When you want to take a break in the New Year, consider taking a step back in time by booking a Tudor hotel. No, these aren’t hotels that were established in the 16th century and have been thriving ever since. Instead, they’re hotels that exist within some of the most important buildings that have shaped our history here in Britain.
Whether you need to refresh yourself after Christmas or you’re planning a little further ahead, here are some of the best ones to book for 2019:
As one of the childhood homes of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle later passed to Henry VIII’s fourth wife: Anne of Cleves. Situated in Sussex, its history reaches back to the 12th century, where it began life as a medieval motte and bailey castle. Although the building eventually fell into disrepair it was rescued by William Astor, who formed his ‘Tudor village’ aka ‘The Astor Wing’.
Bedrooms at Hever Castle range between £170 to £535, but it comes with one of the best Tudor hotel experiences you could bank on. In addition to seizing the opportunity to stay in the Astor wing, you can explore the gardens before the public arrives in the morning, and there are options to stay in the Tudor elements of the castle too.
As one of the only Tudor hotels to recreate the luxury and splendor that the aristocracy of the time enjoyed in each of its rooms, Thornbury Castle is highly covetable amongst Tudor history lovers. Located in Gloucestershire, its connections with Tudor history are rich, too. In 1495, Jasper Tudor passed away in The Manor House. Later in 1521, Henry VIII confiscated it from his cousin before having him beheaded for high treason. It was also home to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn for 10 days in 1535, making it a honeymoon spot of sorts for the ill-fated couple.
If your desires to stay in a Tudor hotel stem from learning more about Anne Boleyn and her history, book a stay in the Duke’s bedchamber. It’s the same suite that Henry and Anne stayed in for 10 days in 1535, giving you the chance to relive history. The Duke’s bedchamber is surprisingly cost-effective, given the history. At its lowest in January, it’s £199, with the highest price coming in at £495.
If you wouldn’t mind saying yes to submerging yourself in The Cotswolds this January, head to Sudeley Castle. With its origins resting firmly in the 15th century, it became a rose-filled garden favourite of both Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I, as well as Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr. Why? Possibly because its serene surroundings offered them the opportunity to enjoy the castle’s variety of roses in peace. In terms of historical significance, it housed Richard III during the Wars of the Roses.
While staying at Sudeley Castle, you’ll have the chance to occupy one of its aptly named cottages: Queen Mary, Anne Boleyn, Princess Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey, or one of the many other monarchs they’re named after. Many of the cottages have a rich history, such as Lady Jane Grey, which was originally a paper mill. There’s a two-night minimum stay, with prices in the self-catering cottages starting at around £275.
As the place where Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was arrested for treason, Cawood Castle is a Tudor hotel that holds plenty of historic significance. While the rooms are simple, they’ve played host to Archbishops of York from the Late Medieval period onwards. The Great Hall still stands, but it’s now empty.
If you’re seeking seclusion and a peaceful break, heading to York to spend time at Cawood Castle is for you. As an added perk for those who love their home comforts, Waitrose deliver groceries there! There’s a minimum four-night booking that starts at £248. This covers four people, which equates to £15.50 each per night. It’s hard to argue against that being a fantastic price for staying at a Tudor hotel.
Start your new year with an escape to a castle that you’ll have entirely to yourself. Although it was once known as a gatehouse, Morpeth Castle has housed Tudor royals such as Margaret – sister to Henry VIII. As a Grade I listed building in Northumberland, it provided Margaret with refuge against the Scottish for four days in 1516, following the death of her husband James VI.
If you choose to rent Morpeth Castle, you’ll enjoy an experience that goes above and beyond that of most Tudor hotels. There’s enough room for seven people, but you must spend seven nights there. Prices start at £496, you’ll stay on a self-catering basis, and for that joy-filled week, you’ll have a chance to settle into 2019 with ease.
In the pursuit of writing this post, I found a handful more of gorgeous Tudor hotels, but then found myself too pushed for time to keep adding them to the list. Whichever you choose, I hope it results in a refreshing January break (especially now that we’re hitting the point in winter where temperatures are in the minuses).