Castles are historic buildings, often listed, which means it can be difficult to get permission to alter or even rebuild parts of the buildings. This can lead to a misconception that castle properties will be unable to provide suitable disabled access, however, we have many castles that allow guests with disabilities or limited mobility to enjoy the experience of an historic stay.
Here I’ve hand-picked 3 castles, to guide you through the facilities some properties can offer guests:
Cringletie House in Peebles, Scotland
When the current owners of Cringleie House purchased this property, they renovated it to make it fully wheelchair-accessible and included a range of disabled facilities. These included a ground floor room and en-suite bathroom, specifically designed for wheelchair users.
The property has a range of accessibility features, including disabled parking, ramped wheelchair access to entrance, accessible bedrooms, accessible toilets, accessible bathrooms, wheel-in showers, accessible restaurant, accessible bar, accessible public area.
And it's not just guests who have been wow-ed by the level of accessibility provided at Cringletie. In a review by the Guardian newspaper, they were named in the Top Ten of Accessible Hotels in the UK and won the coveted 2011 Catey Award for Accessibility, which is a hotel industry award, recognising a disabled-friendly hotel that has gone above and beyond the accessibility requirements of the Equalities Act.
Bovey Castle in Exeter, England
Bovey Castle has a stunning setting in the Dartmoor National Park and entices it guests with a range of accommodation choices available. Within the main building, Bovey Castle offers accessible bedrooms on the ground floor, with level entry wet rooms for guests in a wheelchair or with limited mobility. Twin and double bed combinations can be arranged, the flooring in the bedroom is short pile carpet and there is an emergency alarm with flashing light. Bathrooms include vertical and horizontal grab rails around the shower and non-slip flooring.
A disabled toilet is located on the ground floor with non-slip flooring, vertical and horizontal rails either side of the basin and toilet, as well as lever taps on the sink.
Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, Ireland
Nestled in 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, Castle Leslie Estate offers disabled guests not only accommodation, but also a wide range of activities to enjoy during their time at the property.
The estate houses both the Castle Leslie itself and the Hunting Lodge, each of which offers accommodation. In the castle there are disabled access public areas, disabled access bedrooms, disabled toilets on the ground floor, wheelchair access to the reception area, restaurant and bar and wheelchair access to disabled car parking spaces.
Two of the bedrooms in the Hunting Lodge also have disabled access. At the on-site Equestrian Centre they offer suitable ponies for disabled riders.