Once upon a time in a land not so far away there lived kings and queens who reigned and rejoice in magnificent castles, where the prince and princess bloomed in love. These castles witnessed battles reduce thrones into mere titles and history’s clothe was imprinted with tales of resurrection after a cast of gloom. While the narrative may sound like a fairy tale or that of a legend, the islands of Great Britain and Ireland are home to some of the world’s mesmerizing castles that have been resurrected from their dwindling fortune into the most luxurious hotels. Speaking of resurrection, Easter the festival of new rising at the very beginning of spring is a perfect time of the year to celebrate in one of these castles. After sifting through many luxurious hotels and castles we filtered these four options you could choose to spend the holiday with your family in tow.
Lough Eske Castle, Ireland
Near the north west coast of Ireland in the county of Donegal stands the Lough Eske Castle surrounded by 43 acres of woodlands and a lake. Lough is Irish Gaelic for ‘lake’. The castle is a standing testament to the Irish history and traces its roots to 1474 when its first family O’Donnel clan built it. The current Lough Eske Castle was constructed in 1861 and has seen many destructions. Having being resurrected to its glory by the current owners, Lough Eske Castle and Spa has been an award winning luxury hotel through these years and has welcomed guests to numerous celebrations from across the globe. Donegal Airport receives flights twice daily from Dublin and Glasgow International airports.
Easter at Lough Eske -The estate will fill in your Easter basket with Ireland’s most spectacular natural surroundings that is accentuated with a royal stay. Both the adventurous and the leisure ones in the family have something to look forward. Lough Eske Castle has designed a special easter package for families especially those with kids under age of 12 years. A three night stay with the kids in a Junior Suite or Deluxe Room is a getaway we would hop on at once. Wake up to your royal weekend with a full Irish breakfast in bed every morning and head out to an itinerary you can curate after recommendations from the concierge. When you are staying in a castle a history tour is a must-do on the itinerary and follow it up with a lakeside woodland trail or take out your bikes compliments from the castle and explore the town of Donegal. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean as well as the neighboring Seven Natural Wonders of North-West make Lough Eske Castle every traveler’s dream abode on a holiday. Easter Sunday may leave you with just about time for a spa session as the castle has organised a special brunch at the ballroom and the kid’s are treated to a treasure hunt at the kid’s club. It may seem as though three nights are not enough for this county alone but then you can always take a quick trip to complete your North West Irish journey. For more details please visit Lough Eske Castle
Dromoland Castle, Ireland
On west side of Ireland lays the vast expanse of a medieval estate with an extraordinary history stretching back to the time when Brian Boru High King of Ireland called it his home. Dromoland Castle has been a baronial home of the Gaelic royalty and aristocrats until its ownership was acquired by an American industrialist with Irish descent to be transformed into a luxury hotel. This stately estate’s lush lawns extend for hundreds of acres as far as the eye can travel housing its own Golf course and a serene lake that completes every detail of a picturesque landscape. Situated in Clare county, Dromoland estate is a 15 minute drive from Shannon Airport and receives daily flights from most parts of the world.
Easter at Dromoland – If your kids are under 12 years this package is designed for your family as Dromoland is giving away the kids stay complimentary in Deluxe rooms for a 3 night stay. The 19th century rooms designed for you to re-live the vintage era, open to sweeping views of either the gardens or the lake. An Irish breakfast in bed every morning and dinner are inclusive in your stay, there is a kid’s menu as well as a crafted vegetarian menu at the restaurant. The chef receives fresh produce, locally procured meat and fish from Clare county so worry not about the preservatives. An impressive factoid about Dromoland if you are an environment friendly guest is that all the bathroom amenities are minus the sulfur and paraben, which offers much relief to all mothers. The charming castle interiors draw you into a leisure afternoon tea or catching a quiet nook near the crackling fire in the drawing room to read. Being confined to the gorgeous castle is an organic choice for an impending R&R from city life. However, for an Easter holiday with the family it would be rather agreeable to explore the surroundings and partake in the activities outdoors. The kids club have specified timings during Easter weekend so please seek them from the front desk in advance. While the kids are engaged in their play, the parents can have a blissful time at the spa or falconry, archery, horse riding, clay shooting or fishing for the outdoor kind. A stroll around the estate alone would bemuse you of its splendor and exercise an appetite most suitable for an Irish dinner. Take advantage of your three night stay as Dromoland is just few miles away from the city of Galway, Limerick and Cork not to mention the Cliffs of Moher and we absolutely recommend that you drive down to these cities and explore the Irish country side on your way there. For more details on the packages please visit Dromoland Castle.
Inverlochy Castle, Scotland
At the foothills of Ben Nevis in Fort William is the Inverlochy Castle and truly a visual treat for the romantic. At a glance Inverlochy converts you into its own what with the glens and lochs of West Highlands as its immediate neighbors. Built in 1863 by the first Lord Abinger, Inverlochy welcomed Queen Victoria in 1873 as its guest during her visit to Balmoral. It is said she went on to describe the spot in her diaries as most lovely and romantic. Ever since it has been converted into a luxury hotel from a private residence, the castle has become accustomed to increasing number of celebrity guests, the first being Charlie Chaplin. Apart from Queen Elizabeth II, it has entertained and welcomed many head of states and royalty from around the world. All international flights to Glasgow and Edinburgh arrive daily during spring and summer season. A three hour drive from either airports to the castle will set the tone for the Highland holiday.
