The most mysterious medieval castles in Europe
Holidu’s haunted Halloween destinations
Who has never dreamt of staying in a real medieval castle, complete with fortified walls, drawbridges and tall round towers? Castles are often found positioned on high ground for defense purposes or tucked away in the middle of a forest for privacy, making them undoubtedly perfect locations for a dreamy getaway. So, why not enjoy a unique holiday experience and stay overnight in a real fortress?
With Halloween on the horizon and all things spooktacular in mind, Holidu, the search engine for holiday rentals, has decided to draw up a list of the most mysterious medieval castles, which this year can become your next ghoulish getaway! With five castles in the UK and five others scattered throughout mainland Europe, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Five medieval castles in the United Kingdom
Kilmartin Castle – Argyll & Bute, Scotland
Kilmartin Castle, located in Kilmartin Glen in the Argyll region of Scotland, is a true hidden gem. The history of the castle dates back to 1550 when it was held by the Campbell Clan before being abandoned for 200 years, which is why the restored castle today keeps many of its original features. This 16th-century castle is complete with exposed stone walls, large fireplaces, barrel-vaulted stone ceilings and arrow slits. Location wise, this castle is surrounded by islands nearby, hill walks, restaurants and incredible drives in the Scottish countryside, as well as home comforts such as a local pub serving hearty dinners. A stay in this castle costs from $1,366 per night, it can sleep up to 10 people and pets are allowed!
Kilmartin Castle credit VRBO via Holidu
Rower Fort – Devon, England
Next up, we have a stunning gothic folly located on the Jurassic Coast in Devon. The history of Rower Fort dates back to 1827 when it was a former farmhouse within the estate of Sir Francis Drake. Since then, the “cottage” has been developed into a truly unique holiday accommodation. The traditional farmhouse combined with the castellated folly tower provides the most magical fusion. Undoubtedly the absolute highlight feature of this folly is the most remarkably sited hot tub you’ll ever come across, from which you can enjoy the panoramic views by day and shooting stars by night. Sleeping up to 16 people, there is plenty of room for a large group and you definitely won’t feel claustrophobic.
Rower Fort, Devon credit VRBO via Holidu
Manorbier Castle – Pembrokeshire, Wales
Manorbier Castle is a stunning twelfth century Norman castle nestled in the picturesque village of Manorbier, Pembrokeshire. A stay here will feel like a trip back in time! Immerse yourself in the rich history of Welsh folklore as you gaze off out across the glistening waters of the beautiful Manorbier bay and admire the cliffs at the head of the valley. As if this castle wasn’t stunning enough, it also has a deep well that contains a later smugglers tunnel and a dungeon exhibition to capture the imagination of younger guests. The castle has availability for up to twelve guests and prices start from $1,046 per night.
Manorbier Castle, Pembrokeshire credit Pembrokeshire Property Management via Holidu
Number 6 Narrow Water Castle – County Down, Northern Ireland
This next gem of an apartment lies inside the majestic Narrow Water Castle in Northern Ireland. The original castle building dates back to the 1680s, having been newly renovated to include a luxury apartment that accommodates up to six people. Features such as the local granite exterior and interior exposed beams make this home the perfect choice for a late October weekend away in the Irish countryside. Renting out this unique apartment costs from $199 per night.
Number 6 Narrow Water Castle credit HomeAway via Holidu
Craufurdland Castle – Ayrshire, Scotland
The second spectacular Scottish castle on this list is Craufurdland Castle, which claims to be one of the oldest in the country. Nestled on 600 acres of stunning Ayrshire countryside surrounded by woodlands, this castle looks like something from a fairy tale. Within 20 minutes journey from Scotland’s most populous city of Glasgow, this is the perfect location to have the option to enjoy both the tranquility of the peaceful countryside and also all that the city has to offer. The 16-person property oozes history, gorgeous interiors and wonderful grounds. It can be yours from $2,396 per night.
Craufurdland Castle credit VRBO via Holidu
Five medieval castles in mainland Europe
Castello Leopoldo – Tuscany, Italy
This stunning 16th-century castle oozes ancient charm and elegance and can be found in the province of Livorno in Tuscany, Italy. The romantic-style building boasts the most perfect location for a panoramic view over the valley and, on clear days, you can also see the island of Elba. When the night falls, this location would make for a considerably haunting atmosphere: covering a span of 1500 m², Castello Leopoldo can comfortably accommodate 20 people for a thrilling murder mystery game weekend. Booking the entire castle will cost from $2,204 per night.
Castello Leopoldo credit EasyReserve via Holidu
Mazures – Liège, Belgium
This Game of Thrones-style residence is part of a castle that overlooks the banks of the river Vesdre, located in Liège, Belgium. After a full renovation, the castle now houses a 100 m² holiday home in the left-wing of the tower. As soon as you cross the medieval fantasy-style bridge and enter the home, you will find the modern living room and kitchen, as well as a spiral staircase that leads you upstairs to the two bedrooms. It can accommodate up to 4 people and the prices start at $150 per night.
Mazures credit Belvilla via Holidu
Saar Castle – Serrig, Germany
Heading to the wonderful forests of Germany now, Saar Castle is located in Serrig and is a modern castle of the 20th century, but still boasts a medieval, majestic style unique to this region. This castle has a history of being a former Sekt (German sparkling wine) winery and is located in a region famous for its Riesling wines. The local village has approximately 1000 inhabitants, but there are still plenty of activities to do nearby including bike routes, a zoo and wine cellars you can visit. This castle can be rented from $985 per night and can accommodate up to 16 people, as well as some furry friends!
Saar Castle credit VRBO via Holidu
Chateau des Egaux – Limoges, France
Next up on our list is this incredible château situated in the beautiful Limoges region in southwest-central France. Chateau des Egaux boasts its own 21 hectares of private grounds, as well as a pool, small lake for fishing, park and private forest. The rooms of the chateau each display their own antique treasure and charm, with breathtaking details adding to the feel of a very authentic stay in a grand chateau. With direct train connections to Paris and Toulouse, as well as direct flight routes to many UK airports, there are plenty of ways to reach this property. To stay here will cost from $780 a night and the castle can be enjoyed by up to 19 guests!
Chateau des Egaux credit VRBO via Holidu
Apartment “Burgkaiser” – Goslar, Germany
Finally, the second German accommodation on this list is the magnificent apartment “Burgkaiser” in Goslar. The historical walls of this home, which was once a restaurant, are ready to welcome you for a stay like no other. With over 240 square meters of living space, suitable for up to 14 guests, this building has a medieval atmosphere whilst also providing the comforts of modern equipment. Prices start at $442 a night for up to 14 guests.
Burgkaiser credit VRBO via Holidu