Pining for a palace? These castles for sale should satisfy your coronation fever

A life of pomp and circumstance could be yours to enjoy… if you’ve got a few million to spare

Have this week’s coronation vibes left you yearning for something a little grander to call home? Then our round up of the best castles for sale right now couldn’t have come at a better time.

With multiple rooms, extensive grounds and stunning stone exteriors, you can’t get more royal than a castle. And while the original reason for building them – to ensure extra security for those inside – may no longer be relevant, the spectacular views their hilltop or coastal locations afford make them appealing residential homes.

large country home with castellated towersCredit: Knight Frank

1. Flight of fancy

A spectacular Stowe residence with its own helipad

Guide price: £4,500,000

If you’re searching for a five-bedroom rural royal palace with three reception rooms, more than an acre of land and a wealth of original features, then head to Stowe Castle. Rather aptly, it’s located near Buckingham – although we’re talking the town close to Milton Keynes, rather than Buckingham Palace.

large country home with castellated towersCredit: Knight Frank
This royal rural home boasts a wealth of original features

On the market with Knight Frank and featuring 60ft (18.2m) castellated walls with open countryside beyond, the property also boasts paddocks, a helipad and en-suites galore. And if that’s not enough, there’s potential to extend into the attic.

pink themed bedroom with four poster bed and striped wallpaperCredit: Knight Frank
A bedroom fit for any princess and her pea

Decorated throughout with references to castles and their royal associations, touches such as tartan fabrics, canopy beds and antlers combine to create a residence fit for a king or queen.

a grand dining room with gilded wallpaper, tartan chair covers and an antler themed pendant lightCredit: Knight Frank
A formal dining room resplendent with antler themed lighting and tartan fabrics

But if all this traditional opulence leaves you yearning for a touch of the contemporary, a spacious barn at the front of the property has been converted into further accommodation. More modern in design, the barn has two reception rooms, a pool room, kitchen, WC and bedroom with en-suite shower room.

In addition to acting as a personal bolthole or extra guest accommodation, it would make the perfect Airbnb space to generate some additional income – even when you’re in residence.

an oak beamed room with pool table and seating areaCredit: Knight Frank
A contemporary twist on a traditional barn provides an ideal holiday rental

2. Scottish majesty

Hosting a highland fling? This castle has all the history and space you could need

Offers over: £3,000,000

Famous for being Queen Elizabeth II’s summer residence, Balmoral Castle, in Scotland, has long been associated with royalty. But it’s not the only castle in the area. In fact, it’s claimed that there have been as many as 3,000 in Scotland, although the number standing today is far less. One that does remain is Brechin Castle, currently being sold through Savills.

Sited on land that extends to 70 acres in total, the castle has eight reception rooms, 16 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and an additional five estate cottages.

large castle home and groundsCredit: Savills
Need room for guests? Brechin Castle has 16 bedrooms and 5 estate cottages

According to the agent, “Brechin Castle stands proud on a massive bluff of rocks above the banks of the River South Esk… on the site of a much older fortress belonging to the Scottish Kings”. With some parts dating back to the 13th century, the historical value of this property should not be underestimated.

The agent also notes that “despite its size, the castle lends itself well to being both a family home and hosting large gatherings in grand style”.

grand inner hall of castle with white pillars, chairs and staircaseCredit: Savills
Greet your guests in style with this spectacular entrance hall

If jaw-dropping entrances are your thing, Brechin offers two, one featuring original panelled walls, statuesque columns and a ceiling that is believed to date back to 1797. A sweeping staircase with an ornate ironwork balustrade installed in 1659 takes you to the principal reception rooms and onwards to some of the spacious bedrooms.

Historical décor and intricate craftsmanship abound throughout the residence, with the drawing room a stunning example. The agent’s particulars state that the 14th Countess of Dalhousie was responsible for commissioning the work, which includes a detailed wooden fire surround displaying the crests of the two families associated with the castle – the Maules and the Ramsays.

formal sitting room with highly decorate ceilings and an ornately carved wooden firepalceCredit: Savills
Featuring ornate ceilings and intricate woodwork the drawing room is steeped in history

If your royal affiliations include a love of gardening like King Charles, you’ll find ample opportunity to apply your green fingers, with the castle’s greenhouses and walled garden.

formal lawns with circular pondCredit: Savills
From formal gardens to generous greenhouses, the 70 acre-plot will suit any gardener

Located in Angus, on the east coast of Scotland, the county neighbours the more well-known Perthshire. Accessible by road, rail and air, Brechin Castle is close to local amenities and lies between Dundee and Aberdeen.