Easter at Inverlochy – The fact that this castle has no Easter package hasn’t stopped us from choosing it as one of our spots to holiday over the long weekend. It is obvious that we are smitten by the wonderful landscape and its proximity to Ben Nevis, then again Easter or not, the castle has a list of fun activities for kids. All students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry be at the ready with your brooms and owls as Inverlochy Castle arranges for a ride on the Hogwarts Express over Glenfinnan Viaduct – the real-life location for Harry Potter series. Now we don’t know about you but for us, Hogwarts Express trumps any Easter Treasure Hunt in the world. After the ride you can take the kids out for some woodlands trail or a boat trip on the estate loch. Kids have their own menu and high tea menu at the restaurant and after a tonne of activity they deserve a treat. Since the castle is located in the capital of outdoors in UK – Lochaber you can be rest assured they will have you set up with spring trails to Ben Nevis to a cruise on Loch Ness in no time. Speaking of Ben Nevis and Loch Ness those with a penchant for nature photography will think of this as their short trip to paradise. The wildlife adventure travelers fret not, a treasure trove of west highland’s wildlife trails and sanctuary are a plenty in the vicinity. You will be picked up and returned to the castle on all the tours arranged. For the single malt lovers do pay a visit to Ben Nevis Distillery a few miles away from the castle and grab some souvenirs to take back home. We don’t know how often you’d visit Scotland but if not a regular and are into single malts then it would be a shame to go all the way to Loch Ness and not take a detour to Glenfiddich distillery. Glenfiddich is two hours drive from Loch Ness and about two and half hours from the castle, so its recommended to consult the concierge for arranging it on the same day. We recommend a three night stay as you will have an abundance of activities on your itinerary. For more details on booking please visit Inverlochy Castle.
Hever Castle, England
This castle wins hands down as the most family friendly holiday spot in England and it can enthrall everyone from 6 to 60 with an array of attractions within the estate premise. Steeped in over 700 years of history, the Hever Castle has been a childhood home of Anne Boleyn one of the most influential woman in England’s history, second wife of King Henry VIII and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I. Anne Boleyn has been the subject of historians for ages since her marriage to Henry VIII bore the cornerstone of the Church of England’s separation from Rome and till today the British monarch is its head. Hever later passed into the ownership of a number of families including the Waldegraves, the Humphreys and the Meade Waldos. It was to face a bleak future until William Waldorf Astor invested much resources of creativity and money to restore it. It was his vision that decorated Hever with its gardens, mazes and historic dwellings like the once Tudor village transformed to Astor wing in 1903.
Easter at Hever – When in Hever you hardly have the time or reason to explore anything outside the castle walls. Add Easter to that and you’d probably wish to extend your stay for the lack of time to experience it all. Beginning 28 March until 19 April, Hever Castle has organized an Easter itinerary some of which may occupy an entire day. Hop into this wagon because we know this Easter will be framed beautifully in your album of family holidays. A Gold Bunny Hunt will have you following the trails of the Easter bunny all day long so nourish yourself with a royal breakfast at the Tudor Suite dining room inclusive in the stay. Wonder why we eat copious portions of chocolate on Easter? Learn about these facts and some Easter traditions to take on a fun quiz in the castle. Enroll the kids in an Easter bonnet workshop then cheer on the sidelines as they parade their creations in the Best Bonnet competition. All the events for Easter except the workshop (£1) are complimentary. The abundance of activities in the estate leaves you feeling like the kid in a candy shop wondering where to begin. Which is why we have segregated it for you into Castle and Outdoors.
Castle – A private guided tour of the castle is like a short course in English history that may encourage you to take a quiz on Tudor history later. There are three tours which includes a multimedia tour of the castle. These tours and trails will offer an access to the lives of its past residents as well as their chambers during the 16th century. The highlight of this tour will be the Queen’s chambers as well as Anne Boleyn’s childhood bedroom.
Outdoors – Wander in the award winning gardens spread across 125 acres where spring bloom and English rose carpet the grounds most beautifully. The Italian Garden is a particular favorite among visitors for its Trevi inspired The Loggia fountain, Willaim Waldorf Astor’s collection of Italian sculptures and Pompeiian Wall. Take a stroll further into the woods and explore the Anne Boleyn’s Walk surrounded by century old trees. Kids love the 16 acre island that houses The Yew maze and the splashing water maze which are recent additions. Interestingly the estate has curated garden trail for kids that includes a Maths Garden trail and a Geography trail. You can save a day for the gardens and one for the glistening lake where an afternoon is well spent riding The African Queen or a tour of the Japanese Tea House or simply strolling leisurely across the sprawling lush lawns. For all the details of itinerary please visit Hever Castle.