roll top baths, marble tiles, underfloor heating and walk in showers.



IT’S A FIRST!   BOOK INDIVIDUAL ROOMS AT CARLOWRIE CASTLE FOR THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL TATTOO...

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Autumn in Scotland With Romantic Coastal Views


With six romantic bed and breakfast rooms, guests enjoy king-size beds with spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains of Glencoe and Loch Crenan; perfect for luxury breaks in Scotland.


Barcaldine wins in so many ways – the location, the castle inside and out and the staff of course... oh, and I mustn't forget the breakfasts...better perhaps to book two nights!


And if you don’t want to take our word for it, this is what our customers think…

'Wonderful... they had thought of everything! We will try and come back next time we are over from New Zealand... it was our favourite place to stay in our whole trip! Thanks.'

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Traditional Festive Fayre at Inverlochy Castle


Imagine…an evening of Carols brought to you by a community choir, followed by an extravagant dinner in a Great Hall setting to the accompaniment of a clarsach player…?


Imagine…snuggling up in front of a log fire, sipping Champagne, waiting for Father Christmas to arrive…?


Imagine… waking up on Christmas Day with views of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain in the background…?


Imagine no more. All of the above (and so much more!) can become your reality this Christmas with a festive stay at 5-Star Inverlochy Castle, just three miles from the Scottish town of Fort William.

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Celebrate Christmas at Mingary Castle 2016

A robust 13th century Scottish castle hides an exquisite example of a Georgian dwelling within its curtain wall. Sleeping up to 10 guests, Mingary Castle offers both Exclusive use stays and bed and breakfast accommodation. The long abandoned ruin of Mingary castle has been painstakingly renovated by a team of highly skilled craftsmen, who have made good the crumbling stonework, long lost roofs and floors buried deep in undergrowth, so once again Mingary can provide its guests with the finest of Highland hospitality. Sitting on the coastal fringes of the 12,000 hectare Ardnamurchan Estate, Mingary is at the heart of some of the finest countryside in the UK, its mountains, moorland and seawaters are teaming with rare and beautiful flora and fauna.

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Great Value for Customers From the USA in Scotland

Great Value for Customers From the USA in Scotland

The pound has faced a massive drop against the dollar; it's at a 30 year low... not good if we are travelling to Disneyland, but great if you are coming from the US to the UK.

I need to start with a confession: I don't know what will happen to currency rates going forward...nor does anyone else to be honest, and if they tell you they do, they're lying (some lucky punters always guess right, but that doesn't mean they know!). What I do know is that if you are from the USA, you'll get a lot more for you buck right now; your chance to experience an historical experience is now much cheaper!

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Scottish Highland Summer Dates Discounted

Surrounded by stunning scenery in Glenisla, Forter Castle was built in 1560 and enjoys a history as rich as the countryside in which it sits. All who come to stay at Forter quickly learn to use the castle as their own, and greatly enjoy the warmth of a charming home and the magnificent outdoors that surround it.


Forter Castle has just 4 remaining nights available for Summer 2016 - arriving 22 August. 

Rates have been dropped from £5250 to £3250 for the 4 nights, for self-catered castle accommodation. 

Sleeping up to 12 guests - that's less than £70 per person per night.

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