If you’re on the hunt for an historical home and have a cool £3 million to spare, you’ll struggle to find one more steeped in Scottish history than Brechin Castle.

3. French fancy

Escape to the chateau

Guide price: £827,100 (subject to exchange rates)

For less than a million, you could extend your search for a castle to France, where you can purchase a property that not only guarantees grandeur, but also sunshine. It’s a far cry from the cold and draughty castles we remember visiting as children.

French chateau in beautiful garden setting with bright blue skiesCredit: Le Figaro Properties
An escape to the chateau could be yours at the Castle Verdun-sur-Garonne

The stunning Castle Verdun-sur-Garonne is available for sale through Le Figaro Properties and could be the home of your dreams if you are considering relocating overseas or are perhaps on the hunt for an idyllic holiday home.

With five bedrooms, a three-bedroom guest cottage and within walking distance of the local village, this stylish property is in an elevated position just 30 minutes from Toulouse Airport – making it easily accessible all year round.

Tips for buying a castle abroad

If you are considering buying a property aboard here are some of the UK Government recommendation for a successful process. Further advice can be found on the Goverment website.

  • Ensure you research and follow local laws. If you do not speak the language fluently, engage an English-speaking solicitor based in the region to act for you
  • Make sure all negotiations are documented and you are provided with hard copies of all paperwork and receipts
  • Check that the seller owns the deeds and they can be transferred
  • Make sure you familiarise yourself with how the utilities are connected and supplied to the property
  • Speak to other property owners in the area and ask them if there are any risks, such as flooding
  • Check with your solicitor if you need a will drawn up in the country to protect your property in the future – inheritance laws may differ and create problems
a light and air bedroom decorated in shades of pastel green and white with fireplace and ornate wardrobe and wall panelsCredit: Le Figaro Properties
Pretty pastels adorn this palatial palace bedroom

The spacious bedrooms feature beautiful wallpapers in pastel shades, and ornate fixtures and fittings, plus there are four bathrooms. This means the chateau would also be suitable for a commercial venture, such as a boutique hotel or luxury holiday rental – as long as you don’t mind sharing your chattels with others.

light and airy bathroom with panelled bath and delicate flowered wallpaperCredit: Le Figaro Properties
Generously sized bathrooms provide ample space for soaking in the bath

With over 440sq m (4,700sq ft) of accommodation and 9,000sq m (2.2 acres) of land, there’s enough room to install a swimming pool, the agent says. And we can’t say we blame them for suggesting the idea. With terraces and garden views like this, who wouldn’t happily while away the time here?

patio terrace with stone pillars, three arched windows and wicker patio furnitureCredit: Le Figaro Properties
The perfect spot for eating breakfast like a king

Whether breakfasting like a king on freshly baked croissants and coffee, or sipping a royal-inspired English Garden Martini, this French chateau ticks all the castle requirements for the Exceptional homes team.

4. English fairytale castle with a dungeon

Head north and into nature for a Georgian palace

Guide price: POA

Nestled amongst 14 acres of grounds and surrounded by its own nature reserve is Castle Eden, a 35-room palatial residence with 11 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and its own dungeon –  which now house additional rooms rather than prison cells. Although they could be a good place to banish troublesome guests…

large castle home with orangery fronted entranceCredit: Nest Seekers International
With a show-stopping exterior Castle Eden also has a surprising interior feature

On the market with Nest Seekers International, you’re greeted by a full-length orangery at the entrance – the perfect conservatory design for such an ornate home. The show-stopping first impression continues into the main entrance hall, with a sweeping staircase, an impressive cupola dome that floods the first-floor space with light, and golden décor adding a sense of wealth and luxury.

image featuring three views of an entrance hall with yellow walls sweeping staircase and ceiling domeCredit: Nest Seekers International
Regal gold colour palettes feature throughout the residence

If you’re worried that the plumbing in a castle maybe a little, erm, ‘historic’, you can put your concerns aside. The bathrooms at Castle Eden have received a sympathetic makeover with modern shower cubicles and luxurious roll-top baths. And while the property may not come with a butler or lady-in-waiting, one of the lavish first-floor bedrooms does include a dressing area.

two bathrooms with stone tiles both with glass shower cubiclesCredit: Nest Seekers International
Historic plumbing has been banished and replaced with stylish bathroom suites

Of course, we couldn’t end our tour of Castle Eden without returning to the dungeon. Spanning the entire footprint of the property, it has been restored and repurposed into several different rooms with portcullis-style doors and exposed brickwork reminding you of its original use.

rennovated dungeon spaceCredit: Nest Seekers International
Once prison cells the dungeons are now additional and characterful rooms

5. Grand Designs hunting lodge

Boasting views of seven counties, this folly is a family home

Guide price: £1,850,000

Fans of Grand Designs may recognise the Grade II-listed Kemeys Folly from the 10th series of the programme.

Located near Newport in South Wales, although it’s not officially a castle, the castellated tower is very much royal in style, and it’s about to be relisted for sale with Fine & Country.

folly tower with modern glass and render extensionCredit: Rightmove
This folly turned family home was once a hunting lodge

Restored in 2009 with the addition of a contemporary glass and rendered extension, the property includes the original folly tower, which is home to a master bedroom with ensuite and dressing area, two additional en-suite guest bedrooms on the top floor, and a cinema and library on the ground floor.

The folly was built in the 17th century as a hunting lodge by George Kemeys, and the library includes an original ornate hunting frieze and decorated ceiling that formed part of the restoration work.

panelled library room with sofas and ornate ceilingCredit: Rightmove
An ornate hunting frieze was restored in this library and cinema room

The extension houses a large open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, a smaller reception room, rear entrance lobby with utility room and two further bedrooms with en-suites.

open plan dining room with large table sideboard and doors with views outsideCredit: Rightmove
Dining comes with a view in this property

Regular readers among you may have noticed that I’ve previously referred to a Grand Designs project, and I can confirm this was the one.

Although I once owned the property and lived there for several years, I parted ways with it eight years ago. It’s a majestic building and a beautiful home. It was an honour to work on bringing it back to life and to be a custodian, if only for a short while. It was always referred to as the castle by my children’s friends and provided us with a wonderful living and entertaining space.

If you like hosting parties – then this home is just perfect. But that’s another story.

night time view of folly lit upCredit: Rightmove
This home lends itself to night-time parties

Once outside, you truly understand why someone decided to build here. There are stunning views in every direction.

In sight of seven counties, views from the front of the property and folly bedrooms sweep across the Bristol Channel, while to the rear, a tiled patio provides space to sit and soak up the surrounding countryside of plunging valleys and mountain ranges.

a patio area with chairs and table and sweeping views across the welsh countrysideCredit: Rightmove
Views of the welsh countryside make it clear why this location was chosen for the folly

Horse riders will benefit from the property’s stables, paddocks and a menage, while keen walkers can ramble through the 23 acres of protected woodland that fall within the curtilage. An outbuilding is also ripe for conversion into a luxurious pool, sauna and games room.

If you need to commute, then the M4 is just 10 minutes away. It’s a castle-like country residence with city proximity.

If a new home isn’t on the cards right now, then Kemeys Folly may offer a temporary solution. It’s also available on Airbnb as a holiday let until it sells.

Sarah Harley

Written by Sarah Harley she/her

Updated:

Since first picking up a paintbrush and experiencing the joy of re-decorating her bedroom in a questionable red, white and grey scheme as a young teenager, Sarah Harley was hooked on the world of interior design. This obsession even led to a real life ‘Grand Designs’ project in 2005 when she donned a pink hard hat and appeared on TV screens, project managing the renovation and extension of a Grade II listed 17th century Folly in South Wales.

Throughout her career, Sarah has gained an array of experience in several different roles, ranging from copywriting, PR, events management and photography to interior design and home staging. With her two passions being the written word and the joys of a beautifully designed home, Sarah’s mission is to open the door on the world of interiors, inviting readers in to help them work their way through the vast choice of products, ideas and trends so that their own homes can reach their full potential.

Away from work, Sarah fills her Pinterest boards with more ideas, dreams of where to travel, takes photographs and loves being by the sea. She has two sons and if she absorbed everything they said would also be a football expert. The fact is she is often more interested in the colour and design of the kit – but don’t tell them that.

